The Syracuse Post-Standard reports that "Complete Streets Week: Making New York Walkable for All Generations", begins today. What is it? It is a volunteer-led survey of pedestrian safety throughout Central New York, focusing on walking conditions in downtown Syracuse. Volunteers will look at the adequacy of traffic signals in allowing people with disabilities to cross, whether crosswalks are properly marked, the condition of sidewalks and the legibility of signs. The survey will serve as raw material for a "walkability" report to be published this fall on walking conditions all over Central New York, and in other areas of New York State. The report will bolster legislation pending in Albany called the "Complete Streets" law, which would direct transportation planners to design roads, sidewalks and streets with pedestrians in mind. Sponsors of the project include city and county governments as well as AARP, with volunteers doing most of the leg-work.
This study will, we hope, get our State and local governments to focus on preventing pedestrian accidents, injuries and lawsuits by fixing and preventing sidewalk and crossing defects and dangers. With an aging population, and with more of us disabled, "walkable" cities are crucial for the future of Central New York. Shamefully, New York State ranked third nationwide for elderly pedestrian deaths last year. But walkable cities are equally important for parents with small children, with strollers, and for everyone.
The lawyers at Michaels & Smolak, as Central New York pedestrian injury lawyers, know first-hand how dangerous the sidewalks, crosswalks and intersections can be in Central New York, including in Syracuse, Auburn, Skaneateles and Geneva where we live and work. Every year we file Central New York pedestrian injury lawsuits on behalf of those who trip and fall on cracked or broken sidewalks, or are hit by cars in poorly controlled intersections and dangerous cross walks. Sometimes they trip and fall on a broken, cracked, or heaved up sidewalk slabs. Sometimes they get hit by cars as they attempt to cross at dangerous crosswalks or traffic intersections. Very often they are old, or disabled, or are children. Therefore, we applaud "Complete Streets Week: Making New York Walkable for All Generations", and all the volunteers who are making it a success!