Poll finds that up to 30% of New Yorkers report being injured in traffic crashes

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A new poll of over 800 New Yorkers suggests that at least 30% of respondents in the five boroughs have either been injured in a traffic-related crash, while up to 70% know someone who has been.

The Siena College Research Institute (SCRI) conducted the poll at the request of Transportation Alternatives between Nov. 30 and Dec. 14, by random calls to registered voters and found a high number of folks who have been injured, including 35 percent of Black New Yorkers.

Since Mayor Bill de Blasio took office and implemented Vision Zero in 2014, Transportation Alternatives said over 1,000 pedestrians and cyclists have died on the city’s roadways while 51% of the sample had never heard of the initiative.

“The 2021 elections will usher in new leadership citywide, and these poll results should make clear that no candidate can afford to run for office without a plan to address traffic violence,” said Danny Harris, Transportation Alternatives executive director. “During Mayor de Blasio’s final year in office, after traffic deaths rose for the second year in a row, this poll should be yet another wakeup call for Mayor de Blasio to step up, save lives, and achieve his Vision Zero goals.”

While activists are looking to the next mayoral administration to take aggressive action in making streets safer and less car-centric, some candidates are taking these calls seriously.

City Comptroller Scott Stringer has proposed a plan in recent days to limit the capacity for cars on city streets by growing the current Open Streets plan and even repurposing highways throughout the five boroughs. Meanwhile, Brooklyn Borough President has vowed to expand the city’s protected bike lane infrastructure, specifically for children to bike to school in greater numbers.

“Behind each traffic crash statistic is a devastated parent, child, friend, and community. Today’s poll results prove that far too many New Yorkers have been impacted, and irrevocably damaged, by unsafe streets,” said Amy Cohen, co-founder of Families For Safe Streets. “Mothers like me, who lost a child on an unsafe street, are members of a club that nobody should have to join, and we urge our current mayor and those running to succeed him to implement plans that once and for all put an end to the preventable plague of traffic violence.”

More findings from the Sienna poll found that 33% of injured New Yorkers in the poll who had been injured were from households making $50,000 a year or less, up to six points more likely that someone from a home earning more than $100,000. Up to 37% of people between the ages of 50 to 64 have been injured as well.

But the most staggering numbers pertained to Staten Island, Which has the highest rate of car ownership and where 88% of respondents know someone who was killed or injured in a traffic crash. 

Up to 48% have been injured themselves, according to the poll.