City officials are continuing their efforts to ensure the safety of New Yorkers traveling the streets. Mayor Eric Adams on Saturday announced a historic $904 million investment to help fund the NYC Streets Plan and address the city’s traffic violence problem by creating a safer and more environmentally friendly transportation infrastructure. Over the next five years, the investment will be used to expand bike lanes and bus lanes throughout the city and will be put towards the creation of new pedestrian spaces.
Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr
Last year, New York City experienced the highest level of traffic fatalities in over a decade, a majority of which took place at street intersections. Mayor Eric Adams on Wednesday announced a plan to better protect pedestrians, including improving the design of 1,000 intersections across the city, constructing 100 raised crosswalks annually, and enforcing a new traffic rule that requires drivers and cyclists to fully stop for pedestrians when traffic controls are not in place.
Update 7/25/19: De Blasio unveiled on Thursday his “Green Wave” plan, which includes spending $58.4 million over the next five years on making city streets safer for bikers. In addition to adding more protected bike lanes and redesigning intersections, the plan calls for a media campaign on cyclist safety, as well as community engagement programs.
Following a recent spike in cyclist deaths, Mayor Bill de Blasio will unveil on Thursday a $58.4 million plan to make streets safer. As first reported by the New York Times, the plan includes constructing more protected bike lanes, redesigning intersections, and hiring 80 new transportation workers over the next five years. The proposal comes after 17 cyclists were killed in New York City so far this year, seven more fatalities than all of 2018.
On Tuesday, New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) officials announced a new pilot program that allows bicyclists to follow pedestrian head-start signals at 50 intersections throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens, AM New York reports. The signals at those intersections have a range of 7 to 11 seconds–known as leading pedestrian intervals (LPI)–before drivers can proceed through the intersections or make turns through crosswalks. Now bike riders can follow these pedestrian signals instead of traffic lights (legally, that is), giving cyclists the safety benefits of added visibility that pedestrians have at those intersections.
New York clocks in more steps on average than any other state in the country, and that number is most definitely skewed by New York City where more residents hit the pavement than the gas pedal. But in a town that’s seemingly dominated by pedestrians, car culture maintains the right of way. According to Vision Zero, NYC’s program to reduce traffic-related fatalities, being struck by a vehicle is the leading cause of injury-related death for children under 14, and the second leading cause for seniors.
Providing more public space for pedestrians has become an increasing concern for the city over the last decade, and as such, a multitude of plans have been put forward to create sanctuaries from traffic or to reconfigure streets to keep people safe. But beyond preventing traffic accidents, by planting more trees, expanding sidewalks and bike paths, and installing seating, these urban renewal projects have also been key in promoting walking, biking, health and ultimately a more desirable and habitable New York City.