Yesterday, Transportation Alternatives held a rally at City Hall to draw attention to the recently increasing numbers of pedestrian fatalities on city streets. Last year, 163 pedestrians died, a 4% increase over 2005, and just this past weekend, four pedestrians were killed by vehicles. Relatives and friends of victims joined TA to demand that the city to make streets safer for pedestrians and "strengthen laws against motorists who kill or injure pedestrians" (Metro). Watch the video and hear them speak.
The Department of Transportation issued a statement yesterday: "[I]n the wake of several tragic accidents, it is clear that more needs to be done, and DOT is committed to taking further steps to make the streets as safe as possible." Committed the way it had studied Brooklyn's Third Avenue a couple years ago after two children were killed by cars but did nothing, only for a child to be killed there recently?
Transportation Alternatives released a "Pedestrian Safety Action Plan" (PDF). Here are some highlights:
- Pedestrians are being hit in the same locations again and again. Just 10% of the City’s intersections account for over 50% of all fatalities and injuries. These must be fixed immediately.
- Prioritize fixes of the most dangerous streets in each Borough: Corridors like Roosevelt Avenue, the Grand Concourse, Flatbush Avenues, Canal Street and Hylan Boulevard are terrifying places to walk and must be made safe.
- Complete the build out of Brooklyn’s Downtown Traffic Calming project by the summer of 2008 and design and do the same in at least one location in each remaining borough by 2009.
Civic leaders in Queens also asked the DOT improve pedestrian safety measures along 73rd Avenue yesterday. Fresh Meadows Homeowners Civic Association president James Gallagher said, ""It's very frustrating. There's an accident here every other month."
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Video by Kelly Loudenberg