UPPER WEST SIDE— Councilman Mark Levine sent a letter to the Department of Transportation asking for immediate street improvements on Amsterdam between 115th and 116th street after two pedestrians were struck by cars there in recent weeks.
“Prevalent speeding and poor street lighting at night have created extremely unsafe conditions for pedestrians,” Levine wrote in the letter he sent Friday to DOT Borough Commissioner Margaret Forgione.
He asked the DOT to improve street lighting on the stretch, build a median island and set up bulb-outs on the sidewalk.
Levine also urged the DOT to adjust the timing and sequencing of traffic lights at the stretch, as was done on Morningside Avenue between 116th and 126th streets. Several light signals happen to be green at the same time, Levine told DNAinfo, adding that while this could help reduce traffic, it could also encourage drivers to speed up.
A young man was critically injured after a car struck him while he was while crossing Amsterdam Avenue at West 116th Street on Wednesday night, according to Levine's letter and police. The man, estimated to be in his 20s, suffered severe head trauma and was rushed to Luke’s Hospital, the police said.
A few weeks before, on the night of August 10, a Columbia University Public Safety Officer was hit by a car at the same intersection, police said. He was also taken to Luke’s Hospital in critical condition.
In both case, the drivers remained at the scene.
Forgione responded that the department would investigate the stretch.
"DOT will conduct a safety review and study street lighting and any other possible safety improvements to the intersections in the this area," she said in a statement. "We remain committed to making streets safe for all users."