Crossing the street in New York City can be extremely dangerous for pedestrians, especially in areas that haven’t been designed with pedestrian safety in mind. Statistically, the most dangerous places for pedestrians are crosswalks where 55% of pedestrian fatalities occur.
New safety initiative
Mayor Eric Adams announced a new pedestrian safety initiative that will replace Vision Zero. Mayor Adams described his plan while meeting with police and transportation commissioners on Jan. 19. The plan will specifically target 1,000 different intersections around the city for pedestrian safety improvements like:
- Speed bumps
- Protected bike lanes
- Increased police enforcement
Scared to cross the street
During his announcement, Mayor Adams described the trauma that many New Yorkers feel while crossing streets. Horrifying pedestrian accidents that have occurred at crosswalks recently are hard to forget.
In December, a 52-year-old nanny was fatally hit by a truck but managed to save the toddler that she was caring for by pushing his stroller out of the way at the last moment. In mid-January, a 15-year-old girl in Sheepshead Bay died after being hit by a school bus.
Staying safe as a pedestrian
Unfortunately, we can’t control what drivers do while we are walking around the city or how long it will take for government safety initiatives to be implemented. What we can control is our awareness of hazards and our vigilance while walking. Remember to limit your distractions and avoid jaywalking. If you have to walk after dark, try to wear brightly colored clothing. When crossing the street, it’s a good idea to try to make eye contact with drivers that might be making a right turn.