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NYC Pedestrians–Don’t Walk Here!

Crowd of anonymous people walking down the busy sidewalk on 23rd Street in Midtown Manhattan with bright sunlight shining between the background buildings of New York City

New York City has experienced an alarming uptick in pedestrian accidents affecting communities across five boroughs. The New York Post recently reported that 59 pedestrians in NYC were killed within the first quarter of 2022, a 44% increase from the previous year. These new statistics mark the highest rate of pedestrian fatalities that NYC has seen since 2014, the same year Mayor Bill de Blasio rolled out vision Zero.

Sadly, we know that New York City streets are chaotic, congested traps where even a minor error can lead vehicles barreling into crosswalks and sidewalks. Because we cannot predict the reckless driving behaviors of motorists on any given day, pedestrians must take every precaution on the road to protect themselves from becoming a victim. These precautions include avoiding walking in unsafe locations notorious for leading to accidents. Let’s take a look at a few.

Bike Lanes Spectrum News recently reported that NYC pedestrians are outraged with delivery bikes taking over the sidewalks, leaving little room for walking safely. However, pedestrians should not take this as a sign to use the bike lanes to walk instead. Bike lanes are created for bicycles only, and pedestrians can become severely injured when collisions occur.

Pedestrians struck by bicycles can sustain severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, bone fractures, soft tissues damage, and deep lacerations. Bicycle speeds range from 11mph to 25mph for avid and professional cyclists. Even if you just need to cut around someone on the sidewalk, pedestrians should avoid entering bike lanes at all costs.


We know there’s not a ton of room on the sidewalk these days, but pedestrians who walk along the curb are putting themselves at serious risk for accidents. Walking along the curb increases your chance of slipping, tripping, and falling onto busy roads. This increases your chance of accidents involving vehicle clipping or jumping curbs. Additionally, delivery drivers, taxis, and rideshare vehicles are constantly stopping short along NYC curbs along their routes and can strike you if they aren’t paying attention. Always try to walk as far from the road as possible.


It seems like a great idea to avoid foot traffic by walking along a center median, but this is a recipe for disaster. Medians are not designed for pedestrian traffic. In fact, they’re not designed for any type of traffic. Municipalities do not maintain these as walking paths, leaving unlevel surfaces that can cause pedestrians to fall into oncoming traffic or put them at risk of injuries when motor vehicle accidents occur along these stretches.


Crosswalks in NYC are supposed to protect pedestrians by signaling cars to stop. When pedestrians cross without a crossing signal or in the middle of a road where crosswalks do not exist, drivers can be caught off-guard with little time to stop or slow down. Regardless of how inconvenient a crosswalk is to your destination, never take the chance to cross a busy street

without a crosswalk. Distracted drivers are already having trouble stopping for pedestrians where they are supposed to cross. Do not test their attention by crossing where drivers are not expecting you.

Broken Sidewalks Sidewalks across NYC are in the worst shape after winter, splitting, cracking, and crumbling where concrete has shifted from ice and snow. Not only can broken sidewalks result in injuries from falls on the sidewalk itself but trying to avoid parts of broken sidewalks can result in pedestrians stumbling onto busy roads and bike lanes. Avoid and report routes to local municipalities that are damaged and dangerous for walking. If you must walk on a broken sidewalk, stay close to the buildings to avoid road hazards.

Pazer Epstein Jaffe Fein & Gozenput, P.C. Pedestrian Accident Attorneys

At the law firm of Pazer Epstein Jaffe Fein & Gozenput, P.C., we have been fighting for New York City accident victims for over 60 years. If you or a loved one has sustained a serious injury due to the negligence of another, our experienced trial attorneys are here to help.

Contact us for a free consultation via our online form or call 212-227-1212 to speak to one of our attorneys for a free case evaluation.

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