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Traffic deaths in record low last year, de Blasio says

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, center,

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, opens a news conference in New York's City Hall, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Credit: AP / Richard Drew

Last year was the safest for New York City traffic in its recorded history, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday.

In 2015, there were 231 people died in traffic fatalities, compared with 257 in 2014, 297 in 2013 — and “thousands” in 1910, when the city began keeping records, according to Bonnie Tsang, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Transportation.

De Blasio credited his “Vision Zero” traffic safety policy, which is based on a Swedish plan of the same name that aims to eliminate roadway deaths and serious injuries.

“We said we would do everything in our power to prevent traffic fatalities, to keep families whole,” de Blasio said, adding: “So far, this plan is working.”

De Blasio’s office said the city would spend $115 million on new projects, including roadway redesigns such as so-called “traffic calming measures” in every borough.

NYPD summonses are up 268 percent for failure to yield to a pedestrians, to 39,852 in 2015 compared with an annual average of 10,808 in the final years of Michael Bloomberg’s mayoralty, 2010 to 2013, Speeding tickets went up 72 percent, to 134,426 from a 77,828 average over that period, according to the mayor’s office.

De Blasio spoke in Woodside at a school on Queens Boulevard, a thoroughfare long known as “the Boulevard of Death” because of the high number of pedestrians killed there.

“We were not going to allow any street in this city to be called the Boulevard of Death anymore,” de Blasio said, saying he wants it to be a “Boulevard of Life.”


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