When pedestrians are crossing the road, it is usually with the expectation that if they follow the traffic laws, they will be safe. However, there are some stretches of road in New York where that is not the case. One local town has been asking for help from the state for quite some time. The stretch of road has been the site of five pedestrian accidents, and it has finally garnered enough attention to bring change.
Anytime a product is created for users, it is the responsibility of the designers to make sure it works properly and that it is safe to use. Roads are no different, and this stretch of road is clearly posing a threat to the individuals who use it.
According to an article from a local New York news station, there are houses all along the road. However, although the speed limit is 45 miles per hour, there are no sidewalks. People are forced to walk in the shoulder, where they are in danger of getting hit by cars.
The road construction may have been okay when it was built, but that is no longer true. The town supervisor said, “We’ve reached that critical mass where we’ve got a lot of people walking, and a lot of traffic and it’s just not a good combination.”
Regardless of the known dangers by local officials and members of the Department of Transportation, there was still no commitment to change the road. The DOT recently told the town that “it would not commit to construction projects because of the cost.”
Since their initial refusal, the DOT agreed to do something to the work. It is not clear whether that means adding a sidewalk, putting in additional signs or reducing the speed limit. Hopefully they do something before more innocent people are injured or killed.
Source: WGRZ, “DOT Leaders Tour Site of Repeated Pedestrian Accidents,” Aaron Saykin, 12 June 2011