Deadly Times Square crash leads to call for safety upgrades to pedestrian-occupied areas

A New York City Council member joined transportation advocates on Friday to demand major safety upgrades to Times Square and other high-traffic areas occupied by pedestrians following Thursday’s deadly crash. 

Manhattan Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, chairman of the transportation committee, addressed safety concerns and possible updates to areas “vulnerable to terrorist attacks or drunk drivers” during a Times Square news conference Friday morning. 

Speaking at 45th Street and Broadway, Rodriguez said the out-of-control driver who caused chaos in Times Square was stopped by metal posts known as bollards, likely saving countless lives, and he is now calling for new metal bollards to fortify pedestrian plazas.

“Be it a terrorist, a reckless or drunk driver or even someone who loses control at the wrong moment, many of our sidewalks remain terribly vulnerable to the type of tragedy we witnessed in Times Square [Thursday],” the councilman said. “To save more lives on our streets, we need to enhance safety measures that have already proven successful, such as the metal bollards that likely saved lives.”

Rodriguez was joined by state Sen. Brad Hoylman and Paul Steely White, executive director of transportation alternatives, who said the fatal crash “shows how desperate the need is” for protected, car-free pedestrian zones in the city.

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