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Too Many Pedestrian Accidents on UWS

There have been far too many fatal pedestrian accidents on the Upper West Side recently, two of which occurred early this year and caused outrage in the neighborhood. A 73-year-old man and a 9-year-old boy were killed in January, sparking neighborhood outrage and galvanizing the Department of Transportation (DOT) into making some changes in traffic patterns. However, that appears to be a drop in the bucket, according to an analysis conducted by DNAInfo.com.

The survey found that between July 1, 2012 and July 15, 2014, there were a total of 345 injuries and eight fatalities among pedestrians hit in car accidents and other motor vehicle crashes on the Upper West Side, from West 60th Street to West 107th Street and from Central Park West to West End Avenue.

According to the data released on August 4, 2014, the most dangerous north-south avenues were:

  • Broadway, with the most incidents involving pedestrians and car accidents, 97 people injured and three killed
  • Amsterdam Avenue, with 82 pedestrians injured and one killed
  • Columbus Avenue, with 76 injuries and one fatality
  • West End Avenue, with 50 injuries and two deaths
  • Central Park West, with 39 injuries and no fatalities

The study also identified the most dangerous intersections on cross streets. West 97th saw two children killed in the past 14 months. Other dangerous intersections included

  • Central Park West and West 97th Street
  • Columbus Avenue and West 97th Street
  • Amsterdam Avenue and West 97th Street
  • Broadway and West 97th Street
  • West End Avenue and West 97th Street

West 96th and West 95th Street were also dangerous because of heavy traffic entering and exiting the West Side Highway, according to the data. Another problem appears to be the so-called bowtie in the West 60s, where badly designed intersections fail to cope with heavy traffic.

According to police reports, the primary identified cause of accidents was failure to yield the right-of-way. The second most frequent cause was driver distraction.

What happens next? The DOT is apparently reviewing possible changes to Amsterdam Avenue and making design changes in the West 60s bowtie area. Time will tell if these adjustments result in a decline in pedestrian injuries and deaths.

Source: http://dnainfo.com/new-york/20140804/upper-west-side/map-10-most-dangerous-intersections-for-pedestrians-on-uws