The Vision Zero plan in New York has had some modest success, which includes last year being reported as the safest year on the city’s streets in over a century. Nevertheless, the reports of fatalities continue to occur, along with even more regular reports of accidents and non-fatal injuries. One safe streets advocate recently offered some of his own ideas about controlling pedestrian accident statistics in an interview with a member of the press.
The man does not take credit away from the changes the city has made for the better in the past decade or so, nor does he take away from the special welcomed effort of Mayor DeBlasio. He lamented, however, that so many good changes were mired in bureaucracy, red tape and agency procedures. He came up with a new way of making safety changes in the city: it essentially involves using unused traffic cones to instantly redirect traffic away from danger spots.
New York is a city filled with surplus traffic cones. Many of them litter the land without a purpose. He has drafted them into a virtual army of cones that he uses to correct some obviously dangerous situations that are just not being addressed otherwise. What he is doing is not strictly legal, of course, and he may find himself in trouble if someone actually gets hurt. So far, however, all he has done is correct some very dangerous conditions by simply re-arranging and placing some cones in strategic positions.
This has instantly corrected a number of danger spots and undoubtedly protected lives from the danger of a pedestrian accident. What is perhaps most amazing is that New York drivers, who are famous for listening to no one, pay great deference to cones in the street. They go where the cones want them to go; no one wants to hit a cone, which they avoid far more meticulously than they avoid contact with other vehicles or with pedestrians. The tactic has caught on, and now other transportation activists are using the cones to correct known dangers throughout the city.
Source: gothamist.com, “Video: One Simple Trick To Stop NYC Drivers From Killing You: Gothamist“, Ben Yakas, Jan. 21, 2016
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