In our continuing step-by-step coverage of the changes on West End Avenue, we present a photo of what the street looks like with the new lines, transforming the street to a two-lane road from a four-lane one. This shot by Sean Geoghan is from 103rd and West End.
“The DOT still anticipates that the markings and islands will be complete by the end of October but the work schedule is also dependent on weather,” a spokesman tells us.
Check out all of our pedestrian safety coverage here.
While I am impressed with the work being done, the light, hard to make out, lines painted on the blacktop are confusing to drivers at the moment. I do realize that the work is not yet finished, but yesterday I watched multiple cars pull into the “turn lane” only to confuse the on-coming cars. I myself was scared to make a left hand turn on West End yesterday. I found myself thinking that the street seemed even more dangerous at the moment and was a perfect recipe for a head on collision. I hope the permanent lines are finished ASAP.
Agreed Jeanie, there should be some signage letting drivers know what’s happening on WEA.
I’m not surprised there’s been confusion. Drivers had big trouble comprehending the (recently discarded) left turn lane at 96th and Bwy. It was really pretty simple, but count on NYC drivers making simple things complicated.
Agreed!!!! Today turning left on 76th off west end scared me with a confused oncoming car even though I was in left turn lane. Very dangerous right now!! They should have left it alone in the first place.
Good to be scared – keep everyone alarmed and paying attantion .
As the lines get completed between 86th and 79th street the traffic pattern is clear and shows great promise of being really helpful.
Any rational driver knows what to do when lines have yet to be painted clearly. Irrational drivers are a problem in any case.
Detailed descriptive text posted to explain what is going to happen would be read only at the risk to anyone sharing the road with the sign readers.
Was there an engineering reason why the yellow lines separating traffic moving in opposite directions wasn’t painted first? That would appear to fix most of the issues people are reporting and would increase safety considerably.
Or was it simply not done because government never thinks things through first?
The roadwork in progress on WEA in the 90s has been somewhat hazardous for pedestrians crossing the street, as the blacktop stuff is left in a state that turns squishy and slippery when it rains (this morning, for ex.) … Is this usual?
Already see issues with this design. There’s a car double parked on WEA and is now blocking part of the southbound lane. Cars are forced to use the turning lane to go straight. Can’t wait to see what happens when it’s a UPS or moving truck!
Yes, widening the parking lane did nothing but remove space from the driving lanes. You can’t park two cars across within the space and so double-parked cars will now block the only lane of traffic moving forward. They might as well have left the parking lane the same size for all the good it did widening it.
Additionally, any car waiting for pedestrians to pass in order to make a right turn will block all traffic behind it. I guess it’s good that West End doesn’t have a lot of pedestrian traffic.
Now that I’ve seen the design in person I like it less than when it was on paper. And it’s not that I don’t like change. I don’t like change that makes something less efficient than before.
Sam’s right. This morning, there were a number of delivery trucks double-parked on West End between 96th and 104th. There was no issue this morning as traffic was light due to the holiday. But on a normal weekday morning, there will be an issue with traffic having to veer into oncoming turning lanes in order to avoid double-parked trucks, and of course, the issue will be exacerbated if there are already vehicles in the turning late waiting to turn.
No question that the traffic pattern on West End was in need of refinement, but this plans seems to have been hastily rammed through without enough though about the potential consequences of the plan.
We have seen cars use the turn lane as a second traffic lane. I have not seen any signage stating that there is only one traffic lane. Does anyone know if there is a sign showing the change in traffic pattern around 72 Street going northbound? Is there a similar sign going southbound in the 100s? And, until the traffic signals from block to block are properly synched, good luck trying to make a left turn (unless you want to try and beat the oncoming traffic).
I live on West End by 96th street. I have watched and heard the chaos that goes on every day. This design is beyond idiotic and is only going to cause more traffic and more noise. The buses that turn from West End onto 96 back everything up when there is no room for them. And just wait till the building on the corner where the deli was comes down and they start building the new one!! where are those contraction vehicles going??? I am ready to move
I think the design is good and makes sense. The new yellow grid lines in the turning lane is the final icing on the cake. The parking lane is wide enough for someone to double park without completely blocking the through traffic lane. I consider it a major improvement. No matter what one does, there will be people who violate the rules.
I respectfully disagree with this transformation. I don’t drive in the City, nor do I own a vehicle. But I do have common sense. This West End Avenue plan is completely ill-conceived and will cause more problems than it solves.
If you plan to make West End one lane in each direction, what do you think is going to happen when south-bound vehicles need to turn east and they can’t? Come look at 95th Street, which is the one block that has been “fixed”. Now imagine this all the way down West End, not only on West End, but on Broadway or Riverside Drive where traffic will take the spillover.
I’m not minimizing the rash of deaths that have occurred. People are aware of what happened, and pedestrians especially are more aware. As someone who, before then, would stand way off the curb while waiting to cross the street, jaywalk and try to outrun cars. I no longer do that. I also watch to make sure that the drivers are actually stopping at the red light or see me crossing the street when they’re turning.
Nowadays, when terrible things happen, in the rush to prevent repetitions, people attempt to end all dangers. There are dangers. It’s life. AND PEOPLE HAVE TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR OWN ACTIONS. I know some people would like to see all the roads eliminate cars, but this of course is short-sighted.
And, quite frankly, I’m more frightened of bikers than cars.