The New York City Department of Transportation released on Tuesdays its new Borough Pedestrian Safety Plans, which aim to make the city’s streets and intersections safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers under the mayor’s Vision Zero initiative to reduce traffic accidents.
Analyzing the city’s latest crash data, DOT has identified the most dangerous corridors, 424 miles of streets where nearly half of all pedestrian fatalities occur.
The city marked four high-priority Brooklyn corridors: Linden Boulevard, from Sapphire Street to Flatbush Avenue; Bedford Avenue, from Manhattan Avenue to Flatbush Avenue; Surf Avenue, from Ocean Parkway to Atlantic Avenue, and 8th Avenue, from 39th Street to 73 Street.
“Keeping families and children safe in New York City streets is not without its challenges; and as a mother, I share a concern when it comes to street safety, “said Brownsville Councilmember Alicka Ampry-Samuel. “There are ways to ensure that New Yorkers walking city streets are protected. Implementing action plans and collecting data is part of that process.”
According to current city data, approximately 4,000 New Yorkers are seriously injured and more than 250 are killed each year in traffic crashes. Being struck by a vehicle is the leading cause of injury-related death for children under 14 and the second leading cause for seniors. On average, vehicles seriously injure or kill a New Yorker every two hours.
By the end of the year, the city now plans to implement traffic signal changes, add speed humps cushions and extend pedestrians crossing time at 300 high-priority streets and intersections to discourage speeding and prevent crashes.
“Using our data-driven approach, we have identified hotspots around the city that are driving the majority of traffic fatalities, and are implementing targeted plans there and across the city that will make our streets safer for all,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
De Blasio added that the new priority streets and intersections will be the road map for future Vision Zero safety projects and enforcement, ensuring that tools like speed cameras, police enforcement and re-engineering are applied where they’ll save the most lives.
In 2015, the DOT began compiling data on crashes, deaths and injuries on NYC’s streets to create the Borough Pedestrian Safety Plans, which helped identify the city’s most dangerous areas.
Since then, the DOT has addressed 90 percent of those intersections and 86 percent of the street-miles targeted in 2015 – leading to a 36 percent drop in pedestrian deaths at these locations.
The borough plans helped direct the $1.6 billion in Vision Zero resources to implement specific safety projects like protected bike lanes and pedestrian head-starts; new education efforts, including work by Vision Zero street teams and visits to schools and senior centers; and new enforcement, including a record number of traffic summonses issued by NYPD officers and the addition of school-zone speed cameras.