The first priority of any street is to ensure safety for all road users. Because pedestrians are much more vulnerable compared to motorists, complete street designs require strong pedestrian safety measures. Physical changes to the street like curb extensions, pedestrian refuges on medians and reduced street width improve the ability of walkers to cross streets safely. Changes to signal timing that discourage speeding and give pedestrians exclusive crossing time enhance intersection safety. The addition of automatic enforcement cameras discourage reckless driving.
Funding for Bicycle and Pedestrian InfrastructurePedestrians and cyclists receive little in federal, state, and city transportation funding. Transportation Alternatives fights to make sure that bicycle and pedestrian safety projects receive their fair share, and that all major investments made to New York City streets incorporate the strongest measures to protect bicyclists and walkers.
Reducing SpeedingSpeeding is a crime that is rampant in New York City. The legal speed limit in New York City is 30 miles per hour, but our infrastructure has been designed and re-designed for the past fifty years to make speeding easier to commit. T.A. would like to see measures taken to greatly reduce the design speed of NYC streets, better enforce existing speed limits, and reduce speed limits altogether.
Reducing Pedestrian DeathsNew York has the highest number of pedestrian deaths and injuries in the United States. Pedestrian and cyclist deaths make up a majority of traffic deaths here. T.A. is working to change these grim statistics with better street design and enforcement. Visit crashstat.org for an intersection by intersection breakdown of pedestrian and cyclist crashes in NYC.
"Zero on Queens Boulevard"T.A. first focused attention on the infamous "Boulevard of Death" in 1997, when upwards of 15 pedestrians were killed on Queens Boulevard each year. In tandem with the New York Daily News and Forest Hills Action League, T.A. won a host of pedestrian safety improvement like expanded medians, extended crossing times and the installation of bollards to safeguard walkers. While traffic fatalities on the boulevard have declined substantially since the Department of Transportation began implementing these measures, the street still needs significant improvements. Pedestrian crashes and injuries remain unacceptably high and the recent boom in bike commuting has given new urgency to the campaign for a protected bike lane. In 2008, T.A. launched Zero on Queens Boulevard, a campaign to reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries on Queens Boulevard to zero through aggressive traffic calming and a physically protected bicycle lane. The campaign calls on the City to choose saving lives ahead of traffic flow and to make the boulevard safe to cross by integrating it more with the neighborhoods it traverses. To connect with efforts for a safer Queens Boulevard, contact T.A.'s Queens Committee.
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