Delancey and Houston Sts. Have Downtown's Most Dangerous Intersections: DOT

By Andrea Swalec on February 22, 2012 8:44am 

High-accident locations were found to include Delancey and Essex streets, Delancey and Chrystie streets and Kenmare Street and the Bowery.
High-accident locations were found to include Delancey and Essex streets, Delancey and Chrystie streets and Kenmare Street and the Bowery.
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DOT

EAST VILLAGE — Some of Downtown's most dangerous intersections are on Houston and Delancey streets, according to the results of a two-year Department of Transportation study presented Tuesday night. 

The analysis of traffic and safety conditions for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in a major swath of the East Village, Lower East Side, NoLita and Little Italy identified high-accident locations including Delancey and Essex streets, Delancey and Chrystie streets and Kenmare Street and the Bowery. 

The report follows demands that the DOT make urgent safety improvements to Delancey Street after 12-year-old Dashane Santana was struck by a minivan and killed at Delancey and Clinton streets on Jan. 13. 

"These are the areas we would like to focus on as we work on developing solutions to the problems you have reported," DOT project manager Michael Griffith told Community Boards 2 and 3 at a joint meeting Tuesday night. 

Intersections named high-accident spots had five or more accidents involving pedestrians or 23 or more total accidents within the 2008-2010 study period, Griffith said. 

Between 2008 and 2010, 985 accidents resulting in 840 injuries occurred within the study area, which is roughly bounded by East 8th and 4th streets, Clinton Street, Delancey Street and Mercer Street. 

The corner of Delancey and Essex streets topped the list in 2008, with a total of 18 accidents. The intersection of Delancey and Clinton streets was most dangerous in 2009, with 27 accidents. In 2010, Delancey and Chrystie streets topped the list, with 27 accidents. 

Intersections where traffic gets backed up most frequently and vehicles wait an average of 45 seconds at traffic lights include Houston and Lafayette streets, Houston Street and the Bowery and Delancey and Chrystie streets. 

Longtime East Village resident Jeanne Wilcke asked that the DOT take into consideration the impact NYU's proposed expansion might have on traffic and parking. 

"You're going to have an exponential increase in traffic because of that," she said. 

In the next step of the transportation study, the DOT will weigh recommendations in response to the problems it has identified, which may include painting stripes on streets for emergency vehicle areas, changing the length of traffic lights and changing the structure of pricing for parking, Griffith said. 

The DOT will present these recommendations to CB2 and CB3 in June or July, he added. 

After Santana's death, the DOT announced on Feb. 8 plans to widen sidewalks, change signal timing and create new traffic patterns on Delancey at Essex, Christie, Forsyth and Clinton streets. 

A DNAinfo survey of more than 20 intersections found that the spot where Santana was killed has one of the shortest crosswalk times of anywhere in the city.

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