Pedestrian accidents in Manhattan are on the rise and have, for some time now, been a serious public health issue. To combat this issue, we offer seven solutions for improving safety in Manhattan.
- Upgrade to More Reflective Signage
The first solution to improving pedestrian safety in Manhattan is for the city government to upgrade the signage system. This upgrade should include changing the reflective properties of the present signs and placing additional warning signs before crosswalks.
The reflective properties are crucial as they enable drivers to see the sign and adjust their speed, while the warning signs at crosswalks let drivers know to yield to pedestrians.
- Build Sidewalks on Street Corners
The second solution is to have the city government build more sidewalks along street corners. Often in Manhattan, one will find that a sidewalk doesn’t begin until halfway down a block, forcing those on foot to walk in traffic. This issue can result in an increase in pedestrian accidents and injuries.
By having sidewalks on all street corners, pedestrians would be able to walk on them without ever having to enter a travel lane of traffic.
- Increase Enforcement of Traffic Laws
In Manhattan, there is often a disregard for speed limits and pedestrians’ right-of-way. We propose changing the current method of enforcing traffic laws to target high-density pedestrian areas. Although the most effective way to enforce traffic laws is through cameras, we should look into other forms, such as increased police presence.
- Provide More Sidewalk Space for Biking
Providing more space on sidewalks for biking is important to securing the safety of both cyclists and pedestrians. The more sidewalk space dedicated to cyclist, the fewer accidents will occur between them and pedestrians because it gives both parties more room to maneuver without walking into traffic.
- Reduce the Number of Lanes in Traffic-Heavy Areas
This solution involves re-designing the layout of midtown Manhattan, specifically Times Square and Broadway. To do so, we suggest reducing the number of lanes on main streets in heavy traffic areas and adding speed bumps where cars slow down naturally due to a lack of space.
- Eliminate Blocking of Crosswalks at Intersections
Having vehicles block crosswalks while they make turns can result in confusion and delays for pedestrians. To improve safety, we propose eliminating this practice, which can be accomplished in two ways: drivers should yield to pedestrians before turning or wait until pedestrians are no longer crossing before turning right. Doing so will allow pedestrians to cross a street more quickly and reduce confusion.
- Public Education
Running public service announcements about pedestrian safety and the change in traffic laws would help to educate the public about how to walk safely in Manhattan. It is also important that the public is educated about choosing the right pedestrian accident lawyer after an accident occur.
Pedestrian safety is an important public issue that should get addressed. These seven simple solutions could save lives and help decrease the number of pedestrian accidents in Manhattan.