Last year was a deadly year for pedestrians and cyclists in New York. The number of accidents involving cyclists and motor vehicles more than doubled.
Throughout all of last year, the Department of Transportation released data revealing that New York City experienced 218 total traffic fatalities. These fatalities included 121 pedestrians and 28 cyclists.
When elected Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio initiated Vision Zero, which had the aim to reduce the number of traffic fatalities in the city. His initiative included plans for redesigning roads and intersections and reprogramming traffic lights to make the roadways safer for bicyclists and pedestrians. Also included in the plans was a program to make more bicycle lanes within the city.
The NYC Streetsblog reports that a pedestrian was killed by a teenaged driver on the Upper East Side.
The incident occurred at around 6:25 p.m. on Wednesday evening at the intersection of Fifth Avenue at 97th Street.
29-year-old Justin Batten was crossing Fifth Avenue from east to west at the intersection. As he crossed the street, he was hit by an 18-year-old male driver who was behind the wheel of a BMW.
He was rushed to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
The driver remained on the scene and has not been charged. Police say that speed is being investigated as a factor in the collision.
Fifth Avenue is reported as being a dangerous roadway because drivers often speed on the section of road that is next to Central Park. Last year, there were 11 crashes in a four-block radius from the recent crash site.