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UWS Community Board to Monitor Dangerous Streets After Crunching Crash Data

By Emily Frost | February 11, 2016 11:43am
 Board members are hoping to tailor their approach to requesting infrastructure and enforcement changes on local streets based on crash data they've examined from the past three years. 
Crash Hot Spots on the Upper West Side
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UPPER WEST SIDE — Broadway is by far the most dangerous avenue in the neighborhood and should get priority in any new safety plans, Community Board 7 members said Tuesday.

Board member Rich Robbins examined reports filed by the NYPD on crashes that occurred within the board's boundaries — from West 59th to West 110th streets between Riverside and Central parks — from July 1, 2012, through Feb. 5, 2016, to find patterns and locate the most dangerous corridors. 

During this time period, according to Robbins' analysis, the five worst intersections for crashes that injured a driver, pedestrian or cyclist were:

► Central Park West and West 86th Street: 28 injuries

► Broadway and West 60th Street: 26 injuries

► Broadway and West 79th Street: 26 injuries

► Columbus Avenue and West 97th Street: 25 injuries

► West End Avenue and West 96th Street: 25 injuries

With the data available,  CB7's Transportation Committee of had to make a decision about what to do with it, Robbins said.

"Should we be prioritizing [locations] based on past data? Are the fatalities most likely to occur at our worst intersections, or are they just flukes that could happen anywhere?" he asked his colleagues. 

Board members agreed that while there could be anomalies in terms of where fatal crashes happened, they nonetheless wanted to prioritize the places where the most injury-producing crashes were happening, which included West 86th and 96th streets in addition to Broadway.

The NYPD data currently available for the public online doesn't show the direction vehicles were traveling when the crashes happened, information board members said they would ask the two local police precincts for to help them better understand any dangerous patterns. 

The data did show a large spike in crashes around 4 p.m., when there's already rush-hour traffic and kids and parents are going to and from school, board member Roberta Semer said. 

Trends like that, as well as others the board hopes to explore, including the causes of each crash, will help them guide the Department of Transportation and the NYPD in making local streets safer, members said. 

The No. 1 cause of crashes resulting in injuries came from drivers failing to yield to pedestrians, Robbins said. In some of these cases, pedestrians may not be paying attention to drivers, others pointed out. 

"I feel bad for some of the cars because people stand at the crosswalk and they don’t even look," Semer said. "The sign says don’t walk and people just walk."

In addition to requesting more in-depth crash data from the NYPD, board members agreed they'd also go out during peak crash times and monitor the streets for patterns. 

Committee members will visit and observe conditions on Broadway, as well as all along West 86th and 96th streets, and report back on their findings, they said.

They will also observe six other hot spot intersections identified for having a high volume of crashes: West 97th Street and Columbus Avenue; West 66th Street and Amsterdam Avenue; West 70th Street and Amsterdam Avenue; West 86th Street and Central Park West; West 79th Street and Riverside Drive; and West 96th Street and West End Avenue. 

To see more of the data Robbins collected, click on the images in the slideshow. 

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