Evidence continues to mount that NYCDOT’s street reclamation projects are making New York a safer city for walking and biking. The latest statistics come from Allen and Pike Streets, where DOT installed four pedestrian plazas and the city’s first center-median protected bikeway late last summer. The project followed a long campaign by local community groups to make the pedestrian malls on Allen and Pike more welcoming public spaces.
In an update presented to Manhattan Community Board 3 last week [PDF], DOT announced that pedestrian injuries have dropped 54 percent at the intersection of Allen and Delancey, and overall injuries declined 57 percent. At the four intersections where new plazas linked together mall segments and replaced cross routes for traffic, pedestrian injuries fell 60 percent, and overall injuries declined 40 percent. The numbers were crunched by comparing several months of post-implementation injury data to the average number of injuries during the same months over the prior six years.
In addition to demonstrating the safety benefits of the new street design, the reduction in injuries should help make the case for permanent improvements on Allen and Pike. Like many recent DOT projects, the bikeway and the new plazas were laid down using inexpensive materials and techniques, allowing for a rapid build-out. Later this year the Parks Department will start constructing a more polished version along part of the Allen-Pike corridor.
Work on the three blocks from Henry to South Street and on the single block from Delancey to Hester is expected to begin in the fall. On those segments, the project will reconstruct the pedestrian malls and give the bikeway a more finished, permanent feel. (Elsewhere, the existing improvements will remain in place.) The Parks Department is still seeking funding to build out the rest of the corridor.