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Councilmen Ask Google To Create Map Option That Will Make Streets Safer

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Many people turn to Google for answers, and now two New York City Council members say the technology giant has the answer to making city streets safer.

As CBS2's Tracee Carrasco reported, members Brad Lander (D-39th) and Ydanis Rodriguez (D-10th) have asked Google maps to include an option for drivers to select a route with reduced left hand turns.

"It doesn't take any cement or new infrastructure, it doesn't take physical changes, it doesn't even take a new law, just a real simple idea to use technology to give people an option that can save lives," Lander said.

"They should be able to be directed to go to that place without making left turns as much as possible," Rodriguez added.

The councilmen believe the request falls in line with the city's Vision Zero plan to reduce the number of deaths on city streets.

According to the NYPD, so far this year there have been 62 pedestrian fatalities, and 5 bicyclist fatalities. The Department of Transportation's stats show that approximately 10 percent of all pedestrian fatalities in the last 18 months involve left turns.

"If you don't have that left arrow, you just have that green, that traffic is coming and your constantly watching the cars you really can't be watching for whether pedestrians are coming," Lander said.

Councilman Landers believes it could also save drivers time and gas money. Drivers were split on whether or not they'd go for it.

"No, because it's using the most accurate way to get you there," one man said.

"Yes I would definitely use it," another countered.

The two councilmen said Google hasn't gotten back to them just yet, and Google hasn't responded to CBS2's request for content.


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