A new type of pedestrian-friendly traffic signal may be coming to the city's most dangerous intersections. On Wednesday, the City Council unanimously passed legislation ordering the DOT to study the feasibility of bringing the Barnes Dance crossing system to 25 high-crash intersections throughout the city. [UPDATE May 31] Mayor de Blasio signed the bill into law; more details below.

The Barnes Dance signal, named after NYC traffic commissioner Henry Barnes, halts all traffic for a given time, allowing pedestrians to cross to any corner they please. When traffic is in motion, pedestrians are stopped on all sides. Here's what that looks like at 17th Street & Broadway—one of a handful of Barnes Dance intersections still operating in New York.

According to proponents of the plan, the updated intersections will help the city achieve its Vision Zero ambitions by reducing traffic deaths caused by right- or left-turning vehicles at some of the busiest intersections.

"The Barnes Dance lost favor with street engineers in the 1960s because planning for cars took precedence," explains Council member Helen Rosenthal. She says that her bill, co-sponsored by council members Mathieu Eugene and Ydanis Rodriguez, "seeks to reverse that, placing pedestrians at the center of policy making on street design, exactly where they should be." A 2012 report from City College found that pedestrian crashes halved in places where Barnes Dance signals were tested.

"Bringing back the Barnes Dance Crossing, in an era where pedestrian-first policy is our goal, will give pedestrians peace of mind, knowing no car is moving at the same time," said Councilman Rodriguez said in a press release.

The official decision about implementing the crosswalks will not come until after August of this summer, when the DOT’s feasibility report is due. "The Barnes Dance isn't going to be appropriate at every intersection," added Rosenthal, "but this analysis will help us identify where it is."

Still, the bill's passage represents a win for transit advocates, many of whom have been calling for Barnes Dance signals, among other traffic solutions, for years. After a one-year-old girl was killed by a turning truck in Queens two months ago, Paul Steely White of Transit Alternatives demanded that the city consider the crosswalks while reassessing its streets, "that are too often lethal by design." Caroline Samponoro, deputy director of the advocacy group, reiterated that call on Tuesday, citing a Department of Transportation report from 2014 that found one in four pedestrians killed in crashes were in the crosswalk with the signal in their favor.

"The status quo intersection in NYC is designed to fail, putting pedestrians crossing with the right of way in harms way from turning drivers who time and again do not yield," Samponoro told Gothamist. "Barnes Dance completely stops traffic, eliminating the conflict between the turning driver and the pedestrian."

UPDATE May 31: Mayor de Blasio has signed the Barnes Dance bill into law. The legislation will require the Department of Transportation to study how the pedestrian-exclusive crossings could be implemented at 25 high-crash intersections throughout the city. "This administration and this Council are putting pedestrians back where they should be—in control of our streets," Council Member Helen Rosenthal said in a statement.