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Eyes on the Street

Eyes on the Street: Negotiating Lafayette and Broome Sans Traffic Controls

4:37 PM EST on March 2, 2011

The corner of Lafayette and Broome this afternoon, looking west from the northeast corner.
The corner of Lafayette and Broome this afternoon, looking west from the northeast corner.

Some utility work apparently knocked out the traffic controls at the intersection of Lafayette and Broome this afternoon. No traffic signals, no pedestrian signals, no traffic agent telling people what to do. I had to stop and watch for a few minutes.

There's a lot of bridge- and tunnel-bound traffic here, and vehicles turning onto Broome from Lafayette come into conflict with pedestrians nearly every light cycle. There were no light cycles this afternoon, and if anything, the intersection seemed to work better than it normally does. It helped that gaps in traffic opened up because of the upstream traffic signals, but by and large, people had to negotiate using eye contact and other cues, shared space-style.

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