By Dan Rivoli
The commissioners for the Department of Transportation and the NYPD announced new safety initiatives at the Broadway-West 71st Street-Amsterdam Avenue intersection Oct. 21.
There will be an increase in police enforcement to crack down on speeding cars, drivers that fail to yield to pedestrians and bicyclists that disobey traffic laws. The city will also launch an ad campaign to educate drivers about the city’s little-known 30 miles per hour speed limit. A Department of Transportation study showed that two-thirds of city drivers are unaware of the city’s standard speed limit.
The announcement comes on the heels of a Department of Transportation plan to make the hectic intersection safer by altering the streetscape.
Borough President Scott Stringer and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal had been pushing the Department of Transportation to make the three-way intersection safer for pedestrians.
In a joint statement, Stringer and Rosenthal praised the Department of Transportation’s plan and safety initiative.
“It is gratifying that DOT has responded to the call by implementing many of the specific safety measures we proposed,” Stringer and Rosenthal said in the statement. “We are gratified that this community outcry has been heeded. Our constituents are served by this proposed safety redesign and we look forward to ensuring that these changes are realized.”
The stepped up enforcement will be funded from a $150,000 grant of federal money from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee.
“As we make our safe streets even safer for everyone who uses them, every New Yorker needs to follow all the rules of the road whether in a car, on foot or on a bike,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan in a statement.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, in a statement, said street safety can always be improved.
“Through a combination of education, enforcement and common courtesy, we think we can do even better in protecting pedestrians who are put at risk by motorists and bicyclists alike,” Kelly said.
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