WNYC: MeanStreets and Memorial Project

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WNYC’s MeanStreets and its related Memorial project is a great community resource!

It enriches, contextualizes and humanizes the raw statistics behind the 268 traffic fatalities in 2014.

Several questions:


Hey everyone …

Quick back on some of these questions:

We can absolutely release the data we collected, and have been meaning to. It’s a bit of a mess at the moment in an internal spreadsheet used to drive the interactive. But we can clean it up and make it available. We’ll try to do that before the month is out.

This project was designed to run just through 2014, and we’d love to find a partnership to restart it for 2015 (it’s not too late!). We also be willing to discuss posting the code to have someone else take over the project wholesale. But the code is not the tricky part; the individual, accurate reporting around each death is what took most of our effort.

Anyone interested in taking this further is welcome to reach out to me directly at jkeefe(at)wnyc.org or to Andrea Bernstein at abernstein(at)wnyc.org.

John Keefe
Senior Editor, WNYC Data News


And the 2014 WNYC Mean Streets data is up!

John Keefe
Senior Editor, WNYC Data News


Thanks for this!


Whoa! T’was fast!!! :smile:

I’m sure the CivicTech community will be all over this data! Thanks for sparing us the need to scrape it!

As for partnerships, I’ll be sure to pass the word around! Is the Data News team coming to CodeAcross this weekend? That might be the best place to find prospective partners/hackers.

And yes, I agree the code is not the hard part. The hard investigative journalism/storytelling that only WNYC can pull off is the main thing.

BTW, we’re also tracking all the great data resources in BetaNYC’s community portal. I created a pointer to the data so members of the community can easily find it.

Thank you so much for this. The level of detail about each event in this dataset is fantastic. It adds a ton of value alongside the 2014 crash stats from the NYPD. I hope to put it to good use in safe street advocacy. I’ll also share the dataset with Transportation Alternatives, I imagine there are more than a few folks there who would love to see this.

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And check out some vizzes we whipped up overnight, using our just-released CartoDB integration! :smile:


@jkeefe, at CodeAcross, I had several conversations with people who were really interested in the Mean Streets data. But their elation was quickly followed by disappointment when they found out that Mean Streets is no longer actively maintained.

Maybe, ask for it specifically during the Spring Drive? :wink:

Joking aside, is there anything specific that the community can do to ensure Mean Streets continues?

We’re actively working to solve this, and hope to have more info to share in the next week or two. Stay tuned!

(And feel free to pledge anyway :slight_smile: )

Great to know!

In the meantime, here’s another viz we came up with using the data…



I’m thrilled to let everyone know that The New York World has partnered with WNYC to continue the “Mean Streets” effort tracking every traffic fatality in New York City for 2015.

WNYC began this tracking at the start of 2014, and has compiled what we believe to be the most current, complete list of NYC traffic fatalities – including names, locations, circumstances and, in some cases, charges.

We had meant it to be a one-year project, but continued interest – particularly by open-data and transpo-minded folks on this forum – led us to see a partner to continue this independent reporting with journalistic rigor. We’re thrilled that Benjamin Lesser, Harry Stevens and Jenny Zou will be doing just that at The New York World.

The New York World article on the collaboration is here.

WNYC’s latest traffic-fatalities article is here.

The Mean Streets 2015 tracker is here.

Finally, anyone can embed the tracker with this code:

<iframe frameborder="0" scrolling ="auto" src="http://project.wnyc.org/traffic-deaths-2015/" width="100%" height="785" ></iframe>

Please let us all know if you have any questions or input – and if you know of fatalities or details we may have missed.

John Keefe
Senior Editor, Data News


This is great news indeed!

Mean Streets is such a valuable resource that clearly demonstrates the value of expertly curated open data! Hopefully, members of the community, beyond using this great resource, also contribute to the compilation.

BTW, any plans on updating https://github.com/datanews/mean-streets periodically?

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Thank you so much for continuing mean streets into 2015! the wealth of data that it compiles is so valuable to safe street advocacy, and the ongoing Vision Zero campaign. As the data is released and we get more updates, I’m keeping Brooklyn’s Transportation Alternatives members abreast of the improvements to this tool.


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