Mayor's Report Shows Mixed Bag For City Quality Of Life
After 12 rounds of budget cuts, the city's quality of life might be showing some signs of slipping. NY1's Courtney Gross takes a close look at the mayor's annual report measuring city government's performance and breaks down the good and the bad.
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Mayor Bloomberg is a numbers guy and he likes to flaunt it.
In 2010, he said that the average New Yorker "is living one year and seven months longer than they did before and traffic fatalities reduction is part of that."
On Wednesday, he said that the city is "on track to set a new record in low crime."
But those statistics don't seem as rosy as they used to be.
"This is the first time in 20 years that crime has gone up in every borough," said City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr.
An annual digest of city statistics, from crime rates to infant mortality, released on Wednesday shows a mixed bag.
Between fiscal years 2011 and 2012, major felony crimes were on the rise.
Traffic fatalities climbed, too, from 236 to 291, even with the influx of bike lanes and pedestrian plazas.
"We have to design our streets so they keep people safe and we have to enforce the law to prevent drivers from breaking the law and putting the rest of us at risk," said Juan Martinez of Transportation Alternatives.
Kids were more likely to return to the emergency room for asthma. Noise complaints are up 13 percent. More people are smoking, though the mayor's office says the increase is not statistically significant.
These numbers come less than a week after the mayor's office ordered another round of budget cuts, the 12th time it's done so since the start of the recession.
The mayor's office is quick to point out that many of these statistics have improved since Bloomberg took office. But advocates say with more budget cuts on the way, that may not always be the case.
Take parks, for example. Some were slightly less likely to find conditions "acceptable." To some, that comes as no surprise.
"We are going to increasingly start seeing that you can't just keep doing more with less," said Holly Leicht of New Yorkers for Parks. "We're going to start seeing a drop in the conditions of our parks."
Or in other areas. Response times to crimes in progress is one minute and 36 seconds higher than when the mayor first took office.
Some numbers are certainly out of City Hall's control. The amount of fecal matter in New York Harbor skyrocketed in 2011. That is because of heavy rains.