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New online tool tracks traffic density, air pollution, access to parks and more in NYC by neighborhood

Online tool aims to correct spatial inequities in NYC
Online tool aims to correct spatial inequities in NYC 02:20

NEW YORK - If you want to know which New York City neighborhoods are the least healthy, have the most traffic issues and lack public space, you can now find it one place. 

It's all compiled on a new online tool with the goal to correct "spatial inequities." 

As CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reports, on Mother's Day, 49-year-old Florence Ngwu was pinned by a hit-and-run driver outside her Queens home and didn't survive. In August, a 4-year-old boy died after he was struck by a car on 147th Street. 

Both incidents happened in Jamaica, located in City Council District 28, which is apparently the worst in the city for traffic fatalites, according to the new online data tool Spatial Equity NYC. It notes the area also lacks bus lanes and protected bike lanes which, for riders like Kwame Simpson, is a safety concern. 

"You definitely have to ride for yourself and everybody else around, because anything can happen," Simpson said. 

The tool ranks District 3, which includes Hell's Kitchen, as the worst for air pollution, tree coverage and bus speeds at 4.5 miles per hour. 

Advocates gathered on the steps of City Hall Tuesday to unveil the online tool, released by Transportation Alternatives and MIT researchers. 

"Our team has focused on fostering data transparency, making open data more accessible, legible and usable," said Daniela Coray of MIT. 

"To give New Yorkers more easily digestible data, local disparities, when it comes to public health, environmental resilience and mobility along with concrete solutions that can be implemented at the local level," said Elizabeth Adams of Transportation Alternatives. 

It addresses 15 categories including traffic density, park access, asthma rates, air pollution, and traffic fatalities. 

Researchers say the data shows how inequities in public space contribute to racial and economic disparities across city neighborhoods. 

"Some of the worst of the data from asthma, from protected bike lanes, overlay the data that we just put out when it came to gun violence in our communities," said Public Advocate Jumaane Williams. 

Williams says this gives a bird's eye view of inequities that can't be ignored. 

"We cannot look at this data and not do something different," Williams said. 

Change is the goal. 

If you want to take a look at how your city community is scoring, CLICK HERE

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