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Eyes on the Street: Safer Crossings on Broadway and Seaman Avenue in Inwood

12:36 PM EDT on August 30, 2017

A sidewalk extension, temporarily demarcated with paint and flex posts, provides a shorter, more direct crossing on Broadway at Isham and W. 211th streets, where the A train connects with several bus lines. Photos: Brad Aaron

DOT has just about wrapped up a couple of Inwood street improvements, including one that brings clarity to a Broadway subway-bus connection.

The A train's northernmost station is on Broadway at Isham and W. 211th streets, where the Bx12 Select Bus, Bx7, Bx20, and M100 also have stops. The three streets converge at a five-spoke intersection with long crosswalks that forced people crossing the street to watch for motor vehicle traffic in several directions at once.

Images: DOT
Broadway at Isham and W. 211th streets, before and after. Images: DOT
Images: DOT

DOT recently started work on a 2016 plan to extend the sidewalk on the east side of the intersection. The updated design, implemented with paint and flex posts, shortens a crosswalk on the intersection’s north side, giving pedestrians a much more direct path across Broadway.

bway-211-1
Motorized traffic on W. 211th Street is now channeled northward, eliminating left turns and conflicts with people crossing Broadway.
Motorized traffic on W. 211th Street is now channeled northward, eliminating left turns and conflicts with people crossing Broadway.

Motorized traffic on W. 211th Street was converted to one-way westbound, and the sidewalk extension funnels motorists to Broadway's northbound lanes, so pedestrians don't have to look for drivers making a left onto Broadway from 211th.

Fresh stripes replace an unmarked crosswalk on Seaman Avenue at W. 214th Street, between Inwood Hill Park and Isham Park.
Fresh stripes alert drivers to what used to be an unmarked crosswalk on Seaman Avenue at W. 214th Street, between Inwood Hill Park and Isham Park.
Fresh stripes replace an unmarked crosswalk on Seaman Avenue at W. 214th Street, between Inwood Hill Park and Isham Park.

A couple of blocks to the west and north, DOT upgraded an unmarked crosswalk with paint on Seaman Avenue at W. 214th Street, between Inwood Hill and Isham parks. The paint cues drivers on Seaman to the presence of people crossing (though motorists with disability permits may still legally block the curb ramp on Seaman's east side).

The projects are not quite complete. DOT says the Broadway sidewalk extension will be made permanent with concrete when "in-house construction crews have capacity."

Sigh.
Sigh.
Sigh.

Also, DOT eliminated a parking space on the east side of Seaman to daylight the crosswalk. But as of Monday the paint job was only partway complete because the space was obstructed by -- you guessed it -- a parked vehicle.

We asked DOT how it is that parked cars aren't kept out of the way of street marking crews. A spokesperson sent this statement:

Installations are usually done during alternate side parking, or crews hang “No Parking” signs to achieve an unobstructed work area. DOT will address this location with additional signage and/or barrels.

DOT told Streetsblog the markings will be finished "over the next few weeks."

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