It's all about the acronym.
LPI, that is. Leading Pedestrian Intervals.
If you don't know immediately what that is, think of those much appreciated few seconds of extra time you have as a pedestrian crossing NYC intersections before signals turn green for motorized traffic.
Those short-termed LPIs allow you to clear the vulnerable real estate used by cars, trucks and buses to turn right. Safety experts unanimously laud their effectiveness in reducing vehicle-pedestrian collisions, serious injuries and loss of life.
11 seconds. Empirical evidence strongly points to the material safety benefits conferred by those precious few ticks allowing walkers to get a jump on traffic.
Safety gurus now want to extend the same protection to the legions of metro bicyclists.
The need to do so is great. Reportedly, vehicles striking bikers at New York City intersections account for nearly 90% of all bikers' injuries, and nearly two-thirds of their deaths.
Officials think they can dramatically improve those numbers (and especially reduce dire outcomes realized when right-turning vehicles strike bicyclists) by installing LPI signals at city intersections. A recently introduced pilot now features the introduction of a whopping 2,547 LPIs at 50 problematic intersections across the various boroughs.
The pilot is slated to run through October. It will then be fully evaluated, with the possibility that every intersection across the metro could ultimately feature LPIs.
Comprehensive installation would be an impressive endeavor, given the approximately 13,000 intersections operative across the nation's largest city.
LPI advocates can hardly wait. They are convinced that relevant pilot data will firmly point to the safety-promoting qualities of LPIs.