One of the cool things about a city the size of New York is that it generates a lot of data. A lot of people, a lot of interaction, a lot of events. At the end of every fiscal year, the city's deputy mayor for operations puts together a document outlining how New York is doing on various metrics.
This year, there was at least one big surprise: Traffic fatalities increased. From the New York Times:
Traffic fatalities from July 2011 through June 2012 were up 23 percent from the previous year -- to 291, from 236. It was the first increase since 2007, when there were 310 traffic fatalities.
Though overall crashes fell slightly for the second straight year, 176 cyclists or pedestrians were killed in crashes, up from 158 the previous year. The other 115 deaths were motorists or their passengers, a sharp rise from the 78 drivers and passengers killed the year before. …
According to the Mayor’s Management Report, speeding, driving while intoxicated, and running red lights or stop signs accounted for a combined 54 percent of motorist or passenger fatalities. The report said a preliminary analysis suggested that the crashes were concentrated on highways, far removed from many of the areas that have been the focus of the city’s initiatives.
The increase was a surprise to the city and advocates alike. The commissioner of transportation, Janette Sadik-Khan, put blame on mobile devices.