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Staten Island officials try to make roads safer for pedestrians

It is no surprise that many accidents in the New York City area involve people who are walking the streets. In Staten Island, seven pedestrians have been killed and 40 pedestrians have been severely injured each year since 2009. Even with these numbers, Staten Island has proven to be one of the safest boroughs for pedestrians. However, pedestrians still makeup a majority of traffic deaths on Staten Island. This has proven to be a major concern for Department of Transportation officials.

Under Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero initiative, city officials are tirelessly working to make Staten Island a safer place for pedestrians. The Pedestrian Safety Plan will cover five nearby boroughs. The Department of Transportation is focusing on the busiest roads in the area and making them safer for pedestrians to cross. This will be accomplished by installing pedestrian crossing signals that allow pedestrians more time to cross the road. Traffic signal timings will be adjusted to prevent speeding and offer protection in areas on the North Shore, which have proven to be especially dangerous for pedestrians. In fact, almost half of all Staten Island's pedestrian deaths and serious injuries from 2009 to 2013 occurred on the North Shore.

The Department of Transportation is also working with the NYPD to increase policing on the more dangerous roads between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., when most pedestrian fatalities tend to occur. Also, more school zone cameras will be installed to help control speeding.

Educating children and elderly people in the area is also critical to ensure that those who are most at risk are aware of road dangers. With all these changes, it is hopeful that pedestrian accidents in New York will continue to decrease and that many lives will be saved as a result.

Source: Staten Island Live, "Pedestrian safety on Staten Island's North and East Shores is focus of new Vision Zero initiative," Vincent Barone, Feb. 19, 2015

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Michael J. Gaffney, Attorney at Law
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