Oct 7, 2021 - News

Philadelphia's traffic-related fatalities spike in 2020

Traffic-related fatalities in Philadelphia
Data: City of Philadelphia; Chart: Thomas Oide/Axios

Traffic fatalities spiked in Philadelphia last year, despite fewer drivers spending time on the road during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The city on Wednesday released its annual Vision Zero report, which found that last year's crash fatalities in Philly skyrocketed 88% over the previous year.

  • "People are lead-footing around this town ... and they're driving like idiots," Mayor Jim Kenney said at a news conference Wednesday. "The pandemic ... has made people do things they normally wouldn't do, like driving crazily fast and doing insane stuff with cars in Center City."

By the numbers: 156 people were killed in traffic-related crashes in Philly last year, according to the report.

  • Aggressive driving and speeding accounted for 42% of fatal and serious injury crashes.

The intrigue: Traffic volume dipped 18% last year, compared to 2019.

  • And overall crashes decreased from the previous year.

Zoom out: Traffic deaths were up 6% last year across the state, according to Pennsylvania's Department of Transportation.

Between the lines: Philadelphia's traffic violence disproportionately affects Black and brown communities and low-income neighborhoods, said Mike Carroll, the city's deputy managing director for transportation.

  • 12% of roads account for 80% of Philly's traffic deaths and serious injuries.
  • The most dangerous roads in the city include parts of Roosevelt Boulevard, North Broad Street and Hunting Park Avenue, among others.

The latest: The city has logged 91 traffic-related fatalities so far in 2021, city spokeswoman Joy Huertas told Mike in an emailed statement.

  • A cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run along Roosevelt Boulevard in North Philly on Tuesday, according to police.

What they're saying: Randy LoBasso, policy director for Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, said that Kenney's progress on making the city's roads safer is too slow.

  • "We see it in the numbers. The numbers tell the story that you don't want to hear."

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