Pedestrian accidents are some of the most deadly types of vehicle-related accidents – here in the New York City area and across the nation. Traffic in busy cities tends to travel at a swift pace, or to be jammed with frustrated drivers.
One particular stretch of West End Avenue has recently seen more than its share of pedestrian accidents and deaths. In July 2014, a 61-year-old woman was struck and killed by a vehicle as its driver was making a left turn from West End Avenue onto West 95th Street. Another accident occurred in January 2014 when a taxi was making a turn from West 97th Street onto West End Avenue. As the taxi made the turn, it struck a father and son who were attempting to cross the intersection. The 9-year-old boy succumbed to his injuries.
These deaths, along with the outrage of local residents and the community at large, have prompted city transportation officials to begin taking immediate measures to make this dangerous avenue safer for pedestrians, according to a CBS New York news report.
Proposed Street Designs: Benefits and Liabilities
According to the proposal from the NYC Department of Transportation, safety improvements are planned for a section of West End Avenue from West 72nd Street to West 106th Street.
Although not everyone is happy with the scheduled redesign, improvements are intended to help calm traffic and increase pedestrian safety. Some of the changes include:
- Banning left turns from southbound lanes at West 95th Street and northbound lanes at West 97th Street.
- Constructing four traffic islands.
- Removing one lane in each direction to widen parking and loading lanes, curbing the existing problem caused by vehicles double-parking in an intended “moving lane.”
- Adding curbside right turn lanes.
- Eliminating the need for lane changes to allow for more predictable traffic movement.
Other improvements to crosswalks and roads are also scheduled. The upgrades are expected to not only make the roads safer for pedestrians, but to allow traffic to flow more easily.
Changes will also eliminate certain turning blind spots and give pedestrians a median island that they can retreat to if necessary.
What You Can Do to Minimize Pedestrian Accidents
There are actions both walkers and drivers can take to minimize pedestrian accidents on all New York City streets. As a pedestrian, you should:
- Look before you cross.
- Cross with the signal or light and only at an intersection.
- Realize that just because you can see a car does not mean its driver sees you.
- Err on the side of caution at all times.
- Never attempt to cross the street between two parked cars.
As a driver, you should:
- Obey traffic signals.
- Avoid driver distraction.
- Use your turn signals to let others know your intentions.
- Follow posted speed limits.
- Never drive while impaired by either drugs or alcohol.
- Keep a keen eye out for pedestrians.
The majority of pedestrian accidents are avoidable. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a pedestrian accident, we advise you to retain skilled legal counsel at once. Contact The Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today to discuss your case and determine the course of action you should take.