Pedestrian safety: Redesigned intersections at heart of NYC traffic initiative

Thursday, January 20, 2022
Redesigned intersections at heart of NYC traffic initiative
N.J. Burkett reports on the new NYC traffic initiative which aims to protect pedestrians.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- In some parts of the city, crossing the street is the riskiest thing New Yorkers will do all day.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is replacing Vision Zero with his own program for traffic and pedestrian safety.

Vehicles are expected to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, but in many cases, they don't. And sometimes, the results are horrific.

Just this week, 15 year-old Antonina Zatulovska was killed by a school bus in Sheepshead Bay.

The driver left the scene and was later arrested.

A 52-year-old nanny named Arcellie Muschamp died the same way in December when she was struck by a pickup truck while crossing the street in Park Slope.

Muschamp managed to save the toddler she was caring for by shoving his stroller out of the way just before the impact.

A vigil in her honor was held Tuesday night at the intersection where she was killed.

The deaths of both victims illustrate the morose statistic that 55% of pedestrian fatalities occur at intersections, according to the Department of Transportation.

"These fatalities are happening-and these injuries are happening-merely because people want to cross the street," said Mayor Eric Adams. "Just to cross the street. They are feeling the trauma that comes with it."

Mayor Adams joined the city's police and transportation commissioners in announcing a sweeping pedestrian safety initiative on Wednesday.

Specifically, more protected bike lanes, speed bumps to slow down traffic and raised crosswalks that function as speed bumps to protect pedestrians.

Roughly 1,000 intersections throughout the city will be targeted for these safety design improvements.

The initiative also calls for stepped-up police enforcement.

"It's not so much that we are going to have additional officers that are going to be focused on it," said New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell. "Every officer will be focused on it, and when they see these infractions, they will be enforcing them."

The DOT says it will work to install the proposed safety improvements this year.


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