Press Releases

Press Release #11-32

Seth Solomonow/Montgomery Dean (212) 839-4850

NYC DOT Announces Installation of Pedestrian Countdown Signals at High Pedestrian Crash Locations

Last four years have recorded the lowest traffic fatalities in NYC history

New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced that pedestrian countdown signals are being installed at key locations across the city to help pedestrians safely cross intersections with a history of pedestrian crashes. DOT has started installing the first wave of countdown signals at 43 high pedestrian crash locations in all five boroughs. A DOT pilot study completed last year found that countdown signals were effective at helping pedestrians avoid getting caught in the middle of a crosswalk when the signal changes, and particularly at wider streets. Based on those findings, the agency announced plans to install countdown signals at 1,500 intersections along major corridors in all five boroughs as part of the Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan, as well as at individual high–pedestrian crash locations. Implementation of all 1,500 intersections will accelerate this summer and continue into next year. The signals were recently installed at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue, Fulton Street and Nevins Street in Brooklyn, where 32 pedestrian crashes occurred from 2005 to 2009 and where Commissioner Sadik-Khan was joined by Councilmembers Letitia James and Stephen Levin for today’s announcement. Flatbush Avenue from Fulton Street to Grand Army Plaza is one of the major corridors that will receive countdown signals at every signalized intersection as the program continues to roll out.

“Is there enough time to cross the street safely or not? Crossing the street doesn’t need to be a guessing game,” said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. “New York City’s streets have never been safer, but we need to do even more and countdown signals can help pedestrians avoid getting caught short.”

“I'm thrilled that Pedestrian Countdown Signals installed at high pedestrian crash intersections in Brooklyn and along major corridors citywide have now arrived,” said Council Member Letitia James. “DOT’s Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan is crucial; even one traffic death is too much in my estimation, and reinforcing the speed limit will protect pedestrians. I share and support DOT's goal to cut the number of traffic fatalities in half by 2030.”

“I am thrilled that the Department of Transportation is installing pedestrian countdown signals in high pedestrian crash locations throughout New York City and I would like to thank Commissioner Sadik-Khan and Brooklyn Borough Commissioner Palmieri for their commitment to pedestrian safety,” said Council Member Stephen Levin. “As a founding member of the Boerum Hill Traffic Task Force, I have studied the positive effects on pedestrian countdown signals and I know this busy intersection will benefit from this change. I am excited to continue to work with the DOT to install more countdown signals, as well as Leading Pedestrian Intervals, slower speed limits, and other safety measures in Downtown Brooklyn.”

The installation of pedestrian countdown signals was one of the major initiatives announced last year when DOT released the Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan. The study was based on an examination of over 7,000 crashes causing serious injuries or fatalities to pedestrians and identifies underlying causes. The analysis found that serious pedestrian crashes are about two-thirds deadlier on major street corridors like the ones slated for Pedestrian countdown signals than on smaller local streets. Other key findings included that pedestrians are 10 times more likely to die than a motor vehicle occupant in the event of a crash, while pedestrian-vehicle crashes involving unsafe speeds are twice as deadly as other crashes, though most New Yorkers do not know that the standard speed limit in New York City is 30 mph. Pedestrian Countdown Signals are just one of several improvements based on these findings that the DOT will undertake in the agency’s Action Plan. Other steps include re-engineering 60 miles of streets to improve pedestrian safety and launching a pilot program to test a neighborhood 20 mph zone. DOT also launched an ad campaign called “That’s Why it’s 30” to educate New Yorkers on the speed limit and inform them of the dangers of speeding.

Pedestrian countdown signals have been or will be installed at the following locations, which had high rates of pedestrian crashes in 2008 and 2009:


  • Webster Avenue at East Fordham Road
  • Third Avenue at East Fordham Road
  • Webster Avenue at East 168th Street
  • Bruckner Boulevard at Hunts Point Avenue
  • Westchester Avenue at Southern Boulevard
  • Morris Park Avenue at Williamsbridge Road
  • East 149th Street at Morris Avenue


  • Flatbush Avenue at Church Avenue
  • Fourth Avenue at Ninth Street
  • Flatbush Avenue at Glenwood Road (2 intersections)
  • Fourth Avenue at 86th Street
  • Pennsylvania Avenue at New Lots Avenue
  • Utica Avenue at Church Avenue
  • Atlantic Avenue at Court Street
  • Utica Avenue at Eastern Parkway
  • Fourth Avenue at 39th Street
  • Boerum Place at Livingston Street
  • Flatbush Avenue at Nevins Street and Fulton Street
  • Flatbush Avenue at Ditmas Avenue and Avenue D
  • Eighth Avenue at 60th Street


  • Sixth Avenue at West 42nd Street
  • Eighth Avenue at West 34th Street
  • Lenox Avenue at West 125th Street
  • Ninth Avenue at West 23rd Street
  • Amsterdam Avenue at West 125th Street
  • Second Avenue at East 14th Street
  • Seventh Avenue at West 34th Street
  • First Avenue at East 23rd Street
  • Lexington Avenue at East 125th Street
  • Second Avenue at East 96th Street
  • First Avenue at East 57th Street
  • Broadway at West 86th Street


  • Parsons Boulevard at Northern Boulevard
  • Northern Boulevard at Union Street
  • Queens Boulevard at Broadway
  • Queens Boulevard at 71st Avenue and 108th Street
  • Springfield Boulevard at Hempstead Avenue
  • Sutphin Boulevard at Archer Avenue
  • Liberty Avenue at 120th Street
  • Northern Boulevard at Junction Boulevard

Staten Island

  • Hillside Avenue at Targee Street
  • Hylan Boulevard at Guyon Avenue

Further information about the Pedestrian Safety Study and Action Plan, the pedestrian countdown signal corridors and DOT’s anti-speeding campaign can be found at