NY- Nyc.streetblog.org writes that the constant construction in the city comes with ever-present scaffolding on the streets causing people to walk in the road. A study conducted in Manhattan indicated that pedestrians are over 50 percent more likely to walk in the roadway when scaffolding is in place.
The construction scaffolding means that foot traffic and cyclists are more likely to be sharing space with cars, trucks, and buses. This mingling puts vulnerable pedestrians at risk. The authors of the study stated that when the city puts together plans for construction, they do not consider pedestrians and cyclists.
The city currently has around 332 miles of scaffolding. In 2017, the New York Times released a story about the frustration residents felt about scaffolding in the city, and the government’s efforts to reduce the amount of scaffolding in the city. At that time, there were 280 miles of scaffolding.
The study indicates that the problem could be improved with better signage and traffic management for pedestrians. Middle of the road crosswalks and other infrastructure improvements could help to make construction zones safer for bike and foot traffic.
New York City is trying to lower the number of traffic-related fatalities. The efforts showed initial progress in the lowering of pedestrian deaths in the city, but the number of fatalities has now increased again. Representatives of the city acknowledge that the improvements are not linear but claim that the programs are working. Under the Vision Zero initiative, championed by Mayor de Blasio, the city has a goal of zero traffic-related deaths by the year 2024. With 200 traffic deaths in the city last year, there is still a lot of room for improvement.
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