The 2009 Walk21 conference in New York was an opportunity to see at first hand the pedestrian revolution taking place around Times Square and other areas of Manhattan.
The main driver for New York’s plan was not pedestrian congestion, but road safety. In 1990 there was one pedestrian death every day on the cities streets. This has been reduced to the lowest figures since records began in 1910, with senior fatalities on the pavements dropping 43% in just one year, due to the ‘streets for seniors’ plan.
This presentation looks at what has made a difference, including the ‘pavements into plazas’ scheme, traffic lane narrowing and new cycle lanes. Across the city, there has been the adoption of ‘complete streets’ where pavements are being widened and crossing distances are being reduced, and the weekend streets scheme where 14 streets are closed to traffic every Sunday. The change was done quickly and cheaply in just two years, and had strong leadership and political backing.
The presentation will also visit some of the outstanding papers delivered at the Walk 21 conference.
For more on New York’s wide array of pedestrian projects check out - http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/html/sidewalks/sidewalks.shtml