DOT presented to Community Baord 4’s Transportation Committee two proposals to protect from turning cars pedestrians who cross with the walk sign. The first split phase signal at 43rd Street and 9th Avenue will give an exclusive Walk phase to protect seniors who cross 9th Avenue on the south crossing from cars and buses turning form 43rd Street. Those vehicles will have a red arrow to prevent them from turning  , and then a blinking yellow arrow to tell them to proceed with care.

Similarly at 41st street and 9th Avenue , a split phase signal will prevent buses and Lincoln Tunnel bound vehicles from turning at high speed from 9th onto 41st. Two of our neighbors were killed at that intersection.

These are very welcome changes in addition to the lagging green phase that was implemented on 42nd street a few months back and that made the south crossing of 9th Avenue so much safer.

You can read the balance of the Hell’s Kitchen study report here 

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Keith Rodan
Keith Rodan
9 years ago

9th Ave. traffic is out of hand. Is it worse than before – or has it always been this bad? It’s long past time for further lane reductions to reduce tunnel-bound vehicles which make up the bulk of traffic above the 41st and 36th Street turning corners.

The people of the neighborhood should not have to put up with an inordinate number of cars clogging the avenue, emitting toxic fumes and blocking pedestrian crosswalks CONTINOUSLY! What’s more, the sidewalks have, over the past years, become increasingly crowded with people using them – or trying to – since more restaurants and bars, as part of the “renaissance”, have brought more people.

Just think of it: the pedestrians on both sides of the streets compromise the majority of people on the avenue, yet their very heavy foot traffic occupies at most, two lanes, while the vehicular traffic – bulky cars and taxis, especially, carry an average 1 or 2 occupants, and take up a disproportionate 5 lanes of street. It’s totally unfair, but our Community Board Transportation Committees here in Hells Kitchen, and no doubt citywide, sympathizes, makes gestures, and does nothing – as does the city Transportation Commission….which incidentally makes millions of dollars off the cars in one way or another, so why should they make waves? For the walking public, this state of affairs is deplorable and obscene, yet area residents put up with it, which is also a pity.

Somebody, somewhere, somehow, or enough people have to say “enough is enough” and demand the reduction of vehicular lanes on 9th Av. starting with a single lane, and widening the sidewalks on both sides – adding planters, seating, and even modernizing curbs so they absorb storm water. It’s been shown on Broadway, and elsewhere that these measures actually improve traffic flow – don’t ask me how – but I’m sure it can work here.

Yes, if memory serves correct, I believe Christine Berthet has suggested that tunnel traffic can be diverted to 11th Avenue. Solutions exist. Now is the time to take a serious look at them. The time is long past…but better now, than never, if people wake up and have the sense to take action!