- (Courtesy Ghost Bikes)
As expected, 2011 was a record year for traffic fatalities in New York City, with 237 people dying in traffic accidents through December 27, which not only amounts to a dramatic 40 percent drop from last year, but an all-time low since records of annual traffic deaths were first kept 101 years ago. But the figures for cyclists are less encouraging.
Though Mayor Bloomberg, speaking at a press conference in Brooklyn on December 29, declared 2011 the safest year for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists in over a century, the number of bike riders killed on city streets rose last year for the third consecutive year.
21 cyclists died in traffic accidents in New York in 2011, DNAinfo reports, up from 19 in 2010 and 12 in 2009. The two bike fatality increase last year is in keeping with the eight percent increase in bike ridership over the same period, suggesting that while safety conditions for cyclists in New York haven’t worsened in the last twelve months, they haven’t improved either.