Is the City Finally Paying Attention to the Dangers of South Street?

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 at 5:00 am by

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Where South St. meets Rutgers Slip

The area of South Street running along the belly of the Lower East Side is in desperate need of safety upgrade. It’s a dangerous collection of tertiary streets that serve as both extension and off-ramp of the FDR Drive. Residents in the vicinity – namely Two Bridges – have been fighting for over a decade to effect some sort of change. The “traffic calming” crusade is gaining a bit of momentum thanks to a highly-publicized fatal accident back in August which claimed the life of an 82-year-old (the driver was not charged in the accident). And, of course, the eventual arrival of the Essex Crossing mega-development and the explosion of the local population likely to follow.

The Department of Transportation is finally taking notice (at least a bit), and briefed Community Board 3 last week of its efforts. New countdown signals were installed at the slip intersections of Catherine, Pike, Rutgers, and Montgomery. There are also a number of signal studies still pending; it takes eighteen months to obtain results. Other safety measures requested by the community include speed bumps on Mongomery Street and additional signal studies at Clinton/South and Gouverneur/Water.

During the Transportation subcommittee meeting, members of the public in attendance also asked the DOT rep to consider retooling the intersection of Rutgers Slip and Cherry Street. The two Rutgers roads (Slip and Street) are not aligned, forcing drivers to briefly turn the wrong way on Cherry to continue northward.

The map below perfectly illustrates the new traffic installations alongside the requested study areas.

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Photo: CB3

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