GREENWICH VILLAGE — The goal of eliminating pedestrian fatalities in the city by 2024 — which Mayor Bill de Blasio has put atop his Vision Zero safety agenda — is unrealistic, NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton said.
“You’re not going to get to zero,” Bratton said Thursday morning at a 2016 Vision Zero for Cities Symposium at New York University. “It’s a worthwhile goal to move toward, but in a city of 8.5 million people, in a city with 60 million tourists, in a city as congested as we are… the reality of it will probably remain elusive.”
There were 233 traffic-related fatalities across the boroughs in 2015, down from 255 the year before. So far this year, there have been 38 pedestrian deaths, an increase of five from the same time last year, Bratton said.
Still, the commissioner said he expected fewer fatal accidents by year’s end.
“We have seen fairly significant and constant reductions in deaths and fatalities, pedestrian and vehicular, but we’re also seeing increased enforcement activity,” he said.
Summonses are also up by about 27 percent this year — with a 38 percent increase for disobeying red lights and a 47 percent increase for texting while driving, Bratton said.
The commissioner added that investigators will continue to go after reckless drivers, but eliminating all pedestrian fatalities just isn’t plausible.
“As long as we have humans who are walking, riding bicycles, cars, as long as we have people, we will have crime,” the commissioner said.