The most dangerous intersection in New York City--for those not in cars--is Park Avenue and East 33rd Street. That's right where a bypass tunnel lets cars back above ground after several blocks of rare traffic signal-free midtown travel.
It's not an easy intersection to cross with the tunnel entrance blocking half of the intersection. There have been 163 crashes injuring pedestrians and cyclists there since 1995. That's almost a dozen each year. The transit advocacy group Transportation Alternatives has updated their their CrashStat.org website to map the most dangerous intersections in the city, in an effort to raise awareness about danger spots, and contributing factors.
The web site plots every crash recorded by the N.Y. State Department of Transportation since 1995 that involved a pedestrian or a bicyclist. Blue dots are pedestrian crashes, red are bicycle crashes, and the black stars--intentionally bold and eye catching-- mark fatalities.
A quick click on the city's most dangerous intersection reveals how many crashes have happened by year, by type of car, age of person hit, contributing factor and more. It also lets you see that crossing the street is getting safer in New York.
Most of the crashes at that ignobly distinguished intersection occurred before 2003.
The most fatal intersection, is Utica Avenue and Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, with six deaths and 141 crashes since 1995. Other dangerous intersections are Webster Avenue and East Fordham Road in the Bronx with 123 crashes; and Union Street and Northern Boulevard in Queens which had 92 crashes from 1995-2009
The data for the mapping project only takes us up to 2009, and for some intersection not even that. But a trend is clear, and consistent with City data, that traffic calming measures and shared streets design upgrades over the past five years have reduced pedestrian injuries.
On this map, you can see crash statistics by neighborhood, community board, City Council district, NYPD precinct and many more geographic and political boundaries. You can also filter the crashes by contributing factors like age of pedestrian, or type of vehicle, of if speeding was involved.
Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Paul Steeley White says, "By
revealing where and why motor vehicle crashes occur, CrashStat gives all New Yorkers the information they need to demand better enforcement of our traffic laws." He says, that speeding and failing to yield are the top most dangerous traffic behaviors of motorists, so that's where he'd like to see enforcement focused.
According to citation data released, police issue more tickets for tinted windows and cell phones than for speeding. Speeding however, requires additional equipment such as radars to enforce. That, and for many parts of the city, there's just too much traffic to speed.