The Community Board 7 transportation committee last night unanimously endorsed the DOT proposal to improve pedestrian safety on West End Avenue, where drivers have killed two pedestrians this year.
The plan would convert the street from four through lanes to two, with a flush center median, left turn bays, and pedestrian islands at the intersections where Jean Chambers and Cooper Stock were struck.
The plan presented last night was expanded, according to TA’s Tom DeVito, with pedestrian islands at more intersections. We’ll have specifics in a future post.
No bike lanes are included in the proposal, leaving a lot of street design experts scratching their heads, wondering what happened to the bike-friendly NYC DOT. Cyclists would be left to jockey among moving and double-parked vehicles in a 13-foot lane designated for parking and loading. With bike-share set for a possible expansion uptown, former DOT policy director Jon Orcutt tweeted yesterday that the lack of bike lanes could be a “missed opportunity.”
State Senator Adriano Espaillat and former City Council Member Robert Jackson attended to voice support for the plan. (Jackson is currently challenging Espaillat for his senate seat.) Espaillat said he would like DOT to implement safety measures on Amsterdam Avenue as well. Last December CB 7 asked DOT to study a protected bike lane on Amsterdam. DOT recently said the agency would present its findings soon.
The next CB 7 full board meeting is set for September 2.