New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced the Department of Transportation (DOT) will make intersection changes to make 1,000 intersections safer with design improvements such as improved traffic signals, raised crosswalks, and other expanded pedestrian space and visibility measures.
DOT changes include:
- Increased focus on intersections in Street Improvement Projects: DOT will use its full toolkit of street design treatments as redesigns happen, focused on Vision Zero priority geographies, locations where fatalities and serious injuries have occurred, and Priority Investment Areas as detailed in the NYC Streets Plan. These changes include new turn signals and “head-starts” that allow pedestrians to enter the intersection before vehicles can turn.
- Raised crosswalks: DOT will begin a program to construct 100 raised crosswalks at curb level annually. Raised crosswalks serve a dual purpose of increasing accessibility for the disability community, while at the same time serving as speed bumps that slow drivers. This work will be done primarily via a new contract with the New York City Department of Design and Construction.
- Bike corrals at intersections: DOT will “daylight” at least 100 intersections with bike corrals this year, as part of its planned installation of more than 10,000 bicycle racks by the end of 2022. Bike corrals at intersections help provide visibility for drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, while preventing drivers from cutting corners and turning too quickly.
- Parking lot and gas station traffic-calming: Curb cuts at high-traffic locations like parking lots and gasoline stations, often at intersections, can create danger as drivers cut across sidewalks unpredictably. DOT efforts will target dozens of problem locations, largely outside Manhattan, reducing driver “short cuts” and better channeling vehicle traffic to increase visibility and predictability.
- Doubling the Turn-Calming Program: Research has shown that drivers take turns more slowly and deliberately when physical elements are in place to force turns at more appropriate speeds. DOT will double the production of such efforts to 100 intersections this year.
Also, a new traffic rule is in effect at intersections without a traffic signal or stop sign (about 1,200 throughout the city). Under the new rule, drivers and cyclists passing through such intersections must not simply yield but fully stop until a pedestrian has completely crossed the street.