A new bill aimed at preventing vehicles from mounting sidewalks — like the attack in Times Square last month — will be introduced in the City Council next week, Councilman Ydanis Rodríguez said on Thursday.
The new bill would require bollards, raised concrete or metal posts, to be placed at locations like schools, pedestrian plazas, and particularly dangerous intersections. The bill will be introduced on June 21, and a hearing is scheduled for the next day.
“Whether deliberate or not, vehicles that jump the curb threaten New Yorkers lives,” Rodríguez said, adding: “We want to be sure we recognize cars have become a weapon of mass destruction.”
The bill comes just weeks after a 26-year-old man drove his Honda Accord onto the sidewalk on Seventh Avenue and West 42nd Street and sped down three blocks, mowing down pedestrians as he went, injuring 20 people and killing an 18-year-old tourist.
On Thursday, just minutes after Rodríguez announced the proposed bill, two pedestrians were injured when an SUV jumped the curb on 37th Street, near Ninth Avenue.
The bill specifies that bollards should be installed annually by at least 50 schools and 20 priority intersections, which would be identified by the city’s Department of Transportation as crash-prone areas where pedestrians have been injured or killed, or have a high volume of traffic.
It also requires the bollards to be put up surrounding all pedestrian plazas.
The DOT commissioner can decide not to install any more bollards, but must provide the council and the mayor a reason why, the bill says.
“We’re always looking at ways to improve the safety of our streets, including expanding the installation of bollards,” Austin Finan, a spokesman from the mayor’s office, said in an email. “We are reviewing the council member’s proposal.”
The cost for the program was not immediately clear.
“These protective metal bollards save lives,” Paul Steely White, the executive director of Transportation Alternatives. “Whether cars are jumping the curb as an intentional act of terrorism or cars and trucks are jumping the curb because the driver lost control, the end result is often all too tragic.”