Disability Group Advocates, a nonprofit legal center in New York City, filed a lawsuit against the city for failing to provide safe crosswalk meters for visually impaired pedestrians. While other major cities such as Los Angeles, San Antonio and Seattle have made strides to improve public safety through upgrading old crosswalk meters to be accessible for all users, New York has failed to implement similar pedestrian safety improvements. In a city that requires its citizens to walk and use public transit, one would hope that making these basic improvements as street meters are replaced would be adopted.
This lawsuit comes at a time when Los Angeles has seen record legal payouts for unsafe streets, pedestrian crossings and other city legal battles. While vision zero and other citywide initiatives look to combat these collision hotspots for pedestrians and motorists alike, Los Angeles finds itself in a race against time to engineer solutions to problems that have been neglected for too long. Adding more lanes to Highways can only decrease traffic by so much and studies have shown that increasing the number of lanes on roads and highways only alleviates the problem temporarily, as the root of the issue has not been addressed. As more vision zero projects unfold, only time will tell if we can achieve our goal of zero traffic fatalities.