CITY FINALLY REMAKES “BOWTIE OF DEATH” INTERSECTION, INSTALLS MASSIVE BOULDERS

The city has made real progress on its redesign to the notorious Bowtie of Death intersection where Broadway and Amsterdam Avenues come together at 71st Street, completely redesigning the pedestrian walkways and the street itself.

The spot is called the Bowtie of Death because it’s a really dangerous intersection with lots of confusing signals, merging traffic, and fast lights — in the past two years, 34 accidents have occurred there. But the Department of Transportation, after being prodded to do something for more than a year, has now extended the walkways, added a left-hand turn lane approaching 72nd Street for cars heading North on Broadway, and added a signal and crosswalk to let people cross 71st Street between the two pedestrian walkways (see second picture below).

The DOT has placed boulders or rock slabs throughout the redesign, presumably as placeholders for more permanent structures.The DOT hasn’t responded to our questions about the project and when it will be complete.

Thanks to West Side Rag reader John for the tip.

Check out some more photos below:

NEWS | 7 comments | permalink
    1. Harriet says:

      Has anyone noticed that the traffic is now backed up southbound on Broadway to 74th St.? It is creating big “horn-honking” gridlock on those two blocks? People cannot get across the street at 73rd St to get into the subway entrance from the north !! What they have created is not a solution, as cars will just race faster through the intersection after being held up north of 72nd St. The only “real” solution was to put “speed humps” which FORCE the cars to slow down at this point. I believe this is solution is aesthetically pleasing to city-planner types, but removing one lane of traffic can never make things “calmer.” I doubt anyone is looking at what is happening to the street above the “Bowtie of Death” in question.

      • Andrew says:

        harriet, you can’t put speed bumps or humps on a truck route.

        • Harriet says:

          Why not? Is that a law in the City? Trucks and buses would have to learn to slow down to a speed required so as not to hit their axle on the speed hump (I think of “humps” as being wider and more shallow than “bumps”) I visit someone in a private condo development in the suburbs with HUGE speed bumps. I have to almost come to a standstill to drive over them. It annoys me sometimes but it keeps the children playing nearby much safer.

          • Jane Jacobs says:

            Why not raise the speed limit along this stretch of Broadway to clear the back-up? If its 25 mph now, I’m thinking that 45 ought to about do it. I was in a cab doing about 50 through there and felt perfectly safe.

            I’m not a traffic engineer, but this stuff isn’t rocket science.

    2. Denise says:

      Yes, I noticed it today myself, and my cab driver also said that this change is causing nothing but gridlock. I agree the intersection was dangerous, but don’t think the solution has been found yet.

    3. Jacob says:

      These safety improvements are much needed, and it’s about time that they were installed. It always takes time for drivers to adjust to changes, but they will. They will try different routes and drive at different times and things will settle into an equilibrium. We absolutely should not sacrifice the life and safety of our neighbors in order to keep traffic moving smoothly always, especially since it will smooth out anyway in a few weeks.

    4. Brian says:

      This is a great improvement. With it having been just installed, everyone (driver, peds, etc) will take some time getting used to it. If drivers find an intersection regularly gridlocked, they’ll drive learn to not block the intersection and/or drive a different route (e.g., Columbus Ave) in the future.