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NYC DOT acts to reduce dangers of left turns

By the end of summer, city officials said there will be new left-turn designs at the 100 intersections with the most injuries and fatalities.

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New York City’s Department of Transportation announced it is taking action citywide to help reduce the dangers of cars making left turns, which a new study found to be three times as dangerous as right turns.

The study, titled “Don’t Cut Corners,” evaluated 1,105 crash reports from 2009 to 2013 and found that 19 percent of all pedestrians or bicyclists killed or severely injured by moving vehicles were struck by left-turning cars while right-turning cars comparatively caused 6 percent of all deaths or injuries, Gothamist reported. The study also found that left-turn restrictions could reduce injuries by 41 percent.

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Officials discussed the study’s findings on Wednesday at the corner of Kenmare and Lafayette streets in SoHo, a spot that has drawn attention because of a short film made by Lucas Maxwell, a fourth-grader who crosses the intersection on his way to school every day, the New York Daily News reported.

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"Lucas identified a key goal of Vision Zero – the need to protect pedestrians and cyclists when vehicles are turning left," Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg was quoted by the Daily News.

Authorities have implemented new safety improvements to that intersection, including a 12-second lead time for pedestrians, replacing a green light with a flashing yellow light and a delineator between the left and right lanes on Kenmare Street, Gothamist stated.

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By the end of summer, city officials said there will be new left-turn designs at the 100 intersections with the most injuries and fatalities, Gothamist added. The plan, currently halfway completed, focuses on intersections in order of severity, the majority of which are in Manhattan.

 
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