Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
DOT

CB 2 Committee Signs Off on Slate of SoHo Pedestrian Improvements

Image: NYC DOT

The transportation committee of Manhattan Community Board 2 this week unanimously recommended that DOT implement two projects that would bring a menu of pedestrian safety improvements to SoHo, including a number of intersections near the Holland Tunnel.

At the intersection of Canal Street and Hudson Street, DOT plans to add median islands and bump-outs to reduce driver-pedestrian conflicts and shorten crossing distances. An unused triangle of asphalt on the north side of the intersection would be converted into a new pedestrian space, demarcated by a gravel surface and planters, for safer passage. A new crosswalk would be added across the eastbound tunnel entrance, reflecting a current pedestrian desire line.

Image: NYC DOT

One block east, under-used roadway on Varick Street between Broome and Watts Streets would be repurposed for pedestrians. The new space would be accompanied by a new crosswalk across the south side of Varick and Broome, offering an alternative to crossing at the tunnel entrance. A crossing on the west side of Varick and Broome would be divided into two shorter crosswalk spans, separated by a new neckdown, to decrease the amount of time pedestrians are in the path of tunnel-bound drivers. To the south, crossing distances would also be shortened at Varick and Watts.

A new pedestrian island on Canal would slow drivers turning left from Sixth Avenue. Along with new traffic lane markings, a new crosswalk would be added on the west side of the intersection of Canal and Greenwich Streets. Check out complete plans in this PDF.

Image: NYC DOT

With proximity to subways and a variety of restaurants and retail, the intersection of Seventh Avenue, Bleecker Street and Barrow Street sees heavy volumes of pedestrian traffic. Long crosswalks and drivers impatient to turn contributed to 48 injuries between 2006 and 2010, with 21 pedestrians hurt, according to DOT. Of the pedestrian-involved collisions, 53 percent -- twice the borough-wide average -- occurred when the pedestrian had the walk signal.

To make conditions more hospitable [PDF], epoxy-and-gravel neckdowns on Seventh would shorten the crossing distance by 27 feet at the intersection's south side. New markings and delineators would reduce turning speeds and make it more difficult for drivers to double up on turns from Seventh to Bleecker and Barrow.

Image: NYC DOT

"Both [projects] were passed unanimously and the committee was very receptive to DOT's plans," says former CB 2 member Ian Dutton. "If anything, the committee was interested if more could be done to make pedestrians even safer and more comfortable, particularly in the Bleecker-7th Avenue plan, but there really weren't too many specific suggestions that we could come up with to make the plans more ped-friendly."

The projects now go to the full board, which will meet next Thursday, June 21.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Small East Bronx Open Street Shows Big Potential

An open street on less than a block of Williamsbridge is one of just two in the entire East Bronx.

May 24, 2024

RIDE ON: E-Bikes are the Key to Sustainable Bike Share

E-bikes are “a big game changer for the shared bike industry," one expert said. Here's why.

May 24, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Confirmation Consternation Edition

Life's a riot with Adams vs. Adams. Plus more news.

May 24, 2024

‘Late’ Island Rail Road: LIRR On-Time Stats Obscure Rider Fury at Thousands of Blown Connections

Late trains leave riders little time to make connections scheduled as tight as 4 minutes apart.

May 24, 2024

Pickup Truck Driver Kills Cyclist in Sunset Park But is Not Charged

The driver was not charged, police said, even though the official narrative clearly indicates that he turned into the cyclist.

May 23, 2024
See all posts