Ben Wellington and John Krauss are publicizing crash data because the NYPD won’t

Save the data: Crash-stat-crunching prof got a hand from fellow computer whiz

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

When Pratt Institute professor Ben Wellington went searching for NYPD crash stats, he did not go to the source.

Instead, he went to the blog of a guy who had crunched all the numbers for him. Wellington used data compiled by John Krauss, a computer and data nerd who lives in Crown Heights. Krauss had built a computer script that allowed him to mine the numbers from the police department’s monthly crash statistics PDFs and place them into an editable spreadsheet.

Wellington then organized Krauss’ figures using the city’s official neighborhood boundaries. Of course, neighborhoods are different sizes with different populations, densities, and traffic volumes, so ranking areas’ dangerousness is not an apples-to-apples endeavor.

Wellington stands by his work, but acknowledges that there could be problems with the data because the city posts the monthly information in a difficult-to-study format and remove’s the previous month’s data whenever a new set is posted.

“Because the city refuses to release this, the methods will be more error-prone than they could be,” said Wellington.” This data is based on somebody’s code, which is based on the city’s PDFs. Mistakes will come out of that process.”

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: