While 1,133 pedestrians have died in crashes in Los Angeles between 2011 and 2020, New York City was even deadlier, with 1,260 pedestrians killed over the same time period, according to federal crash data analyzed by an insurance comparison company.
The two coastal cities vastly outpaced the rest of the country in pedestrian traffic fatalities — despite both cities developing bold “Vision Zero” plans aimed at ending traffic deaths in recent years.
“We’re not surprised [by the data]. We saw Vision Zero was launched six years ago in Los Angeles and sadly we’ve seen more traffic fatalities since Vision Zero was launched and it even got worse during the pandemic,” said Eli Lipmen, the executive director of Move LA, a group that advocates for an expanded public transportation system in Los Angeles.
Lipmen noted that pre-pandemic data showed that South Los Angeles had nearly half of all traffic injuries and fatalities and that people of color were disproportionately affected.
“We’ve always seen this as a real equity issue,” Lipmen said.
A representative for the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, which oversees pedestrian safety, could not be immediately reached for comment on the study.
The study, which drew on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and was analyzed by the insurance comparison site Jerry, showed that the number of pedestrian fatalities is rising nationwide. In 2021, 7,342 pedestrians died in crashes across the country — up 65% from the 2011 total, which was fewer than 4,500.
The 7,342 figure was the highest in four decades, according to the Jerry report.
Pedestrian deaths have been rising in Los Angeles as well, with 128 people killed in pedestrian-involved crashes in 2021, a 6% increase over 2020.
The number has risen in 2022 as well, with 135 people killed in pedestrian-involved crashes through Nov. 26, according to data from the Los Angeles Police Department.