This past summer marked New York City’s deadliest for traffic fatalities since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office in 2014, according to a new report — defying Hizzoner’s pledge to bring road deaths to zero as he prepares to leave office.
The city saw 77 traffic deaths from June to August 2021, according to NYPD stats crunched by the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives. It is more than any other summer since de Blasio launched his “Vision Zero” program with a promise to eliminate fatal crashes entirely by 2024.
The 77 people include seven cyclists, 24 pedestrians and 42 motorists or passengers — the latter a 147 percent increase from the summer of 2016, when just 17 car drivers or occupants died.
More pedestrians died on Manhattan streets — 11 — than the last three summers combined, the group said. The stark ride in fatalities comes after de Blasio touted initial successes in reducing road deaths, which hit all-time lows at one point under his watch.
“Mayor de Blasio has squandered the success he achieved on street safety,” the group’s director Danny Harris said in a statement.
To solve the problem, Harris called on “the next mayor … to take steps to reduce driving, including redesigning dangerous corridors and building streets that prevent speeding and take the most reckless drivers off the road.”
The starkest spike in road carnage was in Brooklyn, where 23 people died in fatal crashes over the three-month period, according to the report.
Through the end of September, the city’s most populous borough had 63 traffic deaths — more than it had in all 12 months of 2016-18 and 2020. The report suggested that a 25 percent rise in SUV ownership may be behind the increase.
Delivery workers and Bronx residents have suffered more relative to other New Yorkers.
Ten delivery workers on bikes, e-bikes or scooters have died as of Sept. 30, compared to seven total in all of 2020, the report said. The Bronx, meanwhile, has accounted for half of the city’s 13 cyclist deaths this year.
Soaring traffic deaths come as the de Blasio administration’s own records indicate the NYPD has pulled back significantly from traffic enforcement.
Cops wrote 57 percent fewer driving tickets last year compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Mayor’s Management Report release last month.
City Hall did not immediately return a request for comment.
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