Pedestrian safety is a major concern in New York City. Unfortunately, pedestrian deaths are rising. There was a 4.7 percent increase from 2017 to 2018. This data makes it clear that the city can be a dangerous place to walk.
But it is not all bad news. Thankfully, the mayor is taking notice of this issue and spearheading a plan to make pedestrians, cyclists and motorists safer.
The most dangerous streets
In order to implement an effective safety plan, the city is relying on the most recent crash data. It turns out that half of the pedestrian fatalities in NYC occur on just 7 percent of NYC streets. These specific intersections and roads are the targets of the city’s safety initiative. The core areas of concern include the following:
- Bronx: Boston Road, 3rd Avenue, Bronx Park East, Soundview Avenue and Westchester Avenue
- Brooklyn: 8th Avenue, Surf Avenue, Bedford Avenue and Linden Boulevard
- Manhattan: 10th Avenue, York Avenue and Columbus Avenue
- Queens: 21st Street, 37th Avenue and Rockaway Boulevard
- Staten Island: Bradley Avenue, Lincoln Avenue and Targee Street
The city hopes to have these “Priority Corridors” safer by the end of 2019.
Here is how the city is planning to reduce pedestrian fatalities in these problem areas:
- Adjust signal timing to prevent speeding
- Add pedestrian-only crosswalks to intersections
- Launch an enforcement program that includes speed cameras and increased police presence
- Implement more speed bumps to reduce speeding
- Track violations
- Launch a program to resolve problems with motor vehicles crossing sidewalks
- Conduct a study of elderly pedestrian injuries
This is in addition to actions the city is going to maintain, including installing more speed limit signs, expanding a bicycle network and coordinating with MTA.
These improvements are necessary to make NYC streets safer for pedestrians. While it is good that traffic deaths are seeing historic lows, the city must do all it can to protect vulnerable pedestrians too.