In a city as populated as New York, car accidents and pedestrian fatalities are an unfortunate reality. In the Bronx, more pedestrians are killed walking the streets at night than any other location in the city according to the Department of Transportation. With the implementation of Vision Zero in 2014, whose initiative is to completely eliminate all traffic fatalities, plans have been set in motion for boroughs to locate problematic roads and find solutions to improve safety.
The Bronx has a population of over 1.4 million and is the third most densely populated county in the U.S., which leads to the borough having a higher pedestrian fatality rate than the rest of New York City.
In the fashion of our previous series “The 5 Most Dangerous Intersections in Queens for Car Accidents and Pedestrian Fatalities”, we will be presenting some of the most hazardous intersections and recommending steps in similar situations.
The intersection of East 170th and Grand Concourse, is one of the worst in the Bronx due to pedestrians being forced to cross multiple lanes of heavy traffic caused by regular street grids interspersed with wide arterial roads which leads to motorists travelling at faster speeds. Between 2009 and 2013, seven pedestrians were seriously injured and one was killed. The intersection forces pedestrians to cross seven lanes of heavy traffic to reach the nearby subway stations and bus stops. The DOT suggests that the number of pedestrian collisions is a lack of adequate frequency crosswalks in locations where crossing is in high demand.
In March of 2015, two were killed when a taxi hit a parked car and then vaulted onto the sidewalk. In another collision in 2012, Juan Rivera-Quintana was struck and killed at the intersection when a car sped through a red light. Another man was also severely injured in the collision.
The DOT plans to improve pedestrian safety by adding stop signs and rescaling streets to create shorter crossing distances between streets and discouraging speeding.
This intersection contains many features we know to be problematic, but the best things any good driver or pedestrian or cyclist can be are alert and cautious. This is statistically the worst intersection in the Bronx, but many others contain similarly dangerous features. Over the coming weeks, we will examine those as well.
The intersection is known to the areas residents as a dangerous one, but until the rehauling infrastructure is complete, the best advice is to be cautious and alert when driving and crossing the street. In the upcoming weeks we will examine other problematic collisions.