‘We Have To Learn From Barcelona:’ Councilman Calls For More Safety Barriers On Sidewalks

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A New York City council member is calling on the city to install more safety barriers on sidewalks in places with high pedestrian traffic, following deadly crashes like those in Times Square and Barcelona.

One street vendor who was there when Richard Rojas allegedly plowed his car into pedestrians on a sidewalk in Times Square told 1010 WINS’ Samantha Liebman he thinks the concrete NYPD-issued blocks that were installed after that day are enough protection.

“Yeah it can happen, but I mean anything can happen here. It’s Times Square. Stuff goes on here all day every day,” he said. “It is what it is.”

Times Square Crash: Photos | Videos

Other vendors said they would like to see the concrete ones replaced.

“The post that finally stopped the driver a couple months back, that was probably a better idea than these concrete barriers,” another said. “And if they put them in, they should stagger them so the pedestrians can meander through them.”

Council member Ydanis Rodriguez is sponsoring a bill that would mandate the barriers must be installed in all high-volume areas. But he told Liebman he wants to see them put in place as soon as possible.

“We have to learn from Barcelona. We know that there are so many areas, especially going in congested areas. And when it comes to a high volume of pedestrians, we need to install the pedestrian bollards now,” he said.

“It’s a fairly good idea, given how much foot traffic there is in the area,” one man said. “I think public safety is a major concern that needs to be addressed, especially somewhere with so many international tourists from outside of New York.”

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