DOT Proposes Road Diets for Two Uptown Avenues

Two dangerous uptown avenues could get road diets and bike lanes this summer under a DOT plan presented to the Manhattan Community Board 12 transportation committee on Monday [PDF]. A plan for Sherman Avenue received the committee’s support, while a design for St. Nicholas Avenue is headed for at least one more month of review.

Map: DOT [PDF]
The CB 12 transportation committee backs a plan for Sherman Avenue but wants more time to consider an identical proposal for St. Nicholas Avenue. Map: DOT [PDF]
There were 25 serious injuries on the 1.2 miles of St. Nicholas Avenue between 169th and 193rd streets from 2009 to 2013, according to DOT, putting it in the most dangerous third of Manhattan streets. Five intersections — at 175th, 177th, 178th, 181st, and 185th streets — are more dangerous than 90 percent of the borough’s intersections.

On Sherman, there were seven serious injuries and two fatalities from 2009 to 2013, according to DOT. Two of its intersections, at Academy and Dyckman streets, ranked in the top 10 percent of Manhattan’s most dangerous intersections.

Sherman and St. Nicholas are both 60 feet wide. Each would receive a road diet replacing two car lanes in each direction with one car lane plus a center turn lane and a striped bike lane. CB 12 had asked for bike lanes in the area in 2012. The projects do not include concrete pedestrian islands, though DOT says they could be added at a later date.

The biggest changes would come to the intersection of Sherman Avenue and Broadway, where the slip lane from northbound Broadway onto Sherman would be replaced by an super-sized curb extension that forces drivers to slow down when turning (see below). A median pedestrian island would be added on Sherman, and an existing triangle island on the north side of the intersection would be enlarged. DOT says pedestrian crossing distances will be shortened by 38 percent, from 118 to 73 feet.

“People didn’t really have issues with the proposal for Sherman,” said Liz Ritter, who attended the meeting and sits on the board but not the transportation committee. “It looks like that’s totally going to work out.”

The plan for St. Nicholas Avenue, which connects with additional bike lanes planned south of 170th Street, covers a larger area. The committee only began to discuss it late in the evening after considering a street co-naming for former Mayor David Dinkins. Board members also had questions about double parking on St. Nicholas, and DOT said it would look into studying additional commercial loading zones, Ritter said. The board ultimately decided to revisit the St. Nicholas proposal at its next meeting, scheduled for June 1.

Image: DOT [PDF]
At Sherman Avenue and Broadway, a high-speed turn lane is being replaced with a sidewalk and a new pedestrian island is being added. Image: DOT [PDF]
“It’s not that people were opposed to it or in favor of it,” Ritter said. “People just didn’t feel comfortable making that drastic a change without taking some more time and giving people a chance to give feedback.”

The projects are scheduled to be implemented this summer, according to DOT’s presentation. “By the time kids go back to school in the fall, this will be done,” Ritter said.

While the committee punted on St. Nicholas Avenue, it did advance a resolution in support of the Sherman Avenue plan. It now goes before the full board on May 26 at 7 p.m. at the Russ Berrie Pavilion, 1150 St. Nicholas Avenue.

  • Jonathan R

    Looking forward to this, but hoping that the bike lanes will not be clogged with double-parked motor vehicles. Same as with every similar project.

  • No pedestrian islands. Bikes get a skinny, unprotected and unbuffered “dooring” lane. Meanwhile, the motorist lanes get wider by one foot. Sounding familiar to anyone?

  • J

    DOuble parking is a problem before the project. DOT project does nothing to address double parking, then is shocked when new bike lanes are clogged with double parked cars. (facepalm)

  • BBnet3000

    There’s no evidence that they look at them after install in order to be shocked at how they actually function. They’re like abandoned children.

    There’s a block near me where the line between the parked cars and the bike lane is discontinuous because they couldn’t even get the cars to park out of the way when they painted it. The following block has no markings whatsoever despite being a blue line on the increasingly useless bike map.

  • mrtuffguy

    Based on the section motorist lanes get narrower by 9 feet (in each direction).

  • Wilfried84

    Do I remember correctly? Isn’t there a giant bulbout at Broadway and Sherman already, eliminating that slip lane? I only ride that way in the winter, so it’s been a few months.

    Double parking on St. Nicholas is endemic, but on Sherman it’s epidemic. The bike lane is often blocked for entire blocks, and the only place to ride is in the lane, or on the median.

  • Brad Aaron

    The Sherman slip lane was reclaimed last fall, after this story was published.

    http://www.streetsblog.org/2015/11/23/eyes-on-the-street-safer-crossing-shaping-up-at-broadway-and-sherman/

  • Jonathan R

    Yes. The August 2016 ground truth is what’s shown in the “proposed” pic above. Unfortunately the northbound slip lane still exists.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

CB 12 Committee Backs Road Diet, Bike Lanes on St. Nicholas Ave

|
A DOT proposal for a road diet and bike lanes St. Nicholas Avenue in Washington Heights got a vote of support last night from the Manhattan Community Board 12 transportation committee. The project could get striped next spring. The bike lanes will connect with newly-installed bike lanes near the High Bridge in Washington Heights, and to a […]

Empire Boulevard Reconstruction Will Create Two Plazas

|
Dangerous intersections at each end of Empire Boulevard, which stretches east-west across the southern edge of Crown Heights, are set for some major new pedestrian space. A street reconstruction project will reconfigure the area where Empire Boulevard, East New York Avenue, Remsen Avenue, and Utica Avenue converge. There, DOT will reroute traffic, creating a new pedestrian plaza. Similar changes […]

DOT Plans Safer St. Nick @ Amsterdam, With More Uptown Action to Come

|
Northbound cyclists on St. Nicholas at Amsterdam will have to negotiate a dogleg to reach the parking-protected lane. The southbound lane, at left, will be opposite a row of back-in angled parking. The speckled blue areas indicate new pedestrian space. At a Monday night meeting with the transportation committee of Manhattan Community Board 12, DOT […]