NEW YORK (PIX11) – The New York City Department of Transportation plans to implement safety improvements at the intersections around the city with the highest rate of crashes between vehicles and older pedestrians.

Intersections are the leading site of pedestrian injuries and fatalities in New York City, according to the DOT. New Yorkers aged 65 and older make up 15% of the city’s population, but they account for more than 45% of pedestrian fatalities, according to a study from the city.

“The release of the [DOT’s] ‘Pedestrian Safety and Older New Yorkers’ Study makes plain what many in our communities already know: our streets are neither safe nor accessible for many of our neighbors, particularly older New Yorkers,” NYC Council Aging Committee Chair Crystal Hudson said in a statement.

The study analyzed key factors that have contributed to older New Yorkers getting hit, also identifying “Senior Pedestrian Zones” throughout the city, the areas with the highest number of injuries among older pedestrians. These Senior Pedestrian Zones cover about 30% of citywide older adult fatalities and severe injuries but comprise only 13% of the city’s square mileage.

“The study’s findings put forth tangible solutions that will not only make New York more walkable for older adults, but will ultimately serve as a big step forward in our fight against traffic violence across the five boroughs to keep both pedestrians and cyclists safe,” Hudson said.

Among the major changes, the DOT will install “turn calming treatments” at 50 intersections each year in Senior Pedestrian Zones. Turn calming treatments are additions to the road that help reduce vehicle speeds at left and right turns and enforce safe turning behavior. Drivers failing to yield at left turns are nearly twice as deadly for older adults than for younger adults, and these types of accidents account for 35% of fatalities among older pedestrians, according to the DOT.

The DOT will also extend pedestrian head starts — known as Leading Pedestrian Intervals — during mid-day in Senior Pedestrian Zones. Signals at intersections show walk signs for pedestrians before showing a green light to vehicles, giving pedestrians a chance to begin crossing the street before cars turn into the crosswalk.

“Older New Yorkers are disproportionately affected by traffic violence and the City of New York must do everything in its power to protect them on our streets,” Transportation Alternatives Executive Director Danny Harris said in a statement. “The safety improvements announced by DOT today will help save lives and must be paired with comprehensive street redesigns — the gold standard for reaching Vision Zero.”

The DOT will work on implementing these improvements and other safety measures through 2024.

In January, New York City officials committed to making safety design improvements to 1,000 intersections with improved traffic signals, raised crosswalks and other expanded pedestrian space and visibility measures.