August 18, 2014
Fatal Cyclist Accident this Morning was Tragically Predictable

Tragically, a cyclist was killed this morning at the intersection of 108th St and Park Avenue in New York City.  (DNAInfo, Gothamist, h/t StreetsBlog).

Each time I see something like that happen in the city, I ask myself “was this predictable?”  Obviously no single accident is, but with some data we can identify hot spots and fix them to reduce fatalities.

Looking at this mornings accident location (thanks to NYC Open Data) showed something very surprising:

  • In 2012, there were 20 cyclist fatalities in NYC.  At least one of them was at or next to that intersection. (Public data only goes back to July) 
  • In 2013, there were 13 cyclist fatalities in NYC.  One of them was at or next to that intersection.
  • In 2014, there will be ?? fatalities of cyclists in NYC.  At least one of them will have been at or next to that intersection

Over this period of time, these were the only cycling fatalities in the zip code 10029, and they were all in the same place.

We can also see a pattern of cyclist injuries at other nearby intersections on the same route:


Obviously no single accident is predictable at any given time, but if we want to get serious about VisionZero, let’s make patterns like these repeat less often.

Related: I Quant NY posts on VisionZero, cycling or the DOT.

Cyclist Injury Data is here: Jul 2012-May 2014
Fatality counts found here

I continue to ask the DOT to release more history on the NYC Open Data portal. It currently only goes back to July, 2012, which is unfortunate and limits statistical significance on any studies.

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Filed under: visionzero dot cycling 
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