Is NYC reducing traffic injuries and deaths as called for by Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative? The public has no way to know, because the city hasn’t published crash data since the end of February and won’t start again until sometime this summer.
City Hall’s Vision Zero View map was a breakthrough when it debuted in 2014, providing frequent updates on traffic deaths and injuries. It quickly became an indispensable tool to assess progress on street safety, with data refreshed every month. But the most recent data in the system is now three months old.
After City Hall stopped posting new data, with no advance notice, a note on the map said the city is “transitioning to a new electronic crash data reporting system,” and Vision Zero View would be updated when the transition is complete. No timeline was provided.
NYPD also stopped posting its monthly crash reports after February. However, the department recently resumed publishing crash data on the city’s open data portal, after the feed went dark for about two months.
We asked de Blasio’s office when City Hall expects the new Vision Zero View system to come online, and why the city can’t continue publishing data on the current platform while the new one is in development.
“We expect the feed to be restored this summer at which point any old data will be posted retroactively,” de Blasio spokesperson Austin Finan replied via email.
Can you imagine the city putting an indefinite hold on the release of gun crime stats while NYPD developed CompStat 2.0? Yet de Blasio’s office won’t say why it was necessary to stop using the existing traffic crash data platform, and won’t provide a hard deadline for the resumption of data releases.
Until that undetermined date, when it comes to tracking progress on street safety, New Yorkers are in the dark.