NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and New York Police Department Patrol Borough of Manhattan South Chief Salvatore Comodo, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York City Council Transportation Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez and Council Member Ben Kallos today unveiled the second of five borough Pedestrian Safety Action Plans that establish a comprehensive set of actions for DOT, NYPD, and other agencies and serve as the next major step in achieving Vision Zero and were one of 63 Vision Zero initiatives announced last year. The plans were developed by integrating detailed crash analysis with input from 28 Vision Zero town halls and public workshops, including over 10,000 comments submitted by New Yorkers. Download the Report.
This analysis and input resulted in the identification of Manhattan’s most troublesome intersections, corridors and areas, which are clearly identified in the plan’s Manhattan Priority Map. The announcement was held at the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center, near the intersection of Sixth Ave. and Houston St., the location of a recently completed DOT Vision Zero project. Houston St. is identified in the plan as “Priority Corridor”, meaning that it has historically had high rates of death and serious injury to pedestrians. Priority corridors, intersections and areas will be the focus of future engineering & planning, education and enforcement activity. An average of 34 pedestrians were killed in Manhattan each year in the three-year period from 2011 to 2013 and pedestrians make up 73% of all traffic fatalities in the borough.
“We launched Vision Zero in Queens a year ago and today we are in Manhattan releasing the second of our five groundbreaking Borough Pedestrian Safety Action Plans,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “These Borough Plans combine cutting edge data analysis and community input from thousands of New Yorkers in all five boroughs. They will help the City target its engineering, enforcement, and education efforts to make New York’s streets the safest in the world.”
“The Borough Pedestrian Safety Plans are another step forward in our collaborative goal of achieving Vision Zero,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan. “They are a manifestation of the city’s strong commitment and dedication to Vision Zero and will assist the NYPD in deployment of its traffic safety resources. The plans will also draw awareness to Vision Zero and the unified approach to making our roadways safer.”
“Vision zero will help end preventable traffic collisions. I am proud to have worked with the de Blasio administration to gather feedback from my community in order to create safe and livable streets for all New Yorkers,” said Council Member Ben Kallos, who mailed 60,000 constituents soliciting dangerous intersection and street improvements for a livable streets report. “Thank you to Mayor de Blasio, Commissioner Trottenberg, and Chief Chan for working with my office, district, and constituents to improve street safety for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.”
“Borough pedestrian plans like the one released today will give elected officials, community boards, and residents alike the data we need to know exactly where our resources should go to achieve Vision Zero,” said New York City Council Transportation Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez. “By targeting certain neighborhoods, intersections, and roads we will ensure that Vision Zero is one step closer to reality.”
"This new Borough Pedestrian Safety Plan is fantastic news for all Manhattanites, and I look forward to continuing to work with the City on improving problematic corridors and intersections in my Lower Manhattan district," said Council Member Margaret Chin. "I thank Mayor de Blasio, DOT and NYPD for once again showing their Vision Zero commitment, and I know this will be another great step toward safer streets for our city’s pedestrians, cyclists and drivers."
"New York City experiences pedestrian deaths at an alarming rate, and Manhattan has the highest pedestrian fatality rate in the city," said Council Member Helen Rosenthal. "Today’s Pedestrian Safety Action Plan for Manhattan targets the worst corridors and intersections with aggressive enforcement and proven design enhancements. I am grateful to DOT and the NYPD for their specific attention to Broadway on the Upper West Side, and I will continue to work with the community and the administration to make our neighborhood safer."
"I am a proud supporter of Vision Zero. Already, safeguards implemented by Vision Zero have contributed to a record low in the number of accidents resulting in vehicle-on-pedestrian fatalities. According to NYPD data, 2014 saw fewer vehicle-on-pedestrian deaths than any year in recent memory,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “While we are headed in the right direction, the tragic loss of 137 lives remains far too many. In addition to the further implementation of proven safety measures, I look forward to new designs and enforcement solutions to ensure that our streets become safer than ever."
“This is another crucial step in our work toward Vision Zero. I commend the department of transportation, the mayor’s administration and the NYPD for focusing their efforts on those intersections with disproportionately high injury and fatality rates,” said Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez. “It is efforts like these that make our neighborhoods much safer."
“I’m pleased to see Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to pedestrian safety in the plan released today. Every New Yorker is affected when our streets aren’t safe to walk on,” said Assembly Member Dan Quart. “This plan uses smart policy to change behaviors and ensure that we achieve Vision Zero.”
In Manhattan, pedestrian fatalities fell by 60% in the past three decades, but still has the highest pedestrian fatalities rate per resident of the five. The highest crash locations in the borough are heavily concentrated below 59 Street. Senior citizens comprise just 14% of the borough’s population but account for 41% of the borough’s pedestrian fatalities. In Manhattan, nighttime (9 pm to midnight) pedestrian fatalities account for 21% versus 15% in all New York City. Trucks are involved in pedestrian fatalities in Manhattan at a higher rate (25%) than in any other borough in the city (12% for all NYC).
Overall the plan identified 17 Priority Corridors, 66 Priority Intersections and 6.0 square miles (Priority Areas) where crashes that severely injure or kill pedestrians are concentrated. Sixty seven percent of all pedestrian fatalities from 2009-2013 were concentrated within these priority geographies. The 17 Priority Corridors consist of just 11 percent (56 miles) of the borough’s total street mileage but contain half of the boroughs total pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries (KSI.) The 66 Priority Intersections are just 2% of the more than thirty seven hundred intersections in the borough, but they were the site of 15% of its pedestrian KSI. Finally, the Priority Areas constitute just 26% of the borough’s land area (23 square miles) but contain half of all pedestrian KSI. The plans for the first time reveal the detailed fatality and injury rates of individual corridors and intersections, which will improve how DOT and NYPD work with the public to improve safety.
The Manhattan Pedestrian Safety Action Plan also followed an extensive community outreach, dialogue and input process during 2014 at town hall meetings and public workshops and online, which resulted in 2,785 pedestrian safety issues being shared with DOT. Failure to yield (23%) and speeding (14%) were the most frequently cited issues. Seventy four percent of workshop attendees viewed wide arterial streets as the most important areas for pedestrian safety improvements. And finally, 46% of the spot issues shared fall outside of the Priority Corridors, Intersections and Areas, highlighting the need for improved engagement in areas with low levels of feedback but high rates of injury. This input will inform and guide our efforts to collaboratively develop interventions that will make Manhattan safer.
The Action Plan consists of engineering & planning, enforcement and education & marketing involving multiple agencies. The Priority Map will serve as a guide for DOT, NYPD and others to systematically improve streets which show high rates of fatalities and serious crashes. The specific actions include:
Engineering and Planning
- Implement at least 50 Vision Zero safety engineering improvements annually at Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas citywide
- Significantly expand exclusive pedestrian crossing time on all Manhattan Priority Corridors by the end of 2017
- Add exclusive pedestrian crossing time to all feasible Manhattan Priority Intersections by the end of 2017
- Modify signal timing to reduce off-peak speeding on all feasible Manhattan Priority Corridors by the end of 2017
- Install additional speed limit signs on all Manhattan Priority Corridors in 2015
- Drive community input and engagement at Manhattan Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas
- Consider area-wide policies for Midtown
- Continue to expand the off-hours delivery program to reduce truck conflicts with pedestrians
- Coordinate with MTA to ensure bus operations contribute to a safe pedestrian environment
- Expand the bicycle network in Manhattan that improves safety for all road users
- Proactively design for pedestrian safety in high-growth areas in Manhattan including locations in the Housing New York plan
- Implement the majority of speed cameras at Priority Corridors, Intersections and Areas
- Focus enforcement and deploy dedicated resources to Manhattan NYPD precincts that overlap substantially with Priority Areas
- Prioritize targeted enforcement at Manhattan Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas annually
- Focus failure-to-yield enforcement on nighttime hours (9 pm to midnight)
- Initiate a series of targeted truck enforcement blitzes to reduce failure to yield and keep large trucks on truck routes
Education and Marketing
- Target child and senior safety education at Manhattan Priority Corridors and Priority Areas
- Focus Street Team outreach at Manhattan Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas
DOT also provided an advance look at a few anticipated 2015 Vision Zero safety projects for the borough. They include:
- Lincoln Center Bow Tie / Broadway and Columbus Ave
- Third Ave and 57th St.
- 2nd Ave – RFK Bridge On Ramps
In 2014, DOT expanded its efforts to improve the safety of its streets through engineering treatments. In that year DOT cumulatively made the most significant changes for safety than any previous year and these improvements resulted in the lowest pedestrian fatality totals since record-keeping began in 1910. NYPD also stepped up enforcement, increasing summonses for failure to yield to pedestrians by 126%, deterring one of the leading factors behind pedestrian fatalities.
The Manhattan Borough Plan is available on at the DOT website at www.nyc.gov/dot and subsequent borough plans will be released throughout this week.