“Safe Routes” In NYC Prevent Pedestrian Accidents

NYCgovPedestrian accidents are common in our city. One only has to scan the news headlines on any given week to see people suffering serious injuries or even death following such accidents. There are several programs in place that seek to reduce incidents like these. Promoted by the NYC Department of Transportation, “Safe Routes to School,” “Safe Streets for Seniors”, and “Safe Routes to Transit” are all targeted at preventing certain pedestrian tragedies.

Safe Routes to School is a nationwide program that seeks to help children make it to school and their bus stops with minimal risk of accidents. In NYC, the program examined accident histories surrounding the city’s nearly 1,500 elementary and middle schools and targeted 135 high priority schools to be considered for improvements. Continue reading


How NYC Prevents Sidewalk Accidents

The City of New York knows that cracked or poorly maintained sidewalks are an accident waiting to happen. And they also know that they have a responsibility to maintain these pedestrian thoroughfares. But, how do they go about preventing these accidents and what more can be done?

According to the NYC Department of Transportation’s homepage, there are 12,750 miles of sidewalks in the city. The DOT’s goal is to make all of them safe for people walking around the city and to prevent injuries. To this end, they replace more than 2 million square feet of sidewalks each year.

Most of this replacement work is done on city property and in residential areas. But, some of this replacement work is done when property owners fail to step up to the plate themselves.

A sidewalk law passed in the past few years shifts some responsibility of sidewalk maintenance to property owners. Continue reading


Park Ave. Pedestrian Accident Kills One, Injures Another

An older couple had just left a jazz concert and was looking for a cab back to their Upper East Side home when they were struck by an out of control car on Park Avenue. The 80-year old man, Rubin Baum, was killed and his wife was injured.

According to the NY Daily News, a 2000 Mazda sedan hit a minivan that happened to be transporting a Pakistani diplomat. The Mazda then lost control and went into a tailspin. It hit the Baum couple, sending Denise into a parked truck and running over Rubin.

With so many pedestrians always in motion in the city, pedestrian accidents are relatively common. But, the NYC Department of Transportation says the city is safer than other large cities in the country.

They say that for 2009, the last year for which their data is available, traffic fatalities were down 35%. They also say that pedestrians account for 52% of deaths in traffic accidents between 2005 and 2009. Continue reading


Mayor Announces “Slow Zones” to Increase Road Safety, Reduce Accidents

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced alongside the DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan that the City’s Neighborhood Slow Zones would be expanded—increasing the areas where the speed limit is dropped in order to prevent accidents and increase safety.

According to a press release from the city of New York, the Slow Zone program reduces speed limits from 30 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour in targeted residential areas. This, they say, has played a role in decreasing the number of fatal accidents in the city, and they hope an expansion can bring even further reductions.

In 2011, traffic fatalities in the city were at the lowest levels ever in recorded history. That is significant. The last four years have been the safest overall in regards to accidents.

The zones targeted for the Slow Zone program were identified by citizens themselves. They were requested by residents and then were evaluated for “crash history, community support, proximity of schools, senior centers, and daycare centers,” according to the city’s press release. Now those areas are in the design and approval process before the speed limit changes will be made official. Continue reading