Those who travel by foot in New York face more risks than pedestrians in other states. The Tri-State Transportation Campaign Policy Coordinator recently reported that New York continues to lead the nation in pedestrian fatalities. In New York City, Long Island and five counties north of New York City, over 730 pedestrians were hit and killed by a vehicle from 2011 to 2013. The Tri-State Transportation Campaign report finds that a majority of those pedestrian accident deaths occurred on city streets.
As we discussed on this blog a few weeks ago, Mayer de Blasio unveiled the Vision Zero program with the hopes of making the streets safer for pedestrians. Queens Boulevard is the program’s top priority, but the program works to redesign streets, install safety cameras and lower speed limits all across New York. According to NYC Transportation officials, the program is working to reduce pedestrian deaths. In 2014, the year in which the program was implemented, 138 pedestrians were killed in the five boroughs. This is lowest number of annual pedestrian deaths on record.
However, there is much more work left to do. Transportation Alternatives, an advocacy group, believes that funding must be allocated to make improvements to multi-lane “arterial” corridors at which many fatal accidents occur. The Department of Transportation recently released a Pedestrian Safety Action Plan through Vision Zero. This plan focuses on safety improvements for corridors and intersections that are prone to accidents.
One of these improvements will include signal changes, which will allow pedestrians more time to cross the street. The streets will also be redesigned and law enforcement will work to enforce regulations in those areas. All of these changes will hopefully lead to safer streets for New Yorkers and fewer pedestrian fatalities.
Source: New York Daily News, “60% of downstate pedestrians fatalities were in New York City area, study says, as de Blasio’s Vision Zero program touts recent reduction in death rate,” Pete Donohue, March 4, 2015