NYC Pedestrian Fatalities Up in 2006?

In the wake of yet another gruesome killing of a pedestrian walking in the crosswalk with the right-of-way — this time, a 4-year-old boy run over by a guy driving a Hummer — Transportation Alternatives is arguing that these kinds of deaths can be prevented or, at least, made less likely, with the following five street design measures:

  • Provide pedestrians exclusive crossing time so
    that turning motorists have the red light while pedestrians have the
    walk signal. (example: Union Square NW- 17th and Broadway
  • Leading Pedestrian Intervals (LPI) or "pedestrian
    head starts" give pedestrians the signal before motorists, better
    establishing their presence in the crosswalk and making them more
    visible to turning motorists. (example: 23rd Street and Broadway, 23rd
    Street and 6th Ave).
  • Neckdowns — sidewalk extensions at corners, force
    motorists to make slower, more accurate and safer turns (example: 29th
    Street and 8th Ave).
  • Raised crosswalks in which the pavement under
    crosswalks is elevated by 4 inches, again force motorists to slow down
    when navigating an intersection.
  • Bollards — placing steel bollards at corners
    (pictured) or on two way street, placing plastic bollards where the
    double yellow line meets the crosswalk protect pedestrians while
    waiting on the sidewalk and force drivers to make safer turns (example:
    12th Street and 7th Ave).

Perhaps most notable, the T.A. press release also says that there were 170 pedestrian fatalities in New York City in 2006, a 7 percent increase over the previous year. DOT has not responded to requests to verify that number. Outgoing DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall touts improving pedestrian safety as one of the major accomplishments of her tenure.

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