New York State acknowledges the importance of improving pedestrian infrastructure by adopting policies and procedures to assure that pedestrians are considered when new roads are built and existing roads are fixed. While there has been some work towards this on a community-by-community basis, New York recognizes the need for a statewide initiative. For this reason, AARP New York conducted a complete streets survey to analyze the safety and quality of intersections, crosswalks, and sidewalks throughout the state. Based on the survey results, 47 percent of intersections and sidewalks were rated fair, 27 percent were good, and 24 percent were poor.
Safe and accessible streets are essential to improving the livability of communities for all residents, and especially for older adults. In order to determine the quality of the streets and sidewalks in New York, AARP NY surveyed 530 intersections, crosswalks, and sidewalks around New York City and in more than 30 counties around the state. Results from the survey concluded that push-to-walk crossing signals were not always working properly, crosswalks were frequently missing or poorly marked, handicap ramps were often missing or improperly installed, crossing times were not always long enough, sidewalks were frequently cracked, broken or blocked, and drivers were often caught speeding, failing to yield, and failing to obey traffic signals.
Other key survey findings include:
- Intersections across the state received the lowest overall rating, with 40 percent being poor.
- Comfort and appeal of the streets, which was evaluated based on trees, shelters, benches, graffiti and litter, received the best rating, with 39 percent being good and 40 percent being fair.
How to Use
Local officials or planners interested in determining the dangers pedestrians face when walking on the streets in their community can use the survey as a guide for developing and implementing their own “Complete Streets Walk.”