Chelsea, Upper West Side Most Perilous to Cyclists and Pedestrians in Manhattan

| 13 Mar 2023 | 05:14

Chelsea and the Upper West Side neighborhoods were among the most dangerous in Manhattan in terms of traffic injuries for bicyclists and pedestrians, according to a recently released report from safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives.

Hit and runs across the city remain higher than in the pre pandemic era and the survey found a dismal record when it comes to solving that crime. In 2022, 31 percent of all fatalities were hit-and-runs, the report found. Yet, just four hit-and-runs were solved in 2022. The report found that neighborhoods that were predominantly white benefitted from the most “solved” hit and run cases. Since 2017, 55 percent of hit-and-run cases were solved or a suspect has been arrested in precincts where a majority of residents are white versus only 36 percent in precincts where a majority are people of color, according to the report which it said was based on NYPD data.

While 257 people died citywide in 2022, down from the 275 that died in 2021, the latest numbers are still above the pre-pandemic death rate. Most tragically, last year, 16 of the deaths were children under the age of 18, a record number of deaths since the Vision Zero plan was implemented a decade ago.

“As we near the 10-year mark of Vision Zero, it’s clear we haven’t moved fast enough to address this crisis,” said Danny Harris, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. Harris urged fast action on pending legislation. “The solutions to traffic violence are in front of us. In 2022, we saw safe streets projects such as Queens’ Paseo Park on 34th Avenue and a new protected bike lane on Brooklyn’s Schermerhorn Street open. To end this crisis of traffic violence, Mayor Adams and Traffic Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez must scale these life-saving projects citywide by implementing the NYC Streets Plan and NYC 25x25 without delay.”

Council District 3, which includes the West Side from Chelsea up to 59th Street and is represented by Councilman Erik Bottcher, was among the most dangerous for pedestrians in Manhattan, the report found. It had 44 pedestrian incidents last year and five traffic related deaths.

Council District 6, on the Upper West Side, which is represented by Councilwoman Gale Brewer and includes heavy bicycle use area of Central Park recorded twenty six bicyclist injuries in the district last year but there was only one traffic related death.

Meanwhile, Council District 8, which includes the South Bronx and East Harlem and is represented by Councilwoman Diana Ayala, was the deadliest for drivers, with 96 motorist injuries and ten deaths.

“It’s unfortunate that we’re still seeing casualties nearly ten years after a commitment to Vision Zero. It’s obvious that in order to see a reduction in traffic fatalities, the city needs to allocate more time and resources to addressing the issue,” said Ayala.

“We need to invest in policies, programs and infrastructure across the city that will make our streets safer and allow us to achieve Vision Zero,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine.