UPPER WEST SIDE — A group of seniors need a stoplight and crosswalk installed on West 106th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues to prevent them from jaywalking to attend activities nearby because the closest crosswalk is too far away, locals urged.
Residents at the Red Oak, senior housing at 135 West 106th St., and at another senior facility, The New Jewish Home at 120 West 106th St., attend activities at both buildings, which are directly opposite each other on the block.
But they difficulty walking all the way down to Amsterdam Avenue or over to Columbus Avenue to cross at the crowsswalk, and so more often than not they jaywalk, Red Oak director Micki Navarro said at a Community Board 7 meeting this week.
"I watch and I see the seniors trying to cross over," she said. "None of them want to go to the corner...They jaywalk."
The portion of West 106th Street that runs between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues is not only long but also includes a large hill, others pointed out.
"It’s probably one of the longest blocks in the city. It rises up from Amsterdam to Columbus about halfway and comes down, and there’s very little vision from one end to another," said Shelley Fine, president and director of the board for the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, which operates Red Oak.
Additionally, cars cresting the hill can't see the seniors, Navarro said.
"It’s really dangerous, especially when now at 4:30 p.m. it gets dark," she said.
Carmen Quinones, director of the Frederick Douglass Houses Tenant Association, said a lot of seniors from her complex attend classes and activities at the Red Oak and the New Jewish Home and that they also don't use the crosswalk.
"Please really consider this," she said of the crosswalk and traffic light requests. "This is something that needs to be done, it needs to be done fast."
Community Board 7's transportation committee ultimately voted to approve the proposal.
The Department of Transportation did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the feasibility of the request.