Efforts to keep pedestrians safer on the Upper West Side have been slow to bear fruit, as recent statistics show that the 24th precinct (covering the Northern half of the neighborhood) has recorded a recent rise in crashes involving pedestrians. That precinct was the site of three deadly crashes early in the year that focused citywide attention on this issue.
The Daily News reported this week that 14 people had been hit by cars in non-fatal crashes between Feb. 17 and March 16, versus eight during the same period last year.
“We are trying everything we can to reduce it,” Capt. James Dennedy, acting commander, told residents last week. The precinct has issued more tickets for jaywalking and failure to yield, trained more officers to use speed guns, and placed a speed tracker on 96th street that shows drivers how fast they are going. The department has also nearly quintupled the number of speeding tickets it has given out, to 34 from 7.
“We are focusing on speeding on the less congested corridors,” Dennedy said.
The Department of Transportation plans to change the intersection at 96th street and Broadway to make it more pedestrian-friendly; slides showing that plan are here and we’ve posted them below.
The 20th precinct, covering the area up to 86th street, has recorded a decline in crashes involving pedestrians from Feb. 24 to March 23, as compared to the previous month, DNAinfo reported. There were 2 crashes during that period, and eight in the prior 30-day period. (We are attempting to get year-over-year numbers too.) In the 20th, commanders have credited new signs that warn pedestrians to stay alert before they cross the street. Several activists are skeptical that that approach will lead to long-lasting benefits if reckless drivers aren’t also targeted.
The Department of Transportation has proposed street modifications at 72nd street and Riverside Drive and at 79th street and Riverside that could also help reduce the danger to pedestrians and bicyclists. More on those here.
Correction: We originally said there were six crashes in the 20th precinct in the prior month. There were actually eight recorded.