Where in the City is this?

Every so often I find little gems of street planning that I would love to see replicated elsewhere in the city. For instance, the other night I walked past this side street with bump outs at the crosswalk that give pedestrians more space and prevent automobiles from cutting corners too sharply.

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Can any name where in the city this is? Bonus points if anyone knows any history on why this street is so unlike anything near it.

  • AD

    89th & Columbus?

  • chris

    since the mid 1990s Seattle has put those in all over town. they really work. they’re even good for drivers, because with the bulb there it means there’s not a car, so you can see around the corner much better.

  • AD

    This is my favorite traffic calming device because it doesn’t simply slow cars down with a seemingly gratitous obstacle, it helps the pedestrian at the same time. These should be at every intersection.

  • AD – You are close on the first guess, but that’s not the exact location. Perhaps there is one there too?

    Bump-outs are perhaps the single easiest improvement to pedestrian safety that could be implemented around the city in a relatively short period of time.

  • The Lowly Pedestrian

    As I believe I know exactaly where this street is but don’t want to ruin the contest just yet, there is also a midblock spot with curb extensions. I have envied this street for many years. And also I find it ironic that these streets seem to be very, very old in design – they were done a l-o-n-g time ago.

  • This looks like 94th between and Columbus and CPW.

  • AD

    O.K. – I think I agree with Alex. Maybe this is what TLP knows as well? Glenn, when you finally tell us of the location, you have to go into some detail about the history of the street.

  • This specific photo is at 94th and Amsterdam. I do not know the specifics behind these, but I noticed them sometime ago and could find many others. Then I saw a comment in Curbed where a poster asked about what they were and got a response from a poster Frank in response to a city planner who correctly identified what they were, but not their construction date:

    you may be a city planner, but not a historian. Those traffic calmers on 94th street were installed by Mayor Lindsey in the late ’60s!!!

    So we are probably looking at traffic calmers from about 40 years ago that were never extended to other areas. Perhaps we should ask ex-DOT commissioner Constantine Sidamon-Eristoff ?

  • P

    I was going to guess Montreal…

  • JK

    There are tens, if not hundreds of “neckdowns” in NYC. Most of them are not accompanied by textured crosswalks or bollards, so are easily missed.

    Ironically, the ones pictured here, and the brick crosswalk, and midblock chokers, did not achieve what the community wanted — which was to reduce through traffic. Neckdowns reduce turning speeds and the crossing distance, which together reduces the number of pedestrians struck by turning vehicles — but not traffic volumes.

    To reduce through traffic in this part of the UPW, one-way streets were reversed in the lower 90’s and Amst. and around the Museum of Nat Hist, Col and 80’s.

    Fans of neckdowns and sidewalk extensions can find lots more at 46th St and Qns Blvd at the Sunnyside shopping area, or “Restaurant Row” 46th St between 8th and 9th Aves in Manhattan —among many other places.

    You guys should open your eyes. There are hundreds of traffic calmed locations in NYC.

  • I saw a bunch out in Jackson Heights around a train station/commercial area as well. I’m not saying they aren’t all over the place, but that it seems fairly inconsistently applied throughout the city. I have walked all over my neighborhood (Yorkville) and have found none.

    I agree these really don’t do much for traffic volume, but they do make it much safer for pedestrians.

    I haven’t been to Restaurant row in a long time. Too many tourists!

    Perhaps we should track down all the locations that people can find with them.

  • RS

    JK — “hundreds” out of how many thousands and thousands of intersections? And where is this storied traffic calming? How is it benefiting the majority of New Yorkers?

    Many of us DO have our eyes open — and what we’re seeing isn’t good. A few neckdowns don’t keep dozens of pedestrians and cyclists from being killed every year.

  • The Lowly Pedestrian

    There are “hundreds” as JK says. But how many of them are truly effective and do anything to affect traffic dramaticaly? That’s the real question – and some are miniscule neckdowns, not true neckdowns like the ones in the photo above.

    There are a couple in downtown Brooklyn at the corners of Atlantic and Court that do so little and are not accompanied by multiple measures or treatments on adjacent streets so they are hard to miss or be effective. There are neckdowns with temporary bollards at Bartel-Pritchard Square near Prospect Park which are a joke (I believe Aaron is going to post a story on these when he gets back from vacation.)

    There are pretty good ones at Mulry Square that T.A. fought for – oh, 10 years or so – to get installed. And the ones in Times Square, some of those when filled in will look work pretty well.

    There are hundreds, yup that is for certain! But not hundreds of good ones.