NYC’s Vision Zero initiative has made good progress toward reducing pedestrian crashes across the city. However, these changes are primarily on the main roads and intersections with the most traffic. There’s still one kind of crosswalk that presents a persistent danger to NYC’s pedestrians: The midblock crosswalk.
By The Numbers
According to the NYC Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, about 70% of all pedestrian accidents in the city occur either at mid-block crossings or other intersections with no pedestrian traffic signal. What’s especially frightening about this is that when Vision Zero began, about 30% of all NYC pedestrian fatalities occurred at these midblock crossings.
The leading cause of these crashes? Negligent or distracted drivers. According to the Pedestrian Safety Action plan, 61% of the contributing crash factors at these intersections were related to the drivers, while pedestrians were responsible about 37% of the time (usually due to jaywalking or crossing without a signal).
Still, given that the majority of pedestrian crashes occur at these intersections, it’s important to understand what the contributing factors are and what can be done about them.
Until recently, most midblock crosswalks were unmarked and prone to jaywalking incidents. With two plazas facing each other, it’s not unexpected that most pedestrians chose to cross the road directly rather than walk to the end of the block to cross, then walk back to where they were.
These days, a lot of midtown crossings have special midblock crosswalks. These have a lot of benefits. First, they reduce crashes. That’s because traffic can only come from two directions, and there’s no risk of being struck by a turning driver. Finally, midblock crosswalks are designed to have more space between the traffic stop line and the crosswalk itself, giving drivers more time to see the pedestrians and, likewise, more time for pedestrians to notice an approaching vehicle.
While midblock crossings are reducing crashes in midtown Manhattan, it’s clear there’s still a lot of work to be done and that these crossings should be more widespread throughout NYC.
If you or someone you love were struck while crossing the street, you need affordable representation from a team you can trust. If you’d like an experienced New York City injury accident attorney from Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices to evaluate your case, don’t hesitate to call us at (718) 690-3132 or send us an email!