As Canadian cities struggle to find solutions to traffic-related pedestrian and cycling deaths, New York City is touting its remarkable four-year turnaround in making its streets safer — something the mayor says is the result of going all in on a Sweden-conceived road safety program.
New York credits its “Vision Zero” program for a 44 per cent drop in pedestrian deaths since 2014, with overall traffic fatalities down by 27 per cent. The first half of 2018 has seen the fewest traffic-related fatalities in any six-month period ever measured in America’s most populated city, officials say.
“The last time city streets were this safe, people were getting around in a horse and buggy,” New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said earlier this year.
Vision Zero’s goal is to reframe how cities look at traffic fatalities — not as “accidents” but preventable incidents that can be addressed through a combined approach involving road design, public outreach and increased enforcement.