New York Traffic Deaths Hit Historic Low

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NY Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, NY DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and NY Mayor Bloomberg Announce Traffic Stats at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. (Photo by Jim O'Grady)

(New York, NY - WNYC) The Bloomberg Administration says the city will have the lowest number of traffic fatalities in its history this year.

Mayor Bloomberg said 237 people have been killed in traffic incidents this year--a 40 percent drop from 2001. He said traffic fatalities for pedestrians and children are also at record lows.

New York Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan added that fatal bicycle accidents have held steady. She said that's despite a quadrupling of bike ridership over the past decade.

The mayor and his transportation commissioner unveiled the statistics in Brooklyn at Grand Army Plaza, where they said safety upgrades contributed to a 40 percent reduction in crashes over the past three years.

Sadik-Khan said deaths are down because the city keeps re-engineering its streets, and plans to do more. "You will see more pedestrian countdown signals," she said. "We're going to be doubling them in the next two years. You will see more neighborhood slow zones, continuing our work to create slow zones around schools. We've done 138 so far."

She said her department also plans to keep installing bike lanes, crossing lanes and pedestrian islands around the city.

New York's traffic fatality rate is already half the per capita national average.