EAST HARLEM — Dangerous crosswalks on Park Avenue under the Metro-North viaduct are a lot safer, thanks to a Department of Transportation facelift, officials said.
The safety measures, completed on Tuesday, include more than 25 concrete neck-downs — curb extensions that help make pedestrians more visible to incoming traffic — new pedestrian walking signs, and LED lights to make the tunnels brighter along Park Avenue between 96th and 111th streets.
"These improvements will help East Harlem residents confidently cross the city's streets without fear of getting into an accident," said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.
Between 2009 and 2013, there were 236 injuries — including four fatalities — in the corridor, according to the DOT.
The safety upgrades will shorten pedestrian crossings, enhance visibility and calm traffic, said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.
"With the building of the Metro-North viaduct over 100 years ago, we are making street and pedestrian improvements to this East Harlem neighborhood that are decades overdue," she said.
At Central Park East High School, the new additions mean a safer commute for the 450 students who cross Park Avenue to take the 6 train at 103rd Street every day, said Principal Bennet Lieberman.
"The new pedestrian safety improvements have made the route for my students far safer," he said. "The cement islands at all viaduct intersections along Park Ave have made being a pedestrian in our neighborhood immeasurably safer."