Eyes on the Street: Safer Crossing Shaping Up at Broadway and Sherman

Drivers must make slower turns from Broadway onto Sherman Avenue after DOT eliminated a slip lane, now covered with epoxy, in the foreground. Photo: Brad Aaron
Drivers must make slower turns from Broadway onto Sherman Avenue after DOT eliminated a slip lane, now covered with epoxy, in the foreground. Photo: Brad Aaron

Earlier this year DOT put Inwood’s Sherman Avenue on a road diet, reducing the number of lanes for motor vehicles and adding bike lanes along the length of the street, from Broadway to 10th Avenue. That plan included a redesign of the intersection of Sherman at Broadway that now looks close to complete.

The most significant change is at the southeast corner. There, DOT converted a slip lane into pedestrian space using epoxy and gravel. Before, people trying to get to and from Broadway on the south side of Sherman had to cross both the slip lane and Elwood Street, which intersects Sherman a few feet east of Broadway. Now the slip lane crossing is gone, and drivers have a tighter right turn from Broadway onto Sherman, forcing them to slow down.

DOT also reversed the flow of traffic on Elwood from southward to northward, so people crossing the street don’t have to look over their shoulders for turning drivers.

The Broadway-Sherman slip lane before the redesign. Image: Google Maps
The Broadway-Sherman slip lane before the redesign. Image: Google Maps

The road diet created space for a concrete center island on Sherman, and DOT enlarged an existing concrete triangle island at the northeast corner of the intersection, further reducing crossing distances.

As of this morning the gravel epoxy surface covering the slip lane was in place, as was the raised center median, which will get two plantings. The triangle island was still surrounded by construction barrels, but there was fresh concrete and it appeared crews had also freshened up the tree pit.

There were seven serious injuries and two fatalities on Sherman Avenue from 2009 to 2013, according to DOT.

Image: DOT
Image: DOT
A concrete island and an enlarged triangle island shorten crossing distances on Sherman. Photo: Brad Aaron
A new concrete island and an enlarged triangle island shorten crossing distances on Sherman. Photo: Brad Aaron
  • AnoNYC

    This is great. Nice to see the traffic calmed along this corridor.

    WaHi/Inwood would benefit tremendously from a residential parking permit program, MoveNY, and variable metered parking. The parking situation as it exist currently is terrible. The population density is extremely high and too large a percentage of people drive considering the space available (even if they are only a minority of the pop). The city really needs to focus on reducing driving in this section of Manhattan.

  • J

    Great project! Happy to see excess travel lanes being removed. This is the type of thing that will get us to Vision Zero. Next up, remove the right turn slip lane as well. Slip lanes encourage speeding and discourage yielding. Not sure why they only removed one of the two slip lanes as part of this project.

  • Matthias

    This is great for safety and aesthetics–I’m happy to see trees included in the islands. Too many of these improvements just add bare concrete.

  • st4rchy

    This is one of my favorite DOT redesigns. This deathtrap slip lane was a daily risk to life and limb for me, a cyclist riding north through this intersection on Broadway, white knuckling it, signaling for all I was worth, and hoping hard that the driver behind me cared enough about my safety not to flatten me against the pavement to get into the slip lane.

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