West End Avenue is about to get the biggest redesign of any Upper West Side avenue since the Columbus Avenue protected bike lanes were installed. The city began laying stripes on Tuesday over the newly poured black pavement. From 72nd to 107th street, West End’s four lanes will be whittled down to two; there will be one lane in each direction along with left-hand turn lanes and larger parking lanes that can accommodate double-parkers. There will be pedestrian islands at 72nd, 79th, 95th and 97th streets. The basic structure is described here and blocks with pedestrian islands will likely look like the diagram below:
The city expects the new structure, along with changes in traffic signals, will make the avenue safer for pedestrians — two people have been killed by vehicles in crashes on West End this year.
Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal says the project appears to be ahead of schedule. Community Board 7 had said earlier this month that it would be completed before the winter weather arrives. A Department of Transportation spokesperson says the lines should be complete by October.
For several days, the road was completely blank. Several tipsters told us it was unnerving:
Thanks to @pelvis for the top photo.
Correction: We initially wrote that DOT had not contacted us, but we did receive a message from a spokesperson there.