The ‘Busway’ Proves Another Benefit of Car-Free Streets: Safety - StreetsBlog


The car-free 14th Street Busway is a real lifesaver. No, literally.

The benefits of the city’s transit-priority pilot program between Third and Ninth avenues in Manhattan are well documented: buses are moving much faster and ridership is up as a result of the improved service.

But the project is having a much greater, and much-less-heralded, safety impact.In the four months since the busway began in October, total crashes are down 53 percent and injuries are down 63 percent compared to the same four-month period a year earlier. Crashes that resulted in injuries are down 68 percent.

Here are the raw numbers:

  • Total crashes

  • Oct. 2018-Jan. 2019: 90

  • Oct. 2019-Jan. 2020: 42 (a decrease of 53 percent)

  • Total crashes with injuries

  • Oct. 3028-Jan.2019: 27

  • Oct. 2019-Jan. 2020: 10 (a decrease of 63 percent)

  • Total injuries

  • Oct. 2019-Jan. 2020: 35 (seven cyclists, eight pedestrians, 20 motorists)

  • Oct. 2019-Jan. 2020: 11 (three cyclists, seven pedestrians, one motorist, a total decrease of 68 percent)

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist — or a mayor! — to see what’s going on: Removing cars has enhanced safety for all road users. Street safety advocates have been calling for more car-free zones for years (and Mayor de Blasio has largely ignored them), so no one was surprised by Streetsblog’s back-of-the-envelope calculations.

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