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You Told Us: Do the DOT's Slow Turn Boxes Improve Traffic Safety?

By Shaye Weaver | December 20, 2016 3:28pm

UPPER EAST SIDE — Several new "slow turn boxes" — painted boxes with flexible posts — have been installed at Manhattan intersections to stop left-turning cars from speeding around corners.

The Department of Transportation began installing the boxes in mid-November as part of a pilot program that will roll out at 100 crash-prone intersections in the city.

The boxes are meant to slow drivers by using a 10-foot gap between crosswalks and travel lanes.

Readers took to Neighborhood Square this week to sound off on whether they think the boxes actually work and prevent crashes:

► "It is long overdue and should be at every single intersection if they continue with the insane simultaneous green light for cars turning and walk sign," wrote Neighborhood Square user Electra.

► "There is one of these at 5 Av. and 125 St. along with centerline posts to keep drivers from cutting the corner and barreling through the crosswalk. It helps!" said hessmatthias.

► "Great idea! I was hit (gently) by a left turning cab and have had and witnessed many near misses. Drivers often don't look when they're making left turns," wrote lynn-anjali-somerstein.

Others said it's a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.

► "Minor changes like slow turn boxes may help and will be interesting to see how it works for you guys. But many advocates are demanding MAJOR changes to infrastructure, but don't explain how costly it will be, how long it will take, or who will pay for it. Lots of luck!" said DeputyDashcam.

► "I think it is a good start, but there must be additional effort made to curb speeding by garbage trucks and other trucks with limited visibility. No police around ever in my neighborhood at 71 st and Lex," wrote Trafer.

► "They need to IMPROVE the SIGNS!!! The changes are very confusing! 
It's actually more dangerous many places now because the flow of traffic is completely different and PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE IT. The small signs they have posted are obscure and confusing! Eventually it will be better but right now it's so scary. 
The DOT sincerely stinks at imparting information to the public," anewsjunkie said.

► "If this helps, great, and maybe at these intersections, it will. But I just got off the bus at 79th & 1st and watched numerous pedestrians dash across the avenue, at rush hour, in the dark, through a don't walk sign, while the cars on 79th had a left turn light. One lady actually dragged two toddlers in front of the cars trying to turn. If you want to save lives, you have to ticket the pedestrians who jaywalk so aggressively at the most dangerous intersections.  But it's much easier for politicians to blame the cars and call it a day," wrote LisaUES.

► "They are worthless....Drivers still plow over them because they are animals on the rod. We need cement turn bumpers/ barriers like on the other main roads and avenues city wide. Lexington Ave. needs curb extensions as well. The sidewalks are too over crowded!" said Jeffreywt.