After this week's pedestrian deaths from cars making turns, Gothamist was wondering about pedestrian fatality statistics. am New York found out from Department of Transportation data that there were 152 pedstrian deaths last year, which is the lowest since 1910. (That still sounds like a lot, since it's about 3 people a week!) However, Transportation Alternatives has four suggestions for the DoT to pursue:
1. Provide pedestrians exclusive crossing time so that turning motorists have the red light while pedestrians have the walk signal.
2. 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.
3. "Neckdowns" — sidewalk extensions at corners, force motorists to make slower, more accurate and safer turns.
4. Raised crosswalks in which the pavement under crosswalks is elevated by 4 inches, again force motorists to slow down when navigating an intersection.
We like these ideas, but we're sure the DoT won't bother to give them their due as their goal is to keep traffic moving - and drivers can't stand those packs of walkers. It is, to make the bad pun, a two way street between drivers and walkers - each side needs to be defensive. The only other idea Gothamist has is elevated crosswalks, but that will never happen...will it?
And we really hate it when we have the walk signal and are crossing the street, but then some jerk comes zipping down the street - and we didn't seem him because there was a huge SUV or van parked on the corner.
Photograph from nycmikewp on Flickr