Electeds Urge DOT to Make Safety Improvements PS 41 Parents Asked For

Elected officials, Community Board 2, and parents and staff at PS41 want a protected bike lane and shorter crossing distances on Seventh Avenue South. Is DOT listening?
Elected officials, Community Board 2, and parents and staff at PS41 want a protected bike lane and shorter crossing distances on Seventh Avenue South. Is DOT listening? Image: PDF

Local, state, and federal electeds are calling on DOT to make long-sought safety improvements in the West Village, including a protected bikeway on Seventh Avenue South.

In a June 30 letter to DOT, City Council Member Corey Johnson, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Assembly Member Deborah Glick, State Senator Brad Hoylman, and U.S. Representative Jerrold Nadler asked DOT to act on street safety resolutions passed by Community Board 2 in 2014.

One of those resolutions requested that DOT expand the West Village Slow Zone, installed in 2015, east from Seventh Avenue to Sixth Avenue, with north-south boundaries at W. 11th Street and W. Houston Street. The other called for a redesign of Seventh Avenue South from Canal Street to W. 14th Street, including a protected bike lane, shorter crosswalks, and more pedestrian space [PDF].

The campaign for Seventh Avenue improvements is spearheaded by parents and staff at PS 41, which is located on W. 11th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues.

“As children and their caregivers travel to and from the school, they are too often forced to navigate among speeding cars — conditions that have resulted in both actual hits and near misses,” the letter [PDF] reads. “The same school community would also benefit from a Complete Street redesign of Seventh Avenue, which has the potential to greatly improve pedestrian crossing times and reduce traffic collisions.”

DOT rejected the Slow Zone expansion two years ago. Rather than redraw the boundaries of the zone, which had yet to be installed at that point, DOT said locals should request a second Slow Zone abutting the first one. DOT routinely receives more Slow Zone applications than it can handle and the approval and implementation process can take years.

Seventh Avenue South cuts through the West Village street grid at an angle, and has many multi-legged intersections that see a lot of crashes. DOT made a few changes to the street last year, including a redesign where Seventh meets Christopher, West 4th, and Grove streets. At that time, Manhattan Borough Commissioner Margaret Forgione told DNAinfo DOT had “no plans” for further improvements.

“When the safety of children and seniors is involved, the City should spare no expense in enacting the highest standards of pedestrian safety, and we feel that the measures outlined in these resolutions would help achieve those standards,” reads the June 30 letter. “These measures would also benefit countless other pedestrians that frequent these streets, from seniors trying to access the Greenwich House Senior Center, to the thousands of residents, shoppers and tourists that walk these historic streets day and night.”

We’ve asked DOT for comment on the letter.

Seventh Avenue South has many multi-legged intersections that are dangerous to cross on foot. Images: PDF
Seventh Avenue South has many multi-legged intersections that are dangerous to cross on foot. Image: PDF

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