Both the Journal and the Times reported on a studyabout New York City traffic which someone has called the “most statistically ambitious ever undertaken by a U.S. city.” That just sounds awesome to me, both as a statistican and a pedestrian. According to the report, New York is one of the safest cities in America to travel in but trails a number of major European and Asian cities.
One takeaway from the report is, that contrary to common belief, taxis are responsible for very few accidents. This was always my feeling since cabbies are the experts of New York City streets and are under heavy scrutiny from the police and T&LC. They have more incentive to be alert and cautious than private drivers.
It also found that Manhattan is more dangerous than the other boroughs. I hope that doesn’t encourage congestion pricing though. That’s an idea I still can’t get behind.
The Bloomberg administration is likely to use the report to further its (popular) street reforms. As a biker, I like the dedicated bike lanes that use a column of parked cars–and sometimes a concrete median–to separate cyclists from moving traffic. As a pedestrian it’s the countdown cross signals that are already in place near Union Square and Greenwich Avenue. Hopefully Union Square will also be getting its own pedestrian plaza.
Jared Lander is the Chief Data Scientist of Lander Analytics a New York data science firm, Adjunct Professor at Columbia University, Organizer of the New York Open Statistical Programming meetup and the New York and Washington DC R Conferences and author of R for Everyone.