Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in June of 2016 announced New York State’s first-ever, comprehensive pedestrian safety plan. The five-year, multi-agency initiative provides $110 million to improve safety for pedestrians through infrastructure improvements, public education efforts and enforcement across Upstate and Long Island.
The New York State Pedestrian Safety Action Plan will run through 2021 and is being implemented cooperatively by the New York State Department of Transportation focusing on engineering improvements, the State Department of Health conducting public education and awareness campaigns, and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee coordinating increased law enforcement.
The plan targets improvements in communities outside of New York City. The city has an established pedestrian safety program that receives millions in federal funding administered by NYSDOT.
The plan calls for a systemic approach to proactively address widespread safety issues and minimize the potential for crashes by implementing low-cost countermeasures throughout the roadway network.
Pedestrian safety improvements will begin the first year on state-owned roadways. During the second year of the plan, NYSDOT will fund local pedestrian safety initiatives identified through a project solicitation.
NYSDOT will undertake improvements on State roads with an “urban” functional classification in busy urban and suburban areas. These include:
- Improving crosswalks, both at unsignalized intersections and at non-intersection locations. This will include more than 2,000 locations.
- Improving 50 percent of signalized intersections, including nearly 2,400 locations.
Improvements at crosswalks without traffic signals or mid-block crossings will include pavement markings and signs. In addition, up to 400 locations will receive additional treatments, such as pedestrian refuge islands and attention-grabbing light beacons.
At signalized intersections, high visibility crosswalk markings will be installed. Signals will be enhanced with extended crossing times, countdown timers that tell pedestrians how many seconds they have to finish crossing the street during the flashing red hand/Don’t Walk phase, and leading pedestrian intervals that help make pedestrians more visible to motorists by giving them a head start before traffic can turn onto the street.
In addition, NYSDOT will evaluate for potential safety improvements five corridors across the state with a higher-than-expected number of pedestrian crashes.
Between 2009 and 2013, nearly 50 percent of all pedestrian crashes occurred in 20 areas identified as Focus Communities. These communities will be given extra attention to improve pedestrian safety through public education, police officer training, enforcement of existing pedestrian safety laws, and funding for safety improvement projects through a competitive grant solicitation.
Pedestrian Safety Action Plan
City/Town/Village (by # crashes)