Two recent fatal pedestrian accidents along a heavily traveled New York City street have prompted NYC officials to propose changes along the route in an effort to make the area safer for everyone - pedestrians and motorists alike. Some of the measures proposed along Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. include not only increasing crosswalk times for pedestrians but also widening road medians and reducing traffic lanes in the most treacherous areas.
According to NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) statistics, since 2006 there have been 10 deaths along this boulevard. Some residents recently told the New York Daily News that the crosswalk lights at intersections along this boulevard are simply too short - a belief held by many, including Daisy Alvarez, the sister of a woman killed recently while crossing Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. at 145th Street.
One of the most important changes currently planned for Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. is to eliminate one lane near 141st Street in order to reduce the number of lane changes by motorists in this area - ultimately leaving one left turn lane and another straight lane.
Also, pedestrians must currently stand in the middle of crosswalks and hope that cars given them enough space, which is why changes include plans to paint medians at crosswalks at 135th and 141st Streets in order to give pedestrians more space. In addition, it is believed that a 25 second crosswalk period will give pedestrians the needed time to cross the wide intersections along the boulevard.
It is estimated that these proposed changes along Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. will reduce the number of pedestrian accidents by roughly 33 percent. Hopefully these estimates prove true as currently many distracted drivers - or drivers simply trying to beat a red light - too often neglect the safety of those pedestrians they are supposed to be sharing the intersections with.
Source: NY Daily News, "Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. getting crosswalk to safety," Casey Quinlan,