Lower Manhattan Remains An Injury Trap For Pedestrians & Cyclists

Zoom in on an area and click the dots in the intersection to learn more about the accidents that occurred at that location

In 2014 New York City initiated Vision Zero – a citywide effort to reduce road related injuries and fatalities. As a result of Vision Zero groundwork, 2014 saw the lowest number of pedestrian deaths in New York City history. In 2014 there were 132 pedestrian deaths which is a whole 48 less than 2013’s 180 pedestrian fatalities. In the past two years city officials have completed over 50 street improvements, developed a versatile media advertising campaign, installed 250 speed bumps, and more.

Yet, despite their best efforts lower Manhattan remains dangerous grounds to traverse for both cyclists and pedestrians. Up until 2014, the New York City Police Department released accident data in PDF format making it a cumbersome task for developers to leverage city data. Nevertheless, New York native Ben Wellington slugged through and put together one of the first interactive accident maps of the city for 2013. Ben also provided an accompanying heat map of the city’s fatalities.

Ben’s maps made it overwhelmingly clear that a number of accidents and injuries were heavily concentrated in the lower part of Manhattan. Three years later and this is still the case today.

Lower Manhattan’s Most Dangerous Intersections in 2015

Bowery & Kenmare St. (105 accidents)

Bowery & Canal St. (96 accidents)

Bowery & East Houston St. (87 accidents)

It’s safe to say that pedestrians and cyclists should stay far away from Bowery which has 3 of the most accident prone intersections in Lower Manhattan. A total of five pedestrians and one cyclist were injured at Bowery & Canal in 2015. The intersection also claimed the life of a commuting pedestrian. Another five pedestrians and four cyclists were injured at Bowery and Kenmare. Two cyclists and two pedestrians sustained damage at Bowery & East Houston.

Of course, Bowery isn’t the only dangerous street in Lower Manhattan. Broadway and Canal saw 75 accidents, 6th Avenue and West 14th saw 63, and Canal and Mulberry Street was the site of 71 accidents.

The city has been making significant progress in creating safer roads for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers alike. In the past nine years New York City has laid down more than 366 miles of bike lanes and installed or improved pedestrian signals where needed. Still, progress does not seem to be arriving fast enough. 2015’s accident data reveals that the worst sections of Manhattan’s roads remain just as dangerous.

How We Can Take Safety A Step Further

Currently about 90% of all New York City mileage is structured so that bikes share the road with automobiles without any form of protection at all. Yet, a study conducted by the University of British Columbia found that protected lanes reduce the risk of cyclist injury by up to 90%. Protection can come in the form of concrete barriers, posts, or raised landscape features.

Additionally, distracted driving consistently ranks as one of the leading causes of road related accidents. Approximately 26% of all motor vehicle accidents are a result of distracted drivers. Drivers are so busy toying with their phones that they miss an oncoming pedestrian or cyclist and create an accident. Therefore, if New York is serious about their Vision Zero initiative, then they should crack down harder on distracted driving and invest more into implementing protected bike lanes. Doing these two things would make Lower Manhattan a much safer place for pedestrians and cyclists.

Have You Been Involved in an Accident?

If you’ve been involved in a crash in BYC, it’s critical that you work with an experienced accident attorney who can ensure that your rights are protected. For a no-cost consultation, please contact The Law Offices of Ivan M. Diamond.

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