rsd at 97
97th street and Riverside Drive, one of the intersections where locals are calling for pedestrian-friendly changes. Photo via Neighborhood in the Nineties.

Several locals have argued that one of the biggest dangers to pedestrians — the fast-moving traffic coming off the Henry Hudson Parkway — has not received sufficient attention from elected officials. That could change Tuesday, when Community Board 7 reviews possible changes to Riverside Drive  and other streets in the mid-90’s. The board may also consider whether to ask the city and state to direct traffic to 96th street after Southbound cars exit the Henry Hudson Parkway, instead of directing them to 95th where the street is narrower and there’s a school.

Neighborhood in the Nineties, a community group, has detailed the proposals and the group’s position below. The Community Board meets at 6:30 on Tuesday at Fordham on West 60th street. The full meeting agenda is here.

97 rsd lightOne change that has already occurred in this area was the installation last week of a pedestrian signal at 97th street on the east side of Riverside Drive (photo at right). Doron Steger tells us that his wife Sherry and Neighborhood in the Nineties pushed the DOT to install the signal, because “The only way you could tell if you could cross the street walking south was by watching if the cars were moving.”

From Neighborhood in the Nineties:

CB7 To Vote Important Traffic Changes Tuesday including:

  • Restoring 96th Street Eastbound Exit from south HH Pkwy
  • Stop Signs On Riverside Drive Service Road at 93 & 94 St.
  • Increasing Broadway M104 Bus Service
  • Anti-Honking Enforcement by Police
  • Leading Pedestrian Interval and Pedestrian Plaza at 97th St.

Please attend the Community Board 7 (CB7) December meeting to support important changes that will improve the safety and quality of life of our neighborhood in major ways.

Neighborhood In The Nineties is working with the CB7 Transportation Committee to proactively address serious pedestrian safety hazards in the West 90s neighborhood.

The CB7 Transportation Committee came to our neighborhood, studied the situation and leveraged their expertise in traffic safety, and their knowledge of our neighborhood to propose specific measures that the City can implement.

Your support will help make our community safer.

Show up 7 PM Tuesday

The CB7 meeting begins at 6:30 PM at Fordham University, 113 West 60th Street (near Columbus Circle) this Tuesday, December 2nd. Adoption of these measures by the Community Board almost guarantees implementation by the City Department of Transportation (DOT). (The Henry Hudson Parkway proposal also requires State approval).

The Transportation Committee is the 3rd item on the agenda. It likely will be dealt with after 7 PM. If you care, be there!

Stop Signs, Delayed Green Lights, Speed Humps and Plazas

For the Riverside Drive Service Road, we are proposing stop signs and speed “humps” on the road at 93rd and 94th Streets. For the main road of Riverside, we seek a dedicated left turn lane from Riverside Drive southbound onto 95thStreet.

For the crossing at 97th Street, we asked for:

Leading Pedestrian Interval (delayed green) to cross Riverside, which is about 8 lanes wide

A pedestrian plaza to separate the service road from the main road on Riverside to break up the wide crossing area

Walk Sign on the east side of Riverside at 97th St.

The Transportation Committee, with the support of N90s, offers proposals to relieve the enormous traffic volume that has built up on 95th Street.

Following changes to highway on and off ramps several years ago here, and combined with the closing of ramps at 72nd Street, the traffic volume crossing Riverside at 95th dangerously exceeds the local streets capacity.

95th Street has PS 75 and a middle school with more than a thousand children. The lives of school children should not be imperiled by a neighborhood street which has absorbed more highway traffic than it can handle.

The Committee proposes restoring the 96th Street exit for southbound Henry Hudson Parkway traffic. Traffic headed east would be directed onto 96th, instead of 95th Street. Traffic needing north or south Riverside Drive would still use the 95th Street exit.

Since many cars exiting at 95th Street are headed east, this eliminates the need to turn left onto West End, Broadway or the dangerous turn onto Amsterdam, and then turning right on 96th Street.

“Eliminating turns saves lives,” says N90s president Aaron Biller.

“Restore the M104”

The Transportation Committee is also looking at restoring the massive cuts made in M104 bus service on Broadway. This includes the frequency of bus trips and restoration of the 42nd Street crosstown-UN leg of this route.

Transportation Committee Co-Chair Andrew Albert said, “Many people – the elderly, the handicapped and those traveling with small children – cannot use the subway, so we must restore the M104.”

N90s asked the committee to complain to the MTA’s about stop-skipping “Next Bus Please” buses on the M104 and M5 lines, which often leaves passengers waiting for a half-hour or more.

The Committee will also propose that the Police step up enforcement of anti-honking laws in response to neighbors’ complaints.

NEWS | 4 comments | permalink
    1. Scott says:

      Interesting how it’s all about the children when it comes to traffic, but siting homeless shelters filled with drug addicts and sellers right across the street from schools is fine.

    2. marci says:

      the 104 not only needs more busses but they need a limited bus it is the main thorough fare on the west side

    3. Wendy says:

      The M104 absolutely needs a limited stop bus, as does the M7. If I only had a dollar for every time the bus stops for wheelchairs, which prolongs a trip on the bus….. It’s gotten to where you cannot calculate properly how long a trip is going to take, even with the MTA app that tells when the bus is arriving. As someone who commutes to work this way, it’s a real problem.

    4. barbara says:

      The traffic debate goes on and on. As a driver AND a pedestrian I have noticed problems on both sides. When I drive I am respectful of people in crosswalks who have the walk signal. I also am annoyed at people who put themselves in harm’s way by thinking they can jay walk and cars will simply stop. When I walk I find that drivers whip,around corners to get to the next red traffic light. If they have the green it is always red around the corner. What is their hurry. Maybe it’s time that all parties obey the rules and the law.
      The reconfiguration of west end avenue is a total nightmare.. Traffic jams every morning and since gridlock becomes the norm it is more dangerous than ever to get across the street.
      More restrictions may be ill thought out. Maybe cars should just be banned? Or maybe pedestrians? The two cannot seem to co exist. Time for everyone to remember the rules, be courteous and safe. That extra two seconds you save cutting someone off or diving in front of a car to get across the street gets you nowhere.