Transportation Alternatives released a new study in January that showed that the midtown pedestrian barricades and recessed crosswalks installed in 1997/1998 at 5th and 6th Avenues and 49th and 50th Streets encourage jay walking, do not improve pedestrian safety and do little to move traffic. T.A. recommends that the City restore corner crosswalks as well as Leading Pedestrian Intervals (a three second head start for pedestrians) during times when ThruStreet rules are not in effect.
In the spring of 2003, T.A. conducted detailed traffic and pedestrian counts at the intersection of 5th Avenue and 50th Street, where the barricades are installed, and, as a control, the intersection of 5th Avenue and 48th Street, which is un-barricaded. Analysis of the data showed that:
Given these findings, T.A. calls on the City to remove the pedestrian barricades at 50th and 49th Streets and 5th and 6th Avenue immediately, and install Leading Pedestrian Intervals. It is clear that these barricades are not working. In addition, the City DOT and the New York Police Department should extend a moratorium on installing any new pedestrian barricades until they have thoroughly studied the effects of the barricades on pedestrian behavior and safety and vehicle movement and congestion at each intersection where barricades are currently installed.