NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and the NYPD today unveiled the Staten Island Pedestrian Safety Action Plan, establishing a comprehensive set of actions for DOT, NYPD, and other agencies and serve as the next major step in achieving Vision Zero. The Borough Plans are one of 63 Vision Zero initiatives announced last year. The plans were developed by integrating detailed crash analysis with input from 28 Vision Zero town halls and public workshops, including over 10,000 comments submitted by New Yorkers.
An average of 14 people are killed in traffic in Staten Island each year in the three year period from 2011 to 2013 and pedestrians make up 48% of all traffic fatalities in the borough. This analysis and input resulted in the identification of Staten Island’s most dangerous corridors, intersections, and areas, which are clearly identified in the plan’s Priority Map.
“Last year the City had a historic low in pedestrian fatalities and I’m proud to announce the next stage of Vision Zero with the Staten Island Pedestrian Safety Action Plan,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “These Borough Plans combine cutting edge data analysis and community input from thousands of New Yorkers in all five boroughs. They will help the City target its engineering, enforcement, and education efforts to make New York’s streets the safest in the world.”
“The Borough Pedestrian Safety Plans are another step forward in our collaborative goal of achieving Vision Zero,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan. “They are a manifestation of the city’s strong commitment and dedication to Vision Zero and will assist the NYPD in deployment of its traffic safety resources. The plans will also draw awareness to Vision Zero and the unified approach to making our roadways safer.”
“Borough pedestrian plans like the one released today will give elected officials, community boards, and residents alike the data we need to know exactly where our resources should go to achieve Vision Zero,” said New York City Council Transportation Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez. ”By targeting certain neighborhoods, intersections, and roads we will ensure that Vision Zero is one step closer to reality.”
“Though much attention has been focused on reduced speed limits, Vision Zero is a multi-faceted plan that includes enforcement, education and re-engineering our streets and intersections to eliminate collisions and protect the safety of all Staten Islanders,” said Council Member Debi Rose. “I welcome the proposed intersection improvements at some of the busiest locations in my district as the North Shore sees the highest rates of pedestrian fatalities on Staten Island. These new measures will make Staten Island streets safer for all who use them.”
In Staten Island, 40 pedestrians are severely injured on Staten Island streets each year and 7 are killed. In the past three decades, pedestrian fatalities have increased 11%. The highest crash locations in the borough are concentrated around the North and East Shores. Passenger vehicles are involved in nine out of ten pedestrian fatalities on Staten Island, compared to 68% citywide. Forty-five percent of pedestrian fatalities in Staten Island occurred midblock, compared to only one in three citywide. Dangerous driver choices are the primary cause or a contributing factor in 67% of pedestrian fatalities on Staten Island. Afternoon and evening hours account for 80% of Staten Island’s pedestrian fatalities as opposed to 31% citywide. Additionally, Staten Island seniors account for 25% of the borough’s pedestrian fatalities, despite making up only 14% of the borough’s population.
Overall the plan identified 16 Priority Corridors, 17 Priority Intersections, and 7 square miles of Priority Areas where crashes that severely injure or kill pedestrians are concentrated. Fifty five percent of all pedestrian fatalities from 2009-2013 were concentrated within these priority geographies. The 16 Priority Corridors consist of just 6 percent (837 miles) of the borough’s total street mileage but contain more than half of the boroughs total pedestrian fatalities and severe injuries (KSI.) The 17 Priority Intersections are just 1% of the over 8,000 intersections in the borough, but they were the site of 17% of its pedestrian KSI. Finally, the Priority Areas constitute just 13% of the borough’s land area (7 square miles) but contain half of all pedestrian KSI. The plans for the first time reveal the detailed fatality and injury rates of individual corridors and intersections, which will improve how DOT and NYPD work with the public to improve safety.
The Staten Island Pedestrian Safety Action Plan also followed an extensive community outreach, dialogue and input process in 2014 at town hall meetings and public workshops and online, which resulted in 635 pedestrian safety issues being shared with DOT. Speeding (26%) and failure to yield (20%) were the most frequently cited issues. Fifty seven percent of workshop attendees viewed wide arterial streets as the most important areas for pedestrian safety improvements and 93% of those attendees identified speeding as a major problem for pedestrian safety. And finally, 51% of the issues shared fall outside of the Priority Corridors, Intersections and Areas, highlighting the need for improved engagement in areas with low levels of feedback but high rates of injury. This input will inform and guide our efforts to collaboratively develop interventions that will make Staten Island safer.
The Action Plan consists of engineering & planning, enforcement and education & awareness campaigns involving multiple agencies. The Priority Map will serve as a guide for DOT, NYPD and others to systematically improve streets which show high rates of fatalities and serious crashes. The specific actions include:
Engineering and Planning
- Implement at least 50 Vision Zero safety engineering improvements annually at Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas citywide
- Significantly expand exclusive pedestrian crossing time on all Staten Island Priority Corridors by the end of 2017
- Add exclusive pedestrian crossing time to all feasible Staten Island Priority Intersections by the end of 2017
- Modify signal timing to reduce off-peak speeding on all feasible Staten Island Priority Corridors by the end of 2017
- Install additional speed limit signs on all Staten Island Priority Corridors in 2015
- Drive community input and engagement at Staten Island Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas
- Install additional lighting under elevated trains and at other key transit stops
- Coordinate with MTA to ensure bus operations contribute to a safe pedestrian environment
- Expand a bicycle network in Staten Island that improves safety for all road users
- Proactively design for pedestrian safety in high-growth areas in Staten Island including locations in the Housing New York plan
- Implement the majority of speed cameras at Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas
- Focus enforcement and deploy dedicated resources to Staten Island NYPD precincts which overlap substantially with Priority Areas
- Concentrate targeted enforcement at all Staten Island Priority Corridors, Intersections, and Areas annually
- Focus failure-to-yield and speeding enforcement in the afternoon and evening, when 80% of pedestrian fatalities occur.
Education and Awareness Campaigns
- Target child and senior safety education at Staten Island Priority Corridors and Priority Areas
- Target Street Team outreach at Staten island Priority Corridors, Intersections and Areas
In 2014, DOT expanded its efforts to improve the safety of its streets through engineering treatments. In that year DOT cumulatively made the most significant changes for safety than any previous year and these improvements resulted in the lowest pedestrian fatality totals since record-keeping began in 1910. NYPD also stepped up enforcement, increasing summonses for failure to yield to pedestrians by 126%, deterring one of the leading factors behind pedestrian fatalities.
The Staten Island Pedestrian Safety Action Plan and all other borough plans are available at the DOT website at www.nyc.gov/dot.