Brewer Asks Community Boards to Identify Dangerous Places for Walking

When it comes to street safety improvements, New York’s community boards are usually in a position where they react to proposals from NYC DOT. Now, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer could turn that dynamic on its head: She’s asked each board’s district manager to identify three traffic safety hotspots, saying that she’ll work with city agencies to make sure they’re addressed.

Photo: Camila Schaulsohn/AIA-NY
Photo: Camila Schaulsohn/AIA-NY

The issue tops the agenda at the monthly meeting Brewer will hold with community board district managers tomorrow evening.

“Citywide proposals such as lowering the speed limit will help, but a plan that will work has to be detailed and comprehensive. That means working with Community Boards and the Department of Transportation, as well as NYPD,” Brewer said in a press release. “I support Mayor de Blasio’s ‘Vision Zero’ plan and look forward to submitting a master list of these hotspots to his traffic task force.”

De Blasio has directed his Vision Zero task force to come up with a plan by February 15 outlining how to eliminate traffic fatalities within a decade.

Streetsblog has asked all 12 Manhattan district managers about locations they’ve identified for traffic safety improvements.

CB 11 manager George Sarkissian is hoping DOT will make improvements along the Park Avenue Metro-North viaduct, which has poor visibility for drivers and pedestrians, resulting in a history of deadly crashes. DOT has installed curb extensions at a few locations; Sarkissian said he hopes they can be added along the entire stretch of Park Avenue between 102nd and 111th Streets. Also of concern: Heavy car traffic accessing the 96th Street Transverse across Central Park and along Pleasant Avenue from 114th to 120th Streets heading to and from the big-box stores at East River Plaza.

In Upper Manhattan, CB 12 manager Ebenezer Smith says he has four locations for Brewer to consider: Audubon Avenue at 176th Street, site of a fatal hit-and-run last October, as well as the area’s many multi-leg, angled intersections, specifically: 168th and 169th Streets at Broadway and St. Nicholas Avenue, Broadway and Dyckman Street, and Post Avenue at 10th Avenue in Inwood.

“I have more. I started with eight,” Smith said. “But I narrowed to four.”

Other district managers have yet to reply. CB 1 District Manager Noah Pfefferblit said he did not yet have a final list but could make it available once he does. Only CB 5 District Manager Wally Rubin refused to release his district’s list to Streetsblog.

If you’d like to serve on a Manhattan community board, the deadline for applications is this Saturday.

  • Harriet A Robertson

    I am glad to see someone is keeping an eye on these risky locations and have plans in the works with safety in mind.

  • Mark Walker

    I wonder if some CBs are rejecting DOT proposals due to a not-invented-here mentality? If so, encouraging them to take the initiative might help. Kudos to Brewer for a great idea.

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