NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Mayor Bill de Blasio is beginning the new year looking to protect pedestrians from potential vehicle attacks in New York City.
The mayor said the city will invest $50 million to install 1,500 permanent protective metal barriers, known as bollards, to create safer sidewalks and pedestrian plazas at key locations.
The NYPD and Department of Transportation are surveying sites to determine where the bollards work best.
The rollout will begin in March. All of the barriers are expected to be installed over the next five years.
“In 2017, New Yorkers witnessed the horrible capacity of people willing to do us harm, whether it was in our subways, on our bike paths or in Times Square,” de Blasio said. “But we will not be cowed, and our expanded investment today in barriers and bollards in our public spaces underscores our resolve in keeping New York City safe from future attacks. In this new year, we can and will protect our iconic public spaces while New Yorkers go on living our lives, including by hosting a record number of tourists.”
“These additional safety bollards will allow us to better protect many of our landmark locations and many of the areas most frequently used for recreation,” said Police Commissioner James O’Neill.
The suspect, 26-year-old Richard Rojas, told police that he had been smoking marijuana laced with the hallucinogenic drug PCP, according to a criminal complaint. He said he wanted to “kill them all” and police should have shot him to stop him, prosecutors said.
Rojas remains jailed on murder and attempted murder charges.
The incident occurred months before the Halloween day vehicle attack that left eight people dead and 11 others injures on a West Side bike path.