(NEW YORK) — New York City is set to install more than 1,500 new permanent bollards in Times Square and other public spaces around the city to help protect pedestrians, the mayor announced Tuesday.
The metal barriers will be placed in heavily-populated streets and sidewalks to counter the threat of car-ramming terror attacks and car accidents.
“These bollards will make sure vehicles can never come into places where pedestrians are,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference.
“These are some of the busiest streets in the world,” he said. “People have to get around, but they also have to be safe.”
The announcement comes after two deadly attacks using vehicles in Manhattan last year.
In May, a motorist who was allegedly under the influence of drugs plowed his vehicle into a crowded Times Square sidewalk, killing an 18-year-old woman.
On Halloween, an alleged ISIS sympathizer drove a rental truck into a crowd on a lower Manhattan bike path, killing eight people.
“When a vehicle plows into a group of innocent pedestrians, it’s disgusting,” the mayor said.
“Sometimes we’ve seen tragedies that were not based on an attack — cars just spun out of control or reckless drivers,” de Blasio added. “We want to make sure in some of the most heavily traveled areas of the city that those bollards protect against those kinds of tragedies as well.”
The city conducted a review of locations, including business corridors, tourist attractions and iconic sites, identifying 10 key locations to be addressed with permanent fixtures. Most of these locations are currently protected with temporary security structures.
The initiative, which is expected to cost $50 million, is set to start later this month. The first bollards will be temporary, followed by the permanent installation beginning in March.
The complete roll-out of these permanent structures will be completed over the next few years.
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