Unlike other major cities, Manhattan’s streets stay congested between the morning and evening rush hours. This continuous congestion leads to issues between pedestrians and vehicles. In this third week of our Most Dangerous Intersections in Manhattan blog post series, we feature the corner of West 125th Street and Lenox Avenue.
This busy intersection in Harlem has one of the most dramatically high crash rates according to the Department of Transportation. 125th Street is an arterial road, meaning that it is wider than other roads in the city. This additional width causes drivers to speed and treat the road as if it was a highway rather than a city street. The road is known to locals for drivers carelessly speeding down the road, ignoring the right of way.
In 2014Pedro Santiago was riding his bike on West 125th when he was struck by an MTA bus. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Many cyclists have stated that 125th Street as being very dangerous to cyclists because of the lack of bus lanes in the area which cause high congestion.
What makes this one of the most dangerous intersections in Manhattan is that the intersection has a high traffic of pedestrians, many who use the buses and subways. This heavy foot traffic can prove to be deadly for the pedestrians if they are not careful as the cross the streets.
In March for 2015, a multi-vehicle accident at the intersection injured 11 people, 7 of them were injured seriously. Witnesses stated that the accident was caused when a delivery van stuck the back of a Nissan. After the initial crash, a van collided with the Nissan and a motorcycle became involved as well. The cause of the accident is being investigated.
Attempts to make the intersection safer for pedestrians and cyclists include adding pedestrian islands and retiming walk signals. Some locals have stated that speed bumps should be installed to deter drivers from speeding, which is the cause of many accidents in the area. If you are in Harlem and find yourself near this intersection, remain aware of your surroundings before stepping off the curb.