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Pedestrian Safety

Winning Safe Streets for Pedestrians

Manhattan Together members, young and old, from across the borough, are concerned about the safety of the streets and intersections in their neighborhoods.  Ensuring pedestrian safety is a quality-of-life issue for all New Yorkers. Seniors, adults with children, and people with disabilities especially need to know that they can cross streets safely without fear of being injured by cars, bicycles, or other vehicles. 

Over a hundred parishioners at St. Mary’s Catholic Church on the Lower East Side of Manhattan filled out surveys of intersections in their neighborhood where they feared for their lives.  Leaders from the Society for the Advancement of Judaism, Congregation B’nai Jeshurun and West End Synagogue on the Upper West Side walked miles of streets to zero in on which intersection crossings were not long enough for the neighborhood’s aging population.

Armed with these specific concerns and others, Manhattan Together leaders began negotiating with the Department of Transportation for improved street safety for pedestrians in the winter of 2010.  Since that interaction, we have won:

  • Longer crossing times and countdown timers at over 100 intersections across Manhattan
  • A major construction project on a median at the base of the Williamsburg Bridge to protect pedestrians from speeding bicycle and car traffic
  • Signage to alert pedestrians to a newly created one-way street and bicyclists to the correct flow of traffic

There is much work that remains. Our pedestrian safety team is committed to continuing to fight for safer streets for all our members.  We continue to meet with decision makers inside of the Department of Transportation around addressing our specific concerns and thinking with us about ways to work together to make the streets of New York City safer for all.