WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Intersections located near busy entrances and exits to major highways have seen hundreds of collisions in recent years — making them the most dangerous for drivers and pedestrians in Washington Heights, NYPD data show.
The intersection of West 181st Street and Amsterdam Avenue was by far the worst, with 183 collisions reported there between July 2012 and June 26, 2015, the most recent dates for which data was available.
Of the 52 people injured in those incidents, nine of them were pedestrians.
Those who come to the area often weren't surprised by the news.
Carmen Voluuez, 40, who catches a bus at 181st Street and Amsterdam Avenue a few times a week, said she witnessed one crash involving a pedestrian last year, as well as several near-misses at the corner.
"I saw a lady [get hit] when she was crossing," Voluuez. "She had the right of way, but a car going into The Bronx hit her."
Gabriel Benitez, 40, said the intersection feels overwhelming for pedestrians.
"There's no way to keep track of all the ways traffic is coming at you when you cross here," he said.
Benitez added that when he needs to cross 181st Street, he makes sure to do it from the west side of Amsterdam Avenue, because the east side intersection feels more dangerous due to drivers making right turns to get onto the Washington Bridge.
Benitez pointed to the many nearby highways as the culprit.
"That's the main reason it's so crazy around here," he said.
West 181st Street is a busy commercial corridor, and it intersects with Amsterdam Avenue just before leading onto the Washington Bridge to The Bronx. There are also on- and off-ramps to I-95 near the intersection.
West 178th Street, which also leads to and from I-95, had two intersections ranking in the top 10 for the most collisions in the 10032, 10033 and 10034 zip codes, the data showed.
West 178th Street and Broadway saw 97 collisions during the nearly three-year time period, while West 178th Street and Amsterdam Avenue counted 92.
West 165th Street also proved to be a hotspot, with the second, third and fourth most collision-prone intersections in the area, statistics showed. The street is a major crosstown thoroughfare with access to Riverside Drive and the West Side Highway.
West 165th Street and Riverside Drive saw 116 crashes during the three-year period, with 27 people injured, data showed.
A block away at West 165th Street and Fort Washington Avenue, there were 109 collisions with 24 people injured. The intersection also proved particularly dangerous for pedestrians, with 17 injured during the three-year time period.
West 165th Street and Broadway saw 99 crashes during the time period, statistics showed. Of the 25 people injured there, 11 were pedestrians.
The study was undertaken in part because of concerns about the increased traffic that may come to the area when the new shopping center at the George Washington Bridge Bus Terminal is complete. A spokeswoman for the DOT said it expects recommendations from the study to be released sometime next year.
"The study is coordinated with the Port Authority, and we are looking at improving street safety for all users, improving mobility, curb management, and quality of life," she said.
City Councilman Ydanis Rodriguez, chair of the Council's transportation committee, helped to secure funding for the study.
"As Chair of the NYC Council Transportation Committee, Vision Zero has been an integral part of my agenda for the future of our city," he said in a statement. "In order to achieve that objective we must seek systemic changes to our road system. This study will allow us to evaluate current flows and trends so that we can make informed decisions and make our community even safer."