Speeding and reckless driving have become major problems in NYC. According to city records, a total of 273 people were killed in crashes just last year—the highest number of such deaths since 2013.
In an effort to mitigate and potentially solve the issue, Mayor Adams has announced his decision to raise crosswalks all over town.
What is a raised crosswalk, you might be wondering? According to the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT), they are "pedestrian crossings constructed at a higher elevation than the roadway." They have multiple functions: on the one hand, they work as speed bumps, enticing drivers to slow down as they approach. They also provide enhanced visibility for the pedestrians crossing and are more accessible for the disabled community.
The DOT had made public its pledge to construct 100 raised crosswalks at curb level every single year. Given that the city is home to roughly 40,000 intersections and only 17 of them are currently raised, that promise might not amount to much in the grand scheme of things—but we've got to start somewhere, right?
Also to note: the city plans on staying away from major roads, rather focusing their efforts on pedestrian-heavy areas near schools, playgrounds, parks and senior centers, for example.
The city has already identified the following four intersections as areas where raised crosswalks will soon be installed:
- Elm Avenue and Coney Island Avenue in Brooklyn
- 69th Place, Juniper Valley Road, and 69th Street in Queens
- Martha Street and Howard Avenue in Staten Island
- And E. 158th Street and Cauldwell Avenue in the Bronx.
In addition to the new crossways—which will be financed by city and federal funding—the DOT has announced that it plans on redesigning 1,000 dangerous intersections this year, also targeting parking lots and gas stations in need of attention.
In addition to the physical projects above mentioned, the DOT implemented a new rule starting this year under which "drivers and cyclists passing through such intersections must not simply yield but fully stop until a pedestrian has completely crossed the street." Expect officers to be enforcing the new rule all across town.