Drivers: NYC Streets For Everyone But Us

Bloomberg Planning To Slow Down Big Apple For Pedestrians

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Coming soon to a New York City street near you: fewer parking spots, driving lanes that will be narrowed and a 20-mile per hour speed limit.

It’s all part of a push to keep pedestrians safer, but as CBS 2’s Kirstin Cole found out drivers are wondering if there is any room left for them.

Jose Guerra makes deliveries for a living and said it’s tougher every day.

“It’s less parking for everybody,” said Jose Guerra of Staten Island.

Street parking will continue to shrink as the City’s Department of Transportation implements many changes to traffic lanes, all in an effort to make pedestrians safer in New York.

“A minimum of 20 of these miles will have significant safety redesigns, including roadway narrowing, sidewalk extensions, sign and parking regulation changes,” Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said.

The latest changes since the redesign of Broadway through Times Square and beyond targets wide roads and large intersections, a new speed limit of 20 mph, tripling the number of slow school zones, and more …

“To improve visibility we’ll be restricting curb-side parking at those intersections and in at least one neighborhood we’ll also experiment with an area-wide speed limit of 20 mph,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

“It puts a limit on us, rushing the deliveries throughout the day,” said Alberto Morando of Edison, N.J.

“It makes it hard when you want to make a left turn or you are going straight with the taxis stopping to pick people up,” another person said.

Multiple reasons are listed for why pedestrians are killed, including wide multi-lane streets, drivers distracted on cell phones and texting and some divers not knowing the speed limit is 30 mph citywide.

“A pedestrian struck at 40 mph is four times more likely to die than one struck at 30 mph,” Sadik-Khan said.

In all, 27 percent of pedestrians are hit while crossing with the signal. So new crosswalk countdown clocks will roll out across the city – 1,500 are immediately planned for major, wide, multi-lane and two way roads. They’re meant to help all of us, especially the elderly.

“You know you really kind of have to run as fast as you can across the street,” said John Vitvovich of Flatiron.

Others told CBS 2 they are firmly in favor of the countdown clocks. But many others said it’s good move that’s leaving some drivers wondering if there’s room on the road for them.

New York still has the safest streets among other large cities in the U.S., with the numbers of pedestrian fatalities continuing to fall. And the city hopes to cut those numbers in half by the year 2030.

  • Mario C

    I agree with the speed limits, but what about the MTA fair increases?

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  • C Neal

    CBS2 gets their advertising money from suburban car dealerships, not from the small businesses that actually make NYC work. If a dictator ever comes along and tears down half the city to make room for a giant parking lot, they’ll be leading the cheerleading section.

    If you want real news, you won’t find it here.

  • boof

    “It’s less parking for everybody,” said Jose Guerra of Staten Island.

    Um, no, it’s less parking for drivers. It’s more space for everybody else (the majority of New Yorkers). It’s about time.

    Jeremy — drivers are to blame 78.5% of the time? Woah — hopefully CBS2 will follow up with a Motorized Bedlam feature soon (I’m sure they will think of a better title for it).

  • TIN

    Addiction to oil is destroying lives. We (bicyclists) have to ride next to you inconsiderate drivers. Bicyclists & pedestrians pay taxes for these streets too. Don’t you know that maming or killing somebody is forever? You can’t just say you’re sorry and have your lawyer get you off. Why don’t the cops do their jobs and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those of you who drive recklessly.

  • Eric
  • Rob

    The City should be focused on preventing deaths. Period. Any other concern should have a much much lower priority. Cities in Europe have far fewer traffic-related deaths than New York, and seem to have stores that get deliveries. Why not see how they do it?

  • Stan

    Someone call the Wahhh!-mbulance. Manhattan should be reserved for taxis and commercial trucks. Leave the private cars in Jersey or Queens. Manhattan would be much nicer without them.

  • nat

    yay!!! less cars and more environmentally conscious and safer streets!!!!!! this is a city, not a highway. i wholeheartedly support the city’s plan.

  • ddartley

    Uh, these streets were here BEFORE CARS EXISTED, and still served a vital function in a city that was already an economic powerhouse. Cars should indeed, by all value metrics (for one, car occupants still contribute less to the city’s economy than peds), get less priority than other road users, especially pedestrians!

  • Jeremy Jones

    Makes sense to reduce the amount of room for motor vehicles, since they are used for a minority of trips in NYC, but take up the most space.

    The DOT study found that driver error/aggression was the top cause in 78.5% of pedestrian crashes. Drivers who are against safety improvements are saying that their convenience is more important than saving lives.

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