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USA: The New York City Department of Transportation’s Sustainable Streets Index

The New York City Department of Transportation’s Sustainable Streets Index (SSI) [pdf], released yesterday, is an annual progress report that takes stock of transportation trends and is a vital document in evaluating the utility of the city’s different transportation initiatives. In addition to recording overall trends in transportation—which, in yesterday’s report, included increased weekday subway ridership and increases in commuter cycling—this year’s SSI also assesses six safety, pedestrian, and bicycle improvement projects, two transit mobility improvements, two congestion reduction projects, and one public spaces project, all of which were implemented in 2010.

The SSI’s assessments of safety, pedestrian, and bicycle improvement projects indicate that these relatively inexpensive projects can have an exceptionally wide range of benefits, such as lowering injury crashes for motor vehicle occupants and pedestrians, decreasing speeding, increasing public and green space, increasing bike usage, and providing economic benefits for merchants located in the vicinity of the improvements.
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