Winter 2002, p.17
DOT Pedestrian Projects Group Speaks
T.A. thanks the DOT for providing this article.
The New York City Department of Transportation Pedestrian Projects Group (PPG) plans federally funded site-specific improvements to the walking environment. These improvements reflect Commissioner Iris Weinshall's commitment to safety and walking as an important travel mode.
The group's goal is to reallocate public street space to pedestrians that is not absolutely needed for motor vehicles. In order to reallocate space efficiently, PPG thoroughly investigates traffic volumes and patterns using computer simulation. During this planning process, the local community, in the form of a Community Board, offers invaluable ideas and has the final say. Indeed, the all-volunteer community boards serves as the arbiter for neighborhood desires; its Transportation Committee handles most of the negotiations. All community board meetings are open to the public.
In addition to the PPG, many areas of the DOT have their own pedestrian initiatives. The Safety Education group brings pedestrian information to the public, and Capital Planning incorporates pedestrian elements into every street reconstruction. The Signals Unit installs WALK signals and stop controls where warranted. The former Traffic Calming group developed the speed hump program and a break-through Neckdown Policy. Other important DOT pedestrian projects include the School Safety Division's engineering work, the Downtown Brooklyn Traffic Calming Project and Queens Boulevard Safety Improvements. The PPG depends on these and many other areas of the Agency for expertise and implementation.
Recently Completed Pedestrian Improvements:
Future Pedestrian Projects:
DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall envisions making NYC safer and better for pedestrians. The next few years will require belt tightening, but they offer hope as well. With pedestrian deaths at a record low and a Mayor who walks to the subway, NYC may yet fulfill its promise as the walking capitol of the world.
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