The city wants to redesign parts of Broadway where a yellow cab driver mowed down a cyclist and injured at least three more pedestrians, Mayor Eric Adams announced Thursday.
The Department of Transportation plans to add better pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure between 28th and 29th streets and overhaul more stretches of Broadway between Madison Square and Herald Square in Manhattan, hizzoner said.
“There is no more iconic street in this city than Broadway — both our small and large businesses sit on it, our tourism and entertainment hubs move through it, and millions of pedestrians walk on it every day, so I completely reject the idea that people will inevitably be injured or killed by vehicles on this very street,” said Mayor Adams in a statement on June 23.
“Traffic violence is preventable, and I will do everything in my power to prevent another crash when we already have the tools in our toolbox to prevent it,” he added.
Six people were injured, including three seriously, after the cab driver slammed into a cyclist on the afternoon of June 21 on Broadway and 29th Street, dragging him down the road, before mounting the sidewalk and pinning two women to the ground.
Adams and his DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez initially wouldn’t say whether they would change the streetscape along that part of Broadway, with Rodriguez calling on drivers to be extra careful when making left turns, as the cabbie had, and to slow down.
Advocates urged the city to “get real” about building out more solid infrastructure to calm traffic, rather than relying on flimsy additions like at the corner of the crash, where the “protected” bike lane was bordered by plastic sticks and painted markings.
DOT had been redesigning sections of Broadway between Union Square and Columbus Circle in recent years as part of its “Broadway Vision” plan, but the NoMad portion of the road has not part of that scheme.
Now the agency will expand the revamp of the corridor to that stretch between Madison Square and Herald Square, including the crash site.
First, the city will extend the Open Street program from the current two blocks between 25th-27th streets up to 29th Street.
The block where the crash occurred between 28th and 29th streets will become a so-called “shared street.”
DOT debuted that concept in Downtown Brooklyn on Willoughby Street in 2019, where there is more seating and walking space separated from drivers with planters and granite rocks, and motorists have to slow down to five miles per hour.
The agency started talking to the local community board Thursday evening about the Broadway Vision expansion, which includes the following additions:
- 25th-27th streets would become a “plaza block” with more public space, a two-way bike “connection,” and support for outdoor dining
- 27th-29th streets would become a “shared block” with shortened pedestrian crossings, two-way bike “connections,” and curb access for loading
The bike upgrades don’t necessarily mean there will be a new two-way bike path on those stretches of Broadway where there are currently a one-way cycle lanes, according to DOT.