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Bloomberg: Bronx better than ever

Bronx Times

The city’s outgoing mayor thinks the Bronx is on the up – and up.

The borough is a far better place to live now compared to when he took office in 2001, proclaimed Mayor Bloomberg Saturday, Dec. 21 from the roof of a Third Ave. garage in Melrose.

Bloomy has spent his final days as Mayor touting his accomplishments throughout the five boroughs on a farewell tour. Chief on his Bronx agenda was announcing that the city would reach its goal of creating 160,000 units of affordable housing citywide under his watch. The borough’s newest development, “La Central,” is slated for a 2015 groundbreaking.

But housing isn’t the only area where the Bronx has improved over Bloomberg’s three terms, he argued, noting that the borough is safer, smarter and more economically strong than it was 12 years ago.

And his office has got the statistics to back up Bloomy’s boast.

Public Safety

• Through Dec. 15, overall crime in 2013 is 23.9 percent less than it was in 2001 —19,657 in 2013 compared with 25,830 at the same time in 2001

• Murders have fallen as well, with 76 boroughwide in 2013 through Dec. 15 compared with 186 at the same time in 2001

• Shootings (18.6 percent drop) and traffic fatalities (25.4 percent drop) are also down in 2013 compared to in 2001

Population Growth

• 67,154 more people live in the Bronx today than in 2001, according to the U.S. Census Bureau

• The Bronx’s immigrant population has jumped 22 percent over ten years, with the borough now housing over 47,000 immigrants

Education

• 213 new schools opened under the Mayor’s watch, including Bronx Success Academy in 2010, which was named a top-25 elementary and middle school Statewide

Jobs, Development

• Private sector jobs are up over 23,915 since 2002, mostly due to growth in industries like tech, tourism and film

• Six new hotels have opened in the borough since 2002, with another three under development

Parks

• 45 new parks have been installed in the Bronx, and the city acquired 137 acres of parkland and 108 acres of waterfront land

• More than 211,900 new trees have been planted in the borough

Housing

• The city has financed preservation and construction of more than 54,163 affordable housing units in the Bronx

Arts and Culture

• More than 60 projects have been completed since 2001, including renovations of the Bronx Museum, Wave Hill House, the Bronx Zoo Lion House and Bronx River Art Center; and a new parking garage at New York Botanical Garden

• The city commissioned 26 permanent Bronx public art installations

Public Health

•Both the borough’s men and women live over three years longer on average than they did in 2001

•Between 2002 and 2012, the borough’s smoking rate fell from 25.2 percent to 15.8 percent

Ben Kochman can be reached via e-mail at BKochman@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742–3394

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