Jan. 3 (UPI) — New York City plans to install permanent security bollards in Times Square and other public areas to protect pedestrians, the mayor announced Tuesday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city will spend $50 million to install 1,500 permanent protective metal barriers near heavily populated streets and sidewalks to protect pedestrians from car-ramming terror attacks and car crashes.
“In 2017, New Yorkers witnessed the horrible capacity of people willing to do us harm, whether it was in our subways, on our bike paths or in Times Square,” de Blasio said. “But we will not be cowed, and our expanded investment today in barriers and bollards in our public spaces underscores our resolve in keeping New York City safe from future attacks. In this new year, we can and will protect our iconic public spaces while New Yorkers go on living our lives, including by hosting a record number of tourists.”
One person was killed and 12 more were injured in May of last year when a man drove a vehicle into pedestrians in Times Square. Months later eight people were killed and 11 were injured when a man drove a rented Home Depot pickup truck onto a bike path along West Side Highway on Halloween.
The city identified 10 key locations that will receive permanent fixtures after conducting a review of locations, including business corridors, tourist attractions and iconic sites.
“These are some of the busiest streets in the world,” the mayor said. “People have to get around, but they also have to be safe.”
The initiative is set to begin later this month when temporary bollards will be installed, and permanent installations will begin in March and continue through the next few years.