The pilot workshop, which will be made available to other schools, builds on the Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan, announced in August by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Commissioner Sadik-Khan. In addition to the speed observations, students learned the science of safety by calculating the stopping distances for vehicles traveling 20, 30 and 40 m.p.h. The faster the speed, the longer the stopping distance, up to as much as 160 feet—nearly the length of an entire city block. On other exercises, the students tried to stop themselves while walking, jogging and sprinting, driving home the difficulty of stopping as you move faster. These activities echo the message of DOT's "That's Why It's 30" print, online, radio and TV ads, which emphasize that the speed limit is 30 for a reason: If a pedestrian is hit by a car traveling 40 m.p.h. or faster, there's a 70% chance that the pedestrian will be killed; at 30 m.p.h., there's an 80% chance that the pedestrian will live. The ads can be viewed at www.youtube.com/nycdot.
DOT's Office of Education and Outreach works with students, seniors and communities throughout the city to educate them about street safety. DOT has already undertaken unprecedented traffic-calming efforts through its Safe Routes to Schools and Safe Streets for Seniors campaigns, which target crash-prone schools and senior corridors citywide for safety upgrades ranging from improved crosswalks and signal timing to improved signs and markings.
The Pedestrian Safety Study & Action Plan includes installing 1,500 pedestrian countdown signals citywide, including at Atlantic Avenue from Grant Avenue to S. Oxford Street, and on Flatbush Avenue from Grand Army Plaza to the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn. The agency also will pilot a program to test the safety performance of neighborhood 20 m.p.h zones and re-engineer 60 miles of streets per year for greater pedestrian safety.
For more information, visit www.nyc.gov.