New York: Transforming Streets to Increase Mobility and Public Safety

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The Problem

Between 2001 and 2009, motorists killed 3,774 people on New York City Streets. In addition to the deaths, roughly 4,000 New Yorkers suffered serious injuries in road accidents each year.

The Solution

Using smart data modelling techniques to analyze traffic and pedestrian patterns, New York City’s Department of Transportation (NYCDOT) proposed removing motor vehicles from some New York City’s busiest roads so the space could be converted into public spaces for pedestrians and cyclists. NYCDOT also oversaw the creation of miles of segregated bicycle lanes and created a bicycle sharing program, which made cycling a viable transportation option for citizens.

The Results

Almost instantaneously, average travel times improved and injuries to pedestrians fell by as much as 35%. Cycling became an easier transport option, and 74% of New Yorkers surveyed by the Times Square Alliance — one of the neighborhoods affected by the transformations — said that Times Square had dramatically improved.