NYC’s deadliest intersections targeted under DOT Vision Zero plan

Dozens of the deadliest intersections in the city will be targeted for changes under the city Department of Transportation’s Vision Zero plan for 2015.

The DOT, plotting problem areas for pedestrians in every borough, counted 66 priority intersections and 17 corridors in Manhattan, like 42nd Street, Canal Street and Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, according to a report released Wednesday.

This week, the DOT identified 46 priority intersections in the Bronx and 72 in Queens; the DOT released its Brooklyn findings Thursday.

“Those areas, although representing a relatively contained part of the island, account for 67% of pedestrian fatalities [in the borough] and that’s where we’re going to particularly focus our efforts to make the streets safe,” DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.

The most dangerous Manhattan intersections are 125th Street at Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard; Second Avenue and East 14th Street; West 40th Street and Eighth Avenue; and Bowery and Canal Street at the Manhattan Bridge approach.

Those intersections saw six pedestrians get either killed or seriously injured from 2009 to 2013, before Mayor Bill de Blasio took office and officially launched his Vision Zero street safety agenda early 2014.

The 66 intersections made up 2% of Manhattan’s crossings and 15% of the locations where pedestrians were killed or injured, according to the DOT.

“You can see for some of these, they correlate tremendously to pedestrian density and to vehicular density,” Trottenberg said.

The agency’s top area of concern is a six-square-mile patch covering midtown, lower Manhattan and a swath of the east side above 59th Street.

There are no details about specific changes to particular intersections; Trottenberg said the community will be involved. But the DOT does plan to attack the problem corridors and intersections by adding more time for people to cross; changing traffic signals to cut down speeding outside of the rush hours; painting crosswalks; and installing pedestrian refuge islands on wide streets.

In the beginning of his first term, de Blasio touted 2014 as having one of the lowest number of traffic fatalities for the city on record.

One recently updated intersection, Sixth Avenue and Houston Street, now features bigger corners for pedestrians, a new island and limiting turning cars to two lanes. That intersection is where 58-year-old Jessica Dworkin died in 2012 when she was struck by a turning tractor trailer.

“A lot of people really told me they wouldn’t come to this intersection; they would go up over to MacDougal or go over to Varick,” said Richard Blodgett, a block association president in the West Village. “When Jessica Dworkin was killed here, it really coalesced the community into saying we got to get something done about this. “