Pratt professor Ben Wellington crunched the disturbing NYPD data

Killings-burg! Williamsburg leads city in car-crash deaths

The Brooklyn Paper
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Williamsburg’s roads are the deadliest in the city, according to police data.

The numbers were crunched, then mapped, by a Pratt Institute statistics professor who says that cops tried to keep a lid on the car carnage, but he thought the public had a right to know where drivers are ending lives.

“The NYPD is against the open data movement,” said Ben Wellington, the data maven who turned police records into online heat maps. “I wanted to take this data and present it in a way that people could digest and understand it.”

Williamsburg logged eight traffic fatalities in 2013, more than any other neighborhood in not only Brooklyn, but in all of New York. Of the deaths, four were pedestrians, one was a car driver, and three were auto passengers. Five of the fatal crashes took place on the stretch of Broadway leading up to the Williamsburg Bridge.

The prof took on the project to engage his students in the craft of interpreting figures, he said.

“Teaching statistics is always so dry,” Wellington said. “I thought it would make it more interesting to teach real New York City data.”

Williamsburg officials said they are not surprised that neighborhood streets are so dangerous and that something has got to be done about it.

“It begs for a review of not only traffic studies but an intervention from the mayor’s office to focus on reduction of accidents in the area,” said Community Board 1 chairman Chris Olechowski, suggesting lowering the speed limit to 20 miles per hour and installing more traffic cameras.

The area’s freshman councilman praised Mayor DeBlasio’s Vision Zero pledge to reduce auto fatalities to zilch by 2024.

“Even one traffic-related death is one too many,” said Councilman Antonio Reynoso. “I am committed to working with the administration and the Department of Transportation to implement Vision Zero and to make the 34th District safer for all road users, especially pedestrians and cyclists.”

Other Brooklyn death zones include Canarsie, with six traffic fatalities, East New York with five, and Bay Ridge with four.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
Has the concentration of cyclists been taken into account? There are many more cycles in Williamsburg than say in Pelham Bay. For the numbers to be meaningful you would have to take into account the density of cyclist relative to the population. The huge concentration of cyclists in Williamsburg would squeue the numbers up. Dangerous places in that neighborhood though. Anyone cycling on under or near the BQE is a brave cyclist indeed (and yes, there have been cyclist deaths ON the BQE, not a great idea).
Feb. 28, 2014, 4:46 am
Laura from Williamsburg says:
Does anyone realize that when walking in the street, you should actually look before crossing? That you should not be starring down at a cell phone or have your ears plugged up? If on a bike, not make crazy bike messenger moves? Williamsburg is like walking around in Disney World now. Everyone thinks they are strolling in some crazy theme park. When I was growing up, I was taught to look both ways, stay alert and never walk directly in front of a three ton vehicle because they could actually hurt or kill you. I know it is taboo to even utter these words but come on people. You should actually look up when your foot hits the gutter! And what about the drivers in Williamsburg? If you haven't done it, give it a try. People walking in front of you car, behind your car, alongside your car, bikes flying by, other cars - it's like some kind of survivor challenge. If we all (drivers, pedestrians and bikers alike) acted more responsibly, I am sure accidents would be way down. Another idea? Just like it's illegal to drive while talking and texting, enforce the same laws on those on bikes and foot. No texting when crossing. No plugged up ears when biking. I know - what a crazy concept!
Feb. 28, 2014, 6:09 am
Mike from BK says:
Laura is so right - it's like Disney Land - full of cell phones, people walking and bike messenger moves!
So Disney. We should stop calling it Williamsburg and start calling it Mickey Mouse Land.
I heard that these so-called "hipsters" are planning to tear down affordable housing to build a replica of Cinderella's castle on Havermeyer street!
Do you know that we now have to pay 45 dollars for a ticket just to enter our neighborhood - more if we plan to go on the rides.
And where are the police? Replaced by mouseketeers.
Laura - you said it! I can't believe It!
Feb. 28, 2014, 6:56 am
diehipster from Slaying Sallingers says:
Hey now! Caleb and Canola have every right to go to 1 am art gallery raves on a weeknight with their headphones on texting mommy for more money and get run over by a truck. I'm all for it.
Feb. 28, 2014, 9:02 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
A community board member saying something smart! That's the silver lining to this article, I guess.

No, SwampYankee, you do not have to look at the number of cyclists for the numbers to be meaningful. Cyclists are people. If cyclists die, it is still a human who died. You could argue that maybe Williamsburg covers a bigger area than any other neighborhood so it has more space in it to count accidents. I don't quite think that is true, but it would be a valid way to question the numbers. But it's COMPLETELY invalid to suggest that if cyclists are dying then deaths somehow don't count. (Furthermore, increased cycling density correlates with decreased traffic deaths.)
Feb. 28, 2014, 9:28 am
ty from pps says:
Wow... so we're going straight to "all of the people killed were obviously hipsters" -- no one else lives in Williamsburg? Of course, you guys know the identity of all of the killed pedestrians, passengers and cyclists, right?

And the drivers? Obviously their not at fault in the least... lets see from the comments... the cause is clearly "higher concentration of cyclists" (even though ZERO of the 8 deaths was a cyclist), flighty hipsters walking in the streets and other "Calebs" using cell phones.

Yep, the actually person driving the 2-ton box of steel through a congested area has no culpability. Nope. More of the ol' "real Brooklyn" Ignorant and Belligerent Rallying Cry!!

Williamsburg had 8 deaths by driver... 4 of them pedestrians. How do you "real Brooklynlites" explain the runner up nieghborhood? CANARSIE with 7 deaths... also 4 pedestrians.

Diehipster, I'm sure you're just as pleased that "below the line" Brooklynites are being killed. Right?
Feb. 28, 2014, 9:37 am
Type from Williamsburg says:
Laura is absolutely right, Williamsburg is totally Disneyland. I happen to be a driver and I also ride a bike occasionally and when I do either I try to be conscientious to those around me. Unfortunately, not everyone is and most people act either like they are on vacation or they own the place (even though they just moved to the neighborhood last month) without much thought to picking up the pace when they're crossing the street or even to look for traffic, bikes or other pedestrians. I find most cyclists tend to follow the rules, but there is no shortage of over aggressive riders or thoughtless simpletons that ride in the middle of the street blocking traffic while taking in the sites. I believe some of them don't realize what they're doing is wrong and DANGEROUS, but there are others that do it knowingly and quick to flip you the bird when you beep them. To them I say use your brain, don’t sit on it; riding in front of cars is one of the ways you end up a statistic. So is blowing through stop signs and picking major truck routes like Metropolitan Avenue for your commute - they're pre-painting a white ghost bike for you as I type this.

In neighborhoods like Williamsburg, with the influx of new residents and the overflowing number of visitors, the best thing you can do is go with it, get into that vacation frame of mind, slow down and relax. Just think, pretty soon we’ll have our own Space Mountain and smoked turkey leg stands on every corner.
Feb. 28, 2014, 11:47 am
Brooklyn Native Who Has Heard Enough from NYC says:
Williamsburg is nothing like Disney World you morons.

These silly comparisons need to stop. Your only jealous that you can't afford the rent.

I agree that the stats are skewed because they don't take population differences into account swampyankee. Total fatalities.
Feb. 28, 2014, 2:56 pm
Type from Williamsburg says:
Brooklyn Native Who Has Heard Enough from NYC - Sticks and stones. The comparisons may be silly, but ring fairly true. Personally, I happen to love the fact that the rents are so high. Oh, and since we’re making assumptions, I’m going to assume you’re a Brooklyn Native by way of Minnesota or perhaps Idaho.
Feb. 28, 2014, 4:59 pm
SwampYankee from ruined Brooklyn says:
Errrrrrr Mike
this was presented as a statistical analysis. Density makes a difference in difference in meaningful statistical analysis. you make my point for me. The article suggested that Williamsburg has lots of cycle and pedestrian accidents. I'm suggesting that the raw numbers are higher because the higher concentration of cyclists is significantly higher in Williamsburg. Once you normalize for density is the average number of accidents per cyclist higher in Williamsburg than it is in the rest of the city? That is the question I am asking. Now please review my original post and point out to me where I suggest "cyclists are dying then deaths somehow don't count". I never said anything of the sort. If I did please quote my original text or go step on a lego.
Feb. 28, 2014, 6:04 pm
ty from pps says:
And Swampy... the article didn't say anything about cyclists dying in Williamsburg and the link to the study did not mention any cyclist deaths in Williamsburg. But you decided to talk about how cyclists "density" in Williamsburg should be taken into account... Hmm... who's talking out of their @ss now?
Feb. 28, 2014, 8:30 pm
old time brooklyn from slope says:
we're number one , we're number one

bravo Laura
March 1, 2014, 7:37 am
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
How about studies that include the causes of the accidents as well as the effects. It's so easy to look at the effects and claim who is bad, but when looking at the causes, it can actually change a lot here. Whenever a cyclist or pedestrian flouts the traffic laws, they are actually placing themselves into harm's way here, but they don't have to worry because they have places such as Streetsblog and Transportation Alternatives that won't just call them martyrs, but also will say cars are always evil due to their anti-car bias. Until you guys start practicing what you preach, you have no moral legitimacy to tell others what to do. As for Laura, I do thank her for telling the truth about what the streets are like over there, because that is so true.
March 1, 2014, 4:04 pm
ty from pps says:
Tal -- There is actually a very large academic study that was done by interviewing the folks admitted to the hospital with injuries (pedestrians, drivers, passengers and cyclists). It looks at the "causes" of the injuries. It doesn't support your whiny, repetitive position.... but I'm not going to bother sharing a link to the study because you have proven time and time again that facts are meaningless to you. You just want to keep saying the same thing over and over again, regardless of the facts presented to you by countless people.
March 1, 2014, 4:27 pm
ty from pps says:
I shouldn't be so quick, there may be others reading this that aren't as willfully ignorant as you.

Here's is an article about one of the biggest studies conducted, specifically about pedestrian injuries in the city.

I'm sure, Tal, you'll latch onto a couple paragraphs of that article because you *think* it supports your ignorant ranting... have fun. I wouldn't want to get in the way of you sad little worldview in your mom's basement.
March 1, 2014, 4:33 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, those give nothing but the effects. I am asking for the causes of those accidents, and you will most likely refuse to give those, because they probably won't go in your favor. It's so easy to vilify a group just by going for the effects, and this is exactly what the anti-car crowd over on Transportation Alternatives or even Streetsblog does all the time. To quote, Al Gore, "You have committed the assault on reason." By such logic, Hamas must not be that much of a terrorist organization, because they don't kill as much as the IDF does despite the fact that they are known for putting their own people into harm's way by either human shields or placing their bases in densely populated areas. In a way, the anti-car crowd is very similar to the anti-Israel crowd, because everything they say is based only the effects while ignoring the causes. Seriously, attacking the person really makes me want to find out if you are really an adult, because something tells me that you aren't when you resort to name calling and other personal attacks.
March 2, 2014, 3:24 pm
ty from pps says:
Yes, Tal... I know. You can't accept anything that goes against your dumb little worldview. Obviously, pedestrians crossing the street, in the crosswalk, with the light, but getting run down by a motorist... yep... that doesn't speak to the causes. Nope. The cause isn't obvious.

Do you even know the difference between cause and effect, you stupid little man?
March 2, 2014, 8:09 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Ty, if that is the cause, then I will accept that, but I know you can't admit to the cause when it's not in your favor.
March 2, 2014, 8:48 pm
ty from pps says:
I'm looking at a damn scientific study, Tal. You should pause to read and understand before you simply spew the same thought over and over again... because even in that single sentence you wrote at 8:09pm, it's clear you aren't really open to facts.

"if that is the cause, then I will accept that" -- oh yeah? you will? doubtful.
March 2, 2014, 9:42 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
There have been numerous reports that there have been pedestrians and cyclists that got hit when they themselves were flouting the laws, and Bratton's studies have proven just that especially at 87%, so try telling me that is fudged data.
March 3, 2014, 4:11 pm
Keegan from NYC says:
Tal, Bratton's numbers are right here:

If you read it and continue to use the absurd stats you have been using, you are lying and willfully blurring the truth.
March 3, 2014, 6:23 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Keegan, Bratton originally mentioned this recently during an interview with the NY Times on jaywalking, which is where I got this from, so this was from the horse's mouth, not something I made up.
March 3, 2014, 7:27 pm
Keegan from NYC says:
You are correct. At the first VZ presser in January he said 73% (not 87%, btw) were due to pedestrian error and offered no data to support it.

Then at the second VZ presser in February, he presented entirely different numbers and supported them with ALL the NYPD data.

You can read it or continue to ignore it and attempt to deliberately blur the truth. Your call.
March 3, 2014, 8:38 pm
ty from pps says:
Goddammit, Tal, you are stupid.
March 3, 2014, 9:03 pm
Fact Checker from NYC says:
Bill Bratton's initial statements were statistically incorrect.


"Dangerous driver choices
are the primary cause or
a contributing factor in
70% of pedestrian fatalities."

Page 15
March 8, 2014, 6:06 pm

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