Pedestrian Safety Updates Coming to West 70th Street Bowtie Area

The red lines show blocks and intersections where the city will be making changes.

By Alex Israel

The NYC Department of Design and Construction is planning to kick off a project aimed at improving pedestrian safety throughout various corners of the bowtie at West 71st Street and Broadway, as well as on West 70th Street from Amsterdam Avenue to Riverside Boulevard.

Sanchi Vaghela, the DDC’s Community Construction Liaison for this project, presented the plan at Community Board 7’s Transportation Committee meeting. The scope of work includes curb and sidewalk reconstruction, as well as improvements to the sewers, water mains, street lighting, and traffic signals.

It was not immediately clear which locations within the project’s scope will involve each type of work.

While no formal kickoff date has been set, Vaghela says her team “would like to begin in the next month or so.” The project is expected to take approximately two months.

A major planned update to bowtie includes curb extensions. According to Vaghela, the curbs for the southern tip of the north triangle island, and the northern tip of the south triangle island will be extended to meet the paint, which will also help to straighten out the crosswalk across West 71st Street.

The curbs will be extended to meet the paint on both the northern and southern triangle islands in the bowtie.

The work on West 70th Street will involve repaving and potential updates to existing speed bumps, among other improvements. To avoid disrupting school bus drop off and pick up traffic for PS 199, work hours at the intersection of West End Avenue and West 70th Street will be from 9AM–2PM Monday through Friday, and 8AM–4PM on Saturday.

The community can expect the following impacts from the project:

Vaghela’s regular outreach will include flyers, posted Community Advisory notices, and a Weekly Construction Bulletin email newsletter. She encouraged those impacted by the project (including anyone with special needs) and those interested in joining the email list to contact her directly, at or (917) 261-7078.

It was not immediately clear which locations within the project’s scope will involve each type of work.

NEWS | 10 comments | permalink
    1. Rat A. Tooey says:


      About “Rodent Control Stations will be installed by a professional contractor”

      To quote Dorothy Parker (yes, I am a Rat-Who-Reads):
      “What fresh hell is this?”

      Howz about professional-contractor-control-stations, eh!

    2. dannyboy says:

      Great that the curbs will be extended to meet the paint!

      A big mistake made by the NYC Department of Design and Construction in the past, is now being rectified.

      The Designers figured that using paint lines instead of curbs was fashionable. In reality however, these painted areas appear safe to pedestrians and, at the same time, as driving areas to drivers.

      • Filatura says:

        Agree that this sounds like a plan. I don’t know which is scarier — trying to cross this mess as a pedestrian or trying to maneuver from it onto Amsterdam as a driver. Adding curbs and straightening the angles should add to the safety and convenience of both. Better signage would also be helpful.
        I could wish, though, that the DDC’s liaison were a bit less casual about the scheduling of the project. “We would like to begin in a month or so” is not terribly reassuring.

        • Mark Moore says:

          A lot of that is up to the contractor. The city hires a contractor and gives them a date they can start, but the contractor doesn’t have to start on that date if he’s not ready.

    3. kathleen Treat says:

      At last!!!!!! And vital that access for the disabled be front and center.

    4. Lincoln10023 says:

      Definitely a dangerous intersection that needs fixing. Hopefully, their design fix will 1) prevent Fresh Direct and other deliveries from standing/parking on the southbound Broadway side between 71st-70th streets by the triangle park and 2) address the overflow of traffic that blocks 71st. street many times during the day again on southbound Broadway because the area between 71st-70th streets cannot hold the traffic in its present 2 lane only design.

    5. young man says:

      Great, that is a really weird intersection of some major thoroughfares. Surprised more people don’t get injured there but perhaps it is because of the weirdness people stop to think about it.
      The current sidewalk shed in front of McDonald’s has been a hazard for at least a year now for anybody crossing Amsterdam – the crosswalk is almost completely blocked.

    6. Lee Garfinkel says:

      Riverside Boulevard needs traffic help desperately. It seems that very few drivers understand the concept of
      stop signs. Especially after dark

    7. dannyboy says:

      I wish The NYC Department of Design and Construction better luck with this design and

      Happy St Patrick’s everyone!