New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced a series of traffic enhancements and safety improvements are being implemented throughout the Bronx . The projects include pedestrian countdown signals installed at three key intersections; traffic calming along Randall and Leggett avenues and Tiffany Street in Hunts Point and East 180th Street; corridor improvements along Southern Boulevard from Bruckner Boulevard to Westchester Avenue in Mott Haven and Longwood; street redesigns that create safer streets at Crotona Avenue and Van Cortlandt Park; and improvements to roads and sidewalks along Laconia Avenue in Allerton and Williamsbridge to make them safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. These changes build on safety initiatives announced in August by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Commissioner Sadik-Khan, and augment improvements that have already helped reduce the number of citywide traffic fatalities last year to the fewest ever recorded. The agency is aggressively building upon its safety initiatives to move closer to its goal of reducing traffic fatalities 50% by 2030.
"From Hunts Point to Highbridge and Woodlawn to West Farms, we're re-engineering streets to make them even safer, particularly for our most vulnerable pedestrians—seniors and schoolchildren," said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. "These projects are a significant down payment on a safer Bronx and a safer city for all New Yorkers."
Pedestrian Countdown Signals
Installation of pedestrian countdown signals has been completed at Webster Avenue and East Fordham Road; at 3rd Avenue and East Fordham; and at Webster and East 168th Street. These are the first of nearly 200 Bronx intersections which will receive countdown signals by the end of 2011. Pedestrian countdown signals, which display LED numbers that count down the number of seconds remaining before the "flashing hand" phase turns solid red, informs pedestrians of how much time remains to complete their crossing, reducing the number of pedestrians still in crosswalks during the "do not walk" phase of the light.
DOT recently completed a traffic-safety project at Laconia Avenue from the Pelham Parkway North to East 233rd Street to combat rampant speeding. Data showed 40% of vehicles traveling the corridor exceeded the speed limit, while crash data showed between 2004 and 2008, 251 crashes occurred, resulting in 358 injuries, including 31 pedestrians.
DOT restriped and transformed four lanes to three to slow traffic and added a dedicated left-turning lane to improve mobility and create fewer conflicts with through-traffic. The change also boosts pedestrian safety by improving visibility for motorists at intersections. Additionally, a new painted median and wider parking lanes have been added, enhancing safety while also easing loading and unloading for residents and local businesses.
For the portion of Crotona Avenue that bisects Crotona Park , DOT installed five pedestrian refuge islands that link the two sides of the park and make crossing easier and safer for pedestrians. A study along that section showed 45% of vehicles exceeding the posted speed limit, creating potentially dangerous conditions for all park users. Now, new islands narrow the roadway to deter speeding and make turning safer, while new crosswalks and other markings and signs create a safer environment. The project also features a pair of north-south bike lanes, which calm traffic and create new transit connections and recreation options for park users on bikes or those using Crotona Avenue as a through-route.
Van Cortlandt Park East
The agency installed a new traffic configuration on Van Cortlandt Park East from East 233rd Street to Parkway North to improve safety. DOT also restriped the roadway to create three lanes and installed a left-turning bay to improve the visibility for motorists and provide safer turning lanes. Painted medians and wider parking lanes also improve the operation of the street and access for visitors and local residents.
DOT recently wrapped up a traffic-safety project along Tiffany Street and Leggett and Randall avenues that creates safer crossings, calms traffic and improves access to Barretto Point Park . Enhancements include new landscaped pedestrian refuge islands; painted center medians throughout the project area with dedicated left-turn bays; and new bike lanes, parking lanes and improved crosswalks. The design enhances mobility while making the area safer for the Hunts Point community.
At the complex intersection of Leggett and Randall avenues and Truxton Street, a new pedestrian island shortens pedestrian crossing and better organizes traffic. Park users benefit from the refurbished crosswalks at the park's entrance, while a new bike lane provides direct access for cyclists on Tiffany Street traveling to the park.
At Southern Boulevard, an ambitious project is currently underway to improve the safety on the corridor from Bruckner Boulevard to Westchester Avenue . Changes include restriping the road to two lanes with the addition of left-turn bays at several locations. The complex intersection at Crames Square will be simplified for safer crossings with three new pedestrian refuge islands, the expansion of De Valle Square Park, reduced turning conflicts and signal-timing readjustments to provide more crossing time for pedestrians. Barretto Street will be changed from two-way to one-way eastbound between Southern and Bruckner boulevards and Hoe Street will be reversed to one-way northbound to better process traffic.
East 180th Street
A project to narrow East 180th Street from Webster Ave nue to Boston Road for enhanced pedestrian safety is nearly complete. The design features new painted center medians with left-turn bays to make it easier for vehicles to turn while tapering the roadway to discourage speeding.
For more information about these and DOT's other safety projects, please visit www.nyc.gov/dot.