Turn Calming Program

The Turn Calming program is a citywide effort to reduce left and right turn speeds and enforce safe turning behavior. This program is part of the Vision Zero initiative to eliminate traffic fatalities and reduce severe injuries.

A car turns left around a slow turn wedge treatment, helping the driver to see a pedestrian walking in the crosswalk. Location is Lexington Ave & Marcy Ave in Brooklyn, NY
      Lexington Avenue & Marcy Avenue, Brooklyn

NYC DOT began the program as part of the Left Turn Study Action Plan to address failure to yield crashes caused by left turning vehicles. NYC DOT’s Office of Research, Implementation and Safety manages the program which includes 408 intersections with turn calming treatments citywide (as of December 2019).

Map showing locations of Turn Calming treatments in NYC between 2016 and 2019. 408 Locations Citywide.

NYC DOT chooses locations for Turn Calming treatments by reviewing several criteria including crash injuries, lane configuration and effect on large vehicles’ turning movements. View a list of locations with Turn Calming treatments.
View an interactive map of Turn Calming treatments citywide (2016 to 2019), along with other safety information.

Turn Calming Treatments

Turn Calming treatments address intersections with problematic left and right turns, and may be installed at a variety of intersections such as:

Basic Hardened Centerline (Left Turns)

Installed where one-way or two-way road meets at two-way road

The Basic Hardened Centerline treatment constists of five pieces of rubber curb and bollards and/or rubber speed bumps installed on the centerline and extending at maximum of six feet into the intersection. Since 2016, this treatment has been installed at 260 locations, including West End Avenue and 96th Street in Manhattan.

Diagram showing an intersection of a one-way street to two-way road, with arrows showing where cars start to turn and where they end up after turning. The conflict area between turning vehicles and pedestrians is highlighted in pink.A car turns left around a basic hardened centerline treatment, helping the driver to see a pedestrian walking in the crosswalk. Location is West End Ave & 96 St in Manhattan, NY.
                               West End Avenue & 96th Street, Manhattan

Complete Hardened Centerline (Left Turns)

Installed where one-way road meets a two-way road

The Complete Hardened Centerline treatment includes five pieces of rubber curb and bollards and/or rubber speed bumps, “No Parking” markings and slow turn wedge/box markings coupled with flexible plastic posts. Since 2016 this treatment has been installed at 75 locations, including Grand Avenue and West Burnside Avenue in the Bronx.

Diagram showing an intersection of a one-way street to two-way road, with arrows showing where cars start to turn and where they end up after turning. The particular treatment version shown here has daylighting markings as well as box markings with rubber speed bump to further enhance the calming effect of the treatment. The conflict area between turning vehicles and pedestrians is highlighted in pink.A car turns left around a complete hardened centerline treatment, helping the driver to see a pedestrian walking in the crosswalk. Location is Grand Ave & West Burnside Ave in the Bronx, NY.
                               Grand Avenue & West Burnside Avenue, Bronx

Slow Turn Wedge (Left & Right Turns)

Installed where one-way road meets a one-way road

The Slow Turn Wedge treatment consists of “No Parking” markings as well as a marked slow turn wedge/box coupled with flexible plastic posts or rubber speed bumps. Since 2016 this treatment has been installed at 67 citywide locations, including 89th Avenue and 164th Street in Queens.

Diagram showing an intersection of a one-way street to one-way road, with arrows showing where cars start to turn and where they end up after turning. The particular treatment shown here can be applied to calm both left and right turns. The conflict area between turning vehicles and pedestrians is highlighted in pink.A car turns left around a slow turn wedge treatment, helping the driver to see a pedestrian walking in the crosswalk. Location is 89 Ave & 164 St in Queens, NY.
                                 89th Avenue & 164th Street, Queens

Bike Island Channelization (Left Turns)

Installed where one-way road meets a one-way with a protected bike lane

The Bike Island Channelization treatment is only installed adjacent to existing bike islands. It consists of a Bike Island Channelization box with flexible plastic posts or rubber speed bumps. Since 2017 this treatment has been installed at 30 citywide locations, including First Avenue and 30th Street in Manhattan

Diagram showing an intersection of a one-way street to a major one-way road, with arrows showing where cars start to turn and where they end up after turning. The particular treatment shown here can only be applied in intersections that have bike islands and curbside bike lanes.. The conflict area between turning vehicles and pedestrians is highlighted in pink.A car turns left around a bike island channelization treatment, helping the driver to see a pedestrian walking in the crosswalk. Location is 1st Ave & 30 St in Manhattan, NY.
                                 First Avenue & 30th Street, Manhattan

Left Turn Traffic Calming: Bike Island Channelization Video

Safety Results

In New York City intersections pedestrian injuries have decreased by 20% where Turn Calming treatments have been implemented, declining faster than nearby comparable locations. Additional results from Turn Calming locations:

  • Median left turn speeds have decreased by 54.3%
  • Average left turn speeds have decreased by 52.6%
  • 85th percentile left turn speeds have decreased by 59.8%
  • Maximum left turn speeds have decreased by 37.7%
  • Median right turn speeds have decreased by 32.7%
  • Average right turn speeds have decreased by 34.1%
  • 85th percentile right turn speeds have decreased by 47.2%
  • Maximum right turn speeds have decreased by 48.7%

Vehicles are making safer turns as well; the rate of crossing the double yellow line while turning has dropped by 78.9% for locations that have a treatment extending to the stop bar and 100% for locations that have a treatment extending all the way to the crosswalk.

2020 Program Planning

NYC DOT is currently planning Phase 5 of this program, selecting additional intersections for treatment installation across the city.