Manhattan CB 7 to DOT: Make Broadway a Safe Neighborhood Street Instead of a Speedway

Drivers have seriously injured more than 600 people on Broadway between 59th Street and 110th Street in the last five years.

Broadway at West 88th Street. Photo: Google Maps
Broadway at West 88th Street. Photo: Google Maps

Manhattan Community Board 7 is calling on DOT to improve safety on the Upper West Side’s most dangerous street.

Broadway feels like a highway where it cuts through one of the most densely populated neighborhoods in the city. Over the past five years, drivers have seriously injured more than 600 people between 59th Street and 110th Street, according to data compiled by CB 7. City data shows 10 people have been killed in traffic on Broadway since 2012.

While there are “malls” in the median, they’re designed in a way that speeds traffic, with raised concrete walls that make Broadway feel like a pair of one-way speed tracks instead of a neighborhood street.

Earlier this year, CB 7 organized a “Broadway Task Force,” which met over the course of a few months to prepare an official request for DOT to address traffic safety concerns.

On Tuesday, CB 7 endorsed a resolution written by the task force calling on DOT to put forward a proposal that “incorporates the best practices of modern street design that ensures safety for all users,” with the explicit goal of reducing injuries and deaths by at least half.

The resolution further asks that DOT, “[create] a vibrant and attractive street that safely and efficiently serves the needs of all neighborhood users including the elderly, children, residents, tourists, restaurants, stores and other businesses.”

Broadway has the kind of high-speed design that shouldn’t exist in a Vision Zero city. Now it’s up to DOT to come up with a plan.

  • walks bikes drives

    The malls have the high concrete sides because they hold in the soil that supports the greenery inside. Since the 1,2,3 run underneath it, and fairly shallowly, they need to be raised to have them planted with trees. As a cyclist, I avoid Broadway because of all the double parked trucks making it trecherous. As a driver, I avoid it for the same reason. As a pedestrian, this trucks block my view of oncoming traffic. Hmm, how could we make it safer…? Well, my idea, to make it a complete street: protected bike lane on the left side. No left turns from Broadway except at the main intersections with dedicated turn signals. Full block commercial loading zones every other block, alternating sides. Right side bus lane 24/7.

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    Also I’m not sure that high walls immediately adjacent to the lane make people drive faster than if there were a lower curb or setback from the lane. It’s sort of a highway style, but only in the style of New York highways – on the 85mph interstates common elsewhere there tends to be an open shoulder on both sides.

  • J

    Any mention of bicycle facilities? By taking a lane, you could easily add protected bike lanes, similar to what is planned for 4th Ave in Brooklyn.

  • Vooch

    time to consider pedestrian zone for all of broadway

    a amusing video take on the evils of pedestrian zones


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