Mayor Eric Adams said Thursday that his administration will redesign 1,000 intersections every year so motorists cannot park their cars within them, protecting pedestrians from drivers who otherwise wouldn’t be able to see them.
The administration will apply the treatment, known as “daylighting,” to 1,000 intersections across the five boroughs each year, starting in 2024.
“Protecting New Yorkers is my most sacred responsibility as mayor, and that holds true for traffic violence just as much as any other form of violence,” said Hizzoner. “Our streets must be safe places for all New Yorkers — pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists alike.”
When cars are parked too close to an intersection, a driver’s visibility can be significantly curtailed, to the point they might not see someone entering the intersection to cross the street as they pull up to it.
Poor visibility at non-daylit intersections often play a role when drivers strike pedestrians, like 7-year-olds Dolma Naadhun and Kamari Hughes, who lost their lives in fatal collisions this year in Astoria and Fort Greene respectively.
“Today’s announcement will save lives,” said Fabiola Mendieta-Cuapio, a member of Families for Safe Streets whose son Bryan was killed in a collision in 2006. “No family should ever have to experience losing someone due to traffic violence, and we know that better street and intersection design will protect New Yorkers across the city.”
New York state law already effectively requires daylighting, prohibiting parking within 20 feet of a curb, but New York City is exempt from that law. This year, the City Council passed a bill requiring the city to daylight at least 100 dangerous intersections every year, starting in 2025.
Intersections can be daylit by extending the curb further into the street, by adding new street paint to discourage parking, or adding street furniture, among other things.
The announcement comes as Adams faces scrutiny over his record on street safety as mayor. The mayor has taken heat for abandoning or downscaling projects designed to make dangerous thoroughfares safer, like McGuinness Boulevard and Ashland Place in Brooklyn, allegedly at the behest of his campaign contributors or his top advisor, Ingrid Lewis-Martin.
Meanwhile, the administration last year failed to meet its legal mandate to build 30 miles of new protected bike lanes across the city, and appears on track to miss the mark again this year, according to a tracker tool by Transportation Alternatives.
In addition to daylighting, Adams pledged to improve 1,000 other intersections with other “treatments,” like leading pedestrian intervals on traffic signals and raised crosswalks. Hizzoner also said the city will add speed governors — which restrict how fast a car can move — to more city government vehicles, as well as school buses.