City Outlines Safety Improvements Near Manhattan Bridge
On Tuesday evening, the city’s Department of Transportation went before Community Board 3’s transportation committee to outline their plan to make the area around the Manhattan Bridge less treacherous. Dan Wagner, DOT project manager, noted that there are “astronomically high” accident numbers near the bridge entrance and surrounding streets. “It’s a dangerous place and we’re trying to fix it,” he said.
In a slide show presentation, Wagner ran through the accident data, explaining that there have been 16 pedestrian injuries since 2009, as well as 8 bicycle injuries and 157 injuries involving the occupants of vehicles. One fatality occurred at the location in the same time period. The city considers the Manhattan Bridge area a “high crash corridor,” meaning it is in the “top 10% of locations in Manhattan with crashes resulting in fatalities or severe injuries.” The DOT put together this plan at the request of community groups as well as City Council member Margaret Chin.
The DOT concluded what anyone who travels along Bowery, Canal Street and Chrystie Street already knows: road crossings are very long, traffic patterns are confusing and there are numerous conflicts between cars and pedestrians.
You can see the details in the presentation posted below. In brief it calls for:
- Ending traffic inconsistencies at the Manhattan Bridge, making the lower roadway a Manhattan-bound ramp at all times.
- Adding a signal and proper crosswalk at Canal Street and “Bowery Slip,” the roadway in front of the former and future home of the Fung Wah bus company.
- Eliminating left turns from the Manhattan Bridge upper roadway onto Canal Street.
- Creating a new pedestrian space at Bowery and Canal, reducing the 84 foot crossing by more than 40%.
The committee offered its unanimous approval and the full board is likely to do the same later this month. The city is hoping to make the changes in July or August.