Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell announced the New York City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) redesign of West End Avenue from 72nd Street to 110th Street at a meeting sponsored by Council Member Helen Rosenthal and Community Board 7. The proposed redesigning is a result of the traffic fatalities on West End Avenue in recent months.
The plan includes the following measures designed to increase pedestrian safety:
1) West End Avenue from 72nd Street to 106th Street would become a three-lane road. It would comprise one north and one south lane, with a center turn lane, except at two problematic intersections – 95th Street and 97th Street – where there would be no left turn permitted and traffic safety islands would be installed.
2) There would be extra-wide parking lanes along West End Avenue to accommodate passenger and freight pick-ups and drop offs.
The idea behind the changes is that one lane in each direction, with a separate turn lane, avoids traffic flow disruptions. It also means that if the car in front of you is going slowly, you can’t speed up and pass them, encouraging everyone to abide by the speed limit.
In addition to these changes, DOT explained its decision to create “delayed green” lights that give pedestrians a head start crossing West End Avenue at both 95th and 97th Streets. It also discussed the change that bans left turns from 95th Street onto northbound West End Avenue from 7-9 AM.
Community Board 7 will be reviewing this plan at their Transportation Committee. Please check their website for more information.
The city has also developed a mechanism for reporting unsafe taxi drivers by calling 311. Please see The West Side Rag for details on how to report unsafe taxi drivers.