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'Slow Turn Boxes' Installed on UES Streets to Curb Crashes, Officials Say

By Shaye Weaver | December 15, 2016 4:58pm

UPPER EAST SIDE — Painted boxes with flexible posts called "slow turn boxes" were installed at two neighborhood intersections to keep cars from whipping around corners.

The boxes are meant to slow drivers making left-turns by creating a 10-foot gap between pedestrian crosswalks and where cars can travel. The traffic-calming measures were installed last month on Third Avenue at 80th and 88th streets, but more are coming, officials said.

The boxes are part of a pilot program that's expected to roll out at 100 crash-prone intersections in the city. The locations, which have not all been determined yet, were chosen based on a DOT study completed in the fall looking at crash reports between 2009 and 2013 of intersections with the biggest number of left-turn-related pedestrian and cyclist injuries.

The intersection of Third Avenue and 80th Street has seen eight pedestrian injuries and there have been seven pedestrian injuries at Third Avenue and 88th Street since 2009, according to the city's Vision Zero data. It was immediately unclear how many of those involved left turns.


(Credit: Jordan Wouk)

Outside of the Upper East Side, the slow turn boxes have also been installed at Third Avenue and 28th and 30th streets, and at Seventh Avenue at 15th Street, Second Avenue at 45th Street, and one in Brooklyn's Borough Park at the 50th Street and 14th Avenue intersection.

The slow turn boxes are just one tool of many the DOT plans to implement going forward in addition to clearer markings, pedestrian islands and signals, according to DOT spokeswoman Alana Morales.

There have been at least four pedestrian killed by cars as they were walking in crosswalks this year on the Upper East Side, and a number of others were injured.

The slow turn boxes will continue to be installed across the city and will be evaluated throughout the rest of the year, Morales said.