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These are New York City’s 12 most dangerous areas for pedestrians and cyclists

A NYC ghost bike, which is placed as a memorial at a crash location where a rider has been killed or seriously injured.

Pedal Power Pete/Flickr

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Williamsburg is known for its bicycle-loving residents—and there are bound to be even more of them when the L train shuts down for 15 months starting next April—but they should take particular caution when riding in the neighborhood. The area around the entrance to the Williamsburg Bridge topped the list of the city’s most dangerous areas for pedestrians and cyclists, according to a new study by Localize.city, a website that provides insights based on New York City addresses.

The report lists 12 clustered areas across New York City’s five boroughs where pedestrians and cyclists have a rate of injury or death that's three times higher than elsewhere in the city. These clusters saw about 238 crashes on average in the past five years, compared to the citywide average of 75.

Localize.city looked at data from Jan. 1st, 2013 through Jan. 1st, 2018 of crashes involving pedestrians or cyclists at every intersection in the city. A pattern emerged: Crashes often occur near elevated tracks or bridges and their approaches.

Even though its number of crashes dipped about 5 percent since 2013, the cluster in Williamsburg had more accidents in 2017 (nearly 300) than any other area, and had 1,390 in total over the five-year period, resulting in 704 cyclists injured, 704 pedestrians injured, and nine killed.

It was the only area of the 12 listed where the number of cyclists injured was similar to pedestrian injuries, indicating how much bike traffic has increased there in recent years.

Localize.city’s data science team created an index to account for intersections of varying sizes and traffic volume, then mapped the residential buildings within 500 feet of the most dangerous intersections to identify particularly unsafe clusters.

“This may give you a truer sense of how safe it is to cross a given street than just using raw numbers alone,” says Andrew Lassiter, a Localize.city urban planner.

Areas with an increase in crashes include Ridgewood, Queens, near Myrtle Avenue and Wyckoff Street, which saw a spike of 35 percent in 2017. For the five-year period, Ridgewood saw 98 cyclists injured, 237 pedestrians injured, and three killed.

The area around the border between University Heights and Fordham in the Bronx, particularly near Jerome Avenue and the Grand Concourse, jumped 16 percent. Numbers in the Bronx cluster are 167 cyclists injured, 891 pedestrians injured, and eight killed.

Several of the areas identified have received or are getting some pedestrian safety upgrades from the City’s Department of Transportation, according to the report. Advocates, such as Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, hope these findings will direct more attention to improving the clusters identified, and “further reduce the threat to pedestrians and cyclists at the intersections where help is needed most.”

Here is the full list of areas included in the report, ranked by total number of crashes over the five-year data period:

Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Total number of crashes: 1,390
Cyclists injured: 704
Pedestrians injured: 704
Killed: 9

Lower East Side/Little Italy/Soho, Manhattan
Total number of crashes: 1,220
Cyclists injured: 515
Pedestrians injured: 826
Killed: 10

Fordham/University Heights, the Bronx
Total number of crashes: 1,005
Cyclists injured: 167
Pedestrians injured: 891
Killed: 8

Jackson Heights, Queens
Total number of crashes: 715
Cyclists injured: 240
Pedestrians injured: 499
Killed: 9

Corona, Queens
Total number of crashes: 701
Cyclists injured: 332
Pedestrians injured: 455
Killed: 9

Downtown Brooklyn, Brooklyn
Total number of crashes: 699
Cyclists injured: 256
Pedestrians injured: 492
Killed: 6

Flushing, Queens
Total number of crashes: 637
Cyclists injured: 91
Pedestrians injured: 571
Killed: 12

Crown Heights/Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn
Total number of crashes: 562
Cyclists injured: 206
Pedestrians injured: 421
Killed: 3

Jamaica, Queens
Total number of crashes: 370
Cyclists injured: 46
Pedestrians injured: 351
Killed: 4

Ridgewood, Queens
Total number of crashes: 341
Cyclists injured: 98
Pedestrians injured: 237
Killed: 3

St. George/Tompkinsville, Staten Island
Total number of crashes: 133
Cyclists injured: 20
Pedestrians injured: 123
Killed: 0

Stapleton, Staten Island
Total number of crashes: 102
Cyclists injured: 21
Pedestrians injured: 71
Killed: 0

 

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