For the first time, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia has begun tracking traffic fatalities in Philadelphia, mapping and profiling the victims of the city’s tragic, largely avoidable traffic deaths as they happen.
The Bicycle Coalition released PHLtrafficvictims.org on Wednesday, October 19, as a way to better inform the citizens of Philadelphia of who is getting killed on our streets, and where it’s happening.
As of Wednesday, there have been 57 traffic deaths in Philadelphia in 2016. While the city is on a downward trajectory in overall road fatalities as compared to 2015, the percentage of pedestrian deaths is increasing. It appears the majority of traffic deaths are occurring in lower income communities, as well.
In addition to reminding the public that traffic deaths don’t have to be a traffic part of life in our city, the Bicycle Coalition hopes that PHLtrafficvictims.org can serve to help decision makers as they develop new policies to create safer conditions on our streets.
“More than once a week someone in Philadelphia is killed in a crash. These deaths are needless and tragic. PHLtrafficvictims.org will raise awareness and increase demand for the implementation of a host Vision Zero policies, such as more effective enforcement of speeding,” says Jason Duckworth, Center City resident and Vision Zero advocate. “These crashes are so routine now that we can hardly call them ‘accidents.’ We need action now.”
The Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia is dedicated to making our streets safer for all road users, using a holistic approach that utilizes traffic calming measures that re-engineers streets to add bike lanes, slower traffic and automated enforcement options.
“We developed this website to put a face on the far too many victims of traffic crashes in Philadelphia. PHLtrafficvictims.org reveals the disturbing scope of traffic victims’ vulnerabilities,” says Sarah Clark Stuart, executive director of the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia. “Many of the victims are children, and many have been left to die on the streets. We want the public to be more aware of this epidemic, to urge their leaders to take action, and we hope that in future years, PHLtraffivictims.org will tell a different story.”