UPPER WEST SIDE — The public will get a chance Wednesday to weigh in on a sweeping set of proposed traffic safety upgrades in the neighborhood — including bike parking near Lincoln Center, removing on-street parking spots throughout the neighborhood and creating designated left-turn lanes on Broadway.
The Department of Transportation recommended the long list of changes — which would affect more than 25 intersections between West 55th Street, West 86th Street, Central Park West and 12th Avenue — following a multi-year study of the area.
At a public meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at 524 W. 59th St., DOT officials will unveil the study's findings, then list their recommendations on how to improve pedestrian, driver and bicyclist safety while cutting down on nuisances such a double-parked commercial trucks.
The public can review the study on the DOT's website. Agency officials will take public input at the meeting, and the DOT's recommendations will be presented to Community Board 7 for approval, a DOT spokesman said.
Among the DOT's suggestions is making it easier for pedestrians to quickly cross the extra-wide intersection of West 72nd Street and Riverside Drive by extending curbs. To cut down on risks to pedestrians on Broadway, the DOT is recommending left-turn-only lanes at West 66th, West 79th and West 86th streets.
To stop so many commercial trucks from double parking on Columbus and Amsterdam avenues, the DOT wants to add about a dozen 50-foot commercial parking zones.
There's also a recommendation to add several bike-parking stands near Lincoln Center.
Residents are eager to see suggestions that will improve pedestrian safety, especially for seniors and children who need extra time crossing busy thoroughfares, said Batya Lewton of the neighborhood activist group Coalition for a Livable West Side.
DOT embarked on the study in 2006 following years of public outcry over safety issues, Lewton said. "I hope this report will reflect the community's desire for greater pedestrian safety and less focus on automobiles," Lewton said.
In particular, she's curious to see DOT's plans for West End Avenue and West 70th Street, where P.S. 199 parents have raised the alarm about speeding cars.
Lewton also pointed to West 96th Street and Broadway, where a bustling intersection was reconfigured when the subway station was renovated, as an area of concern.
"There have been a lot of accidents, and they haven't quite worked out why," Lewton said.
The DOT has already embarked on some safety upgrades on the Upper West Side. Last year work started on improvements at the so-called "bowtie of death" intersection, where Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway crisscross at West 71st Street.