Thursday, May 8, 2014

NYPD Motor Vehicle Collisions

After a year of working with NYPD Collision data that was aggregated to the intersection by month, it was exciting to see this data release by individual collision with a date and time.

Congratulations and kudos to all that worked to make this happen!

This is also personally very satisfying.  I became involved in helping geocode the crash data that was at the time in pdf format as a direct result of this article.

The highlight was -

Council Member Jessica Lappin got into an animated discussion with Petito over traffic crash data. When Lappin asked why NYPD is releasing data in PDF form — and only after the council adopted legislation forcing the department to do so — Petito replied that the department is “concerned with the integrity of the data itself.” Petito said NYPD believes data released on a spreadsheet could be manipulated by people who want “to make a point of some sort.” An incredulous Lappin assured Petito that the public only wants to analyze the data to improve safety, not use it for “evil.”

I think everyone involved showed that while not every representation of the data is going to be perfect, providing this data in a publicly available usable format is valuable for everyone.

That said, some caution must be used in working with this new data.  Over 13% of the records do not contain coordinates, borough, or ZIPCode.

The large majority of the intersections missing coordinates are easily geocoded.  The caveat being that you need to make sure it isn't an intersection name that exists in more than one borough.

Here are the top intersections by count in the NYPD Motor Vehicle Collisions data that do not have coordinates.

From my previous work getting this data geocoded, I have a list of NYC intersections and their coordinates.  Would be great if the data could be augmented with this and made available -  

Street,street2,Zipcode,boro code,PolicePrecinct,Lon,Lat
1 AVENUE,39 STREET,11232,3,72,-74.01273692,40.65662545
1 AVENUE,40 STREET,11232,3,72,-74.01327021,40.65605997
1 AVENUE,44 STREET,11232,3,72,-74.01563035,40.6537815
1 AVENUE,47 STREET,11232,3,72,-74.01738143,40.65210968
1 AVENUE,48 STREET,11232,3,72,-74.01796511,40.65154416
1 AVENUE,53 STREET,11220,3,72,-74.02087613,40.64874399
1 AVENUE,53 STREET,11232,3,72,-74.02087613,40.64874399
1 AVENUE,54 STREET,11220,3,72,-74.02145974,40.6481812
1 AVENUE,56 STREET,11220,3,72,-74.02262334,40.64706385
1 AVENUE,ALLEN STREET,10003,1,9,-73.98863937,40.72293374

Otherwise the data looks pretty good and consistent for the dates available. I'm very curious to see if it actually updates every day.  So far it didn't today. Still, awesome to see this data released this way.

The spikes seem to correlate with snow storms.  The 'down' spikes seem to be holidays.

Lastly, the older NYPD data documents the vehicles involved.  This allows for some interesting insights on some specific crashes.  I was very surprised at how many fire trucks and ambulances are involved in collisions.

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