This year was a tough one for New Yorkers. There were countless safety issues that the city had to deal with, including crane collapses, slashings, and pedestrian fatalities. However, as 2017 rapidly approaches, New Yorkers may still be worried when it comes to their safety around the city.
Here are the 3 biggest safety concerns New York residents have for 2017.
Pedestrian Safety on Streets
This year saw a significant rise in pedestrian deaths in comparison to the previous year. As of Nov. 20, there were 124 pedestrians and 17 cyclists killed, compared to 115 pedestrians and 14 cyclists who were hit during the same period in 2015, according to the NY Daily News.
The growing number of pedestrian deaths have made several New Yorkers question the effect of the city’s street safety initiatives. Resident Christine Maounis, who lost her father after a driver ran into him, believes the city could do more to protect pedestrians, according to the NY Daily News.
“We don’t need anybody getting hurt. If the number is not going down, you have to try a different way of doing things,” Christine told the Daily News.
Brian Zumhagen, a spokesman for the advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, believes that Vision Zero is heading in the wrong direction when it comes to keeping pedestrians safe, according to the NY Daily News.
“The city needs to make a renewed commitment for 2017 to invest more to fix streets and intersections that have already been classified as hazardous, and to deter deadly speeding and failure-to-yield with equitable traffic enforcement across the five boroughs,” Zumhagen said to the Daily News.
Overcrowding on Trains and Platforms
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority subway system sees close to 1.8 billion rides per year, according to the New York Times. Approximately 6 million people ride the subway every day compared to about 4 million back in the 1990s, which has led to several safety concerns.
The crowded trains can make for tense and frustrating commutes, which contributes to a rise in assaults among disgruntled passengers, according to the NYT. There have been close to 300 assaults on the subway this year, which is up more than 15 percent from last year.
Overcrowding on subway platforms is also a cause of concern. With crowds crammed together on the platform edge, some riders and train operators worry that someone could fall onto the tracks.
“When you’re bringing the train into the station and you see that it is packed, you always have that on your mind — the possibility that somebody could be pushed or someone could fall or trip or faint,” Brussard Alston, a train operator, told the NYT.
The MTA believes that the opening of the Second Avenue Subway will help to ease overcrowding and traffic congestion on the Lexington Ave, according to the NYT. The installation of a modern signal system would allow more trains to run.
Increase in Hate Crimes
This year saw a wave of hate crimes. The NYPD stated that the number of hate crimes in our city has risen 31.5 percent this year compared to 2015, according to the New York Post.
Police Commissioner James O’Neill said that there has been a total of 328 hate crimes this year compared with 250 crimes that took place during the same time period in 2015, according to the Post. Reported hate crimes against Muslims rose from 12 to 25, while crimes against Jews have risen from 102 to 111.
On Dec. 5, an MTA employee wearing a hijab was reportedly attacked on her way to work in Midtown by a male subway rider, according to the Post. The victim’s attacker allegedly called her a terrorist and pushed her down a flight of stairs.
Governor Andrew Cuomo is not taking these crimes lightly. He has announced a new statewide anti-hate crime force, according to the Post. The new unit will help local law enforcement agencies to investigate potential hate crimes.
“This is the great state of New York — we welcome people of all cultures, customs, and creeds with open arms. We do not allow intolerance or fear to divide us because we know diversity is our strength and we are at our best when we stand united,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement about the incident.
Safety is always a top priority for New Yorkers and with the city’s help, 2017 could be a safer year for residents. However, there are many hazards that could lead to an injury.
If you were injured due to the negligent or reckless actions of another, you may be entitled to compensation. To learn what our New York attorneys could do for you, please fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation form today.