The need for defensive urban design to protect people from auto-pedestrian injuries and fatalities has gotten extra attention in the past year because of terror attacks involving motor vehicles in England, Germany and France by people driving vehicles into crowds.
Times Square Car Attack
The deadly rampage which ensued last week in Times Square, New York City was a tragic attack leaving 1 dead and 22 injured. It was a terrifying ordeal for all of those involved, but it could have been much worse were it not for the protective bollards that the city had installed just last year. These protective bollards come equipped with locks which firefighters and other emergency personnel can undo so they may have access in case of an emergency.
According to this article from Fox News, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said police officials are “evaluating” whether new security measures, including the installation of more bollards, are necessary.”
Protecting Populated Pedestrian Areas from Distracted Drivers
Though Richard Rojas’ deadly rampage it was an intentional act of terror, there are many other reasons to protect populated public areas from motor vehicles with bollards, islands, walls, etc.. Many of these plazas co-exist right next to busy streets and are vulnerable to car accidents caused by distracted drivers.
Perhaps we need more protective barriers around areas of congregation, such as outside sports arenas and schools, and even along some of our popular attractions right here in downtown New Bedford and along the waterfront. Sometimes it takes a tragic story like the deadly Times Square incident to inspire other cities to take another look at how our citizens are protected from future harm.