To ensure the safety of pedestrians from vehicle-mounted attacks carried out by terrorists, New York City plans to install 1500 Barriers at the cost of nearly $50 million. Temporary barriers that are already in place will remain, and the new ones will be installed by March.

Sky News reports that Bill de Blasio, the Mayor of the city, has said that many people resort to different methods with the intention of causing harm to the New Yorkers. Hence, keeping in mind the safety of pedestrians and tourists, the barriers will be installed so that the city is safe from future terrorist attacks.

The sensitive spots are in the subways, on the bike paths and even in Times Square

The need for barriers

After examining various places in New York City that could be targeted by lone wolf elements to carry out terrorist attacks, the authorities have identified 10 locations. These are predominantly business corridors, tourist attractions, and iconic sites. The barriers would be put up at these places to earmark restricted areas. This is expected to streamline all forms of traffic like a vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrians.

The city has already faced two such incidents. The first one was in May when a man, presumably on drugs, drove erratically injuring people on the way and killed one of them. Subsequently, in October, it was a terrorist attack.

The lone wolf operator selected a cycle path near the World Trade Center and drove his vehicle into the crowd. He killed eight people before being shot dead by the police.

Vehicle attacks in other places

The Herald Sun adds that a recent report by the US Transportation Security Administration reveals that in the period from 2014 through 2017, terrorists had conducted as many as 17 known vehicle ramming attacks all over the world.

The number of people killed in such terrorist attacks was 173 and another 667 suffered injuries. The attack in Nice on Bastille Day in July 2016 was the worst – it killed 86 innocent pedestrians and left 434 injured. Truck owners and rental agencies in the United States have been cautioned to be vigilant about the theft of vehicles which could be converted into killing machines by the terrorists.

The London Bridge attack of June last year was a bit different. It was not a lone wolf attack but involved three ISIS jihadists in fake suicide vests. The Sun UK reported that eight people lost their lives in the attack that left upwards of 45 injured. The terrorists plowed into people on the bridge and slashed at them with knives.

Under the circumstances, the decision of New York City to install barriers at select locations is an idea that other cities could emulate to ensure safety for innocent people.