Safety Fixes Slated for One of Manhattan’s Most Dangerous Intersections

Extended pedestrian areas and shorter, more direct crosswalks will make walking safer at the intersection of Broadway, Amsterdam, and 71st Street. Image: NYCDOT

The long history of violent traffic crashes where Broadway, Amsterdam and 71st Street converge is about to take a turn for the better. This intersection was the site of 19 pedestrian and cyclist injuries between 2004 and 2008. Earlier this summer, in the course of a few hours, two people were injured in separate crashes while walking in this area.

Last night, NYCDOT’s Hillary Poole presented a safety plan to Manhattan Community Board 7 that will expand space for walking, shorten crosswalks, and give pedestrians more direct routes. We weren’t able to attend the meeting, but you can check out the presentation online [PDF].

Sidewalks will be expanded at seven locations. Crosswalks will be added and in some cases shifted to make pedestrian crossings shorter. To clear room for sidewalk space, one moving lane will be removed on Broadway between 72nd and 71st, and on Amsterdam between 71st and 70th. DOT plans to finish the design work this fall and build out the improvements by late next year.

Committee member Ken Coughlin tells us the plan was generally well-received by CB 7 members and the 30 or so people in attendance. “I think the committee sees the need for it and approves of it,” he said.

Coughlin also shared some good news about the Columbus Avenue protected bike lane. DOT originally planned to install only a handful of pedestrian refuges for the project but now intends to add 28 refuges along the 20-block bikeway between 96th and 77th Street. Some of them will be big enough to accommodate tree pits. The first refuges are going in north of 86th Street right now, Coughlin reports, and the rest of the bikeway construction will get going after a paving project on Columbus south of 86th wraps up.

After the jump, see what a big difference the Broadway/Amsterdam/71st Street intersection re-design is going to make…

Heres the intersection now, looking north from Broadway.
Here's the intersection now, looking north from Broadway.
Image: NYC DOT
And here's the plan that DOT's Hillary Poole presented last night. Image: NYC DOT