Drivers can’t seem to figure out this whole concept of driving around a pedestrian island. Once again, on Monday morning a car turning South from 97th street onto West End plowed into the island, which was just installed this month to keep drivers from taking the turn from 97th onto West End too quickly, a neighbor tells us.
Given that there are several orange bollards at the site now, it shows just how clueless drivers are when making turns onto West End. (Before the island went in, I also saw drivers drive right through red lights to make a left, even though pedestrians now have a “leading interval,” allowing them a few extra seconds to cross before cars have the light.)
Nine-year-old Cooper Stock was hit and killed here by a cab driver in January, prompting the changes to the street. Julie, who told us about the crash, says that locals near the site are “distraught.”
“Another car hit the median turning left at 97 and WEA this morning and took out a reflector. I don’t know more details but it certainly is strong evidence that drivers are still taking that turn at high speed even with the median and the staggered light timing. As a parent of young children and a neighbor of the Stocks who knew Cooper, I am simply distraught, as I know Dana and my other neighbors are, at the continued treacherousness of our corner.”
She says police need to enforce the law more aggressively at that corner.
“Police presence needs to be increased, and they need to place officers who actually do something. Before the median was put in, they had an officer stationed at the bus stop once who sat in the cruiser while car after car ran the light and blocked the crosswalk and the intersection. When I pointed this out, she said, “They just got caught by the light. This is rush hour.” That is a quote. Not running the light – “caught by the light.” And then she said, “I can’t stop all of them.” I said, “How about one?” She rolled up the window. I think they should ban the left from 97th and West End during rush hour. This situation is insane.”
The NYPD did not respond to an inquiry about Monday’s crash.