Upper West Side council member Helen Rosenthal wants to study the idea of stopping traffic in all four directions at some intersections to allow pedestrians to cross without any cars moving. Rosenthal is set to introduce a bill that would ask the Department of Transportation to study that idea at the city’s most dangerous intersections, according to the Daily News. Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez is also reportedly working on legislation.
Four-way stops, known as “Barnes Dances,” are appropriate now because “we have a shift towards pedestrians or mass transit or biking — getting people out of cars,” Rosenthal said.
It’s not clear what intersections could be targeted. On the Upper West Side, the community board, the police department and the Department of Transportation have identified different intersections as being particularly dangerous — sometimes it depends on the time frame they are using to track crashes. Among the intersections that do receive a heavy volume of traffic and have been the site of several crashes are 96th street and Broadway and 72nd and Broadway.