In every large urban city, it’s important to ensure that the streets are safe not only for drivers and passengers in motor vehicles, but also for those residents who choose to walk. In New York City, providing for the safety of millions of pedestrians is a main initiative and goal of the Vision Zero plan which seeks to “eliminate all deaths from traffic” for motorists, passengers, bicyclists and pedestrians alike.
In Manhattan alone, pedestrian traffic deaths make up 73 percent of the borough’s traffic-related fatalities. Under the Vision Zero plan, New York City aims to make the streets in all five boroughs safer for everyone and especially for pedestrians who are most at risk of suffering serious injury or death if involved in traffic accidents.
Speeding and failure to yield are among the major issues cited as contributing to the majority of pedestrian accidents throughout city. In response, the city’s Department of Transportation has identified so-called Priority Corridors which tend to be heavily traveled routes with statistically higher rates of pedestrian accidents.
Action items included in the DOT’s plans for improving safety at Priority Corridors include reduced speed limits, additional speed limit signage and increased use of speed cameras. Additionally, at Priority Corridor intersections safety initiatives include increasing the amount time for walk signals, community engagement and proactive planning and design of future high-growth areas.
Among those intersections throughout the city that were identified as being among the most dangerous for pedestrians are 27th Street and Queens Plaza in Queens, Utica Ave. and East Parkway in Brooklyn and West 40th Street and Eighth Ave. in Manhattan.
While it’s encouraging that the city is focusing more attention and funding to improve dangerous intersections throughout the city, unfortunately, accidents are still likely to occur. For individuals who have suffered injuries or the loss of a loved one in a pedestrian accident, it makes sense to consult with an attorney.
Source: New York City Department of Transportation, “Vision Zero Borough Pedestrian Safety Action Plans,” Sept. 29, 2015
AM New York, “5 of the most dangerous intersections in New York City,” Cristian Salazar, Feb. 24, 2015