CB3 Approves New DOT Plan to Improve Overall Safety at Bowery and Delancey

Posted on: February 12th, 2014 at 6:09 am by
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One Bowery resident put it perfectly, and we couldn’t agree more – “I don’t cross at the corners [on the Bowery].”

It’s simply too dangerous, especially at the east intersection of Bowery and Delancey. The Department of Transportation is well aware of the concerns here, and is presently revisiting safety improvements (for the third time in recent years). Last night, the Transportation subcommittee of Community Board 3 got a taste when a rep from the agency presented the preliminary project plans.

First, a bit of the obvious. As we all know, the volume of traffic here is constant clog. Bridge traffic, ineffective crossing guards, speeding bikers, and pedestrian overflow all converge to create a recipe for disaster. Indeed, there have been 87 injuries here in the five years between 2008 and 2010, 14 of which involved pedestrians. As to prior action, the DOT all but admitted that these upgrades were futile, particularly with the Bowery median just south of Delancey.

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So the new 2014 intersection improvements include the following measures:

  • Shift southbound (Bowery) left turn bay and create an additional through lane with two full-time receiving lanes to ease congestion. That’s two lanes plus the dedicated turn lane to help alleviate traffic.
  • Implement a new “signal phase,” which is still being tested around the city. The light system includes a flashing yellow arrow that tells turning motorists to yield to pedestrians.
  • Reshape island (at Delancey) to allow for easier turns. The new road barrier will include tree pits for beautification.
  • Extend the “neck” of pedestrian space at the southeast corner around the bend and onto the Bowery.
  • Replace the decrepit old median at Spring Street to improve pedestrian safety with a place for waiting.
  • Expanding the “No Stopping Anytime” zone at the northeast corner of Bowery and Delancey by 70 feet so that it reaches the subway stairwell.
  • 11 seconds of lead time for northbound pedestrians crossing Delancey, during which time no left-turning cars from Bowery will threaten death. However, the overall crossing time will not be changing here.

Community Board 3 unanimously approved the plans to move forward. Tentative goal for ground break is in late spring or early summer.

Do you think these updates will create a safer traffic environment for motorists, bikers, and pedestrians?

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