December 31, 2015
Dangerous Intersections in Manhattan: Park Avenue and East 125th Street
By Jonathan Damashek
Park Avenue is home to some of the most expensive real estate in the United States. Park Avenue is also one of the most attractive boulevards in Manhattan thanks to a group that organized and supports the Fund for Park Avenue. While not an attraction in itself, Park Avenue sees thousands of pedestrians cross it’s double wide streets every day. In this week’s segment of “Dangerous Intersections in Manhattan we will be featuring Park Avenue and East 125th Street.
This intersection alone had 6 collisions last year and has been described as one of the most dangerous intersections by the Department of Transportation. 125th Street is an arterial road, whose main function is to deliver traffic from collector roads to freeways or expressways, and between urban centers at the highest level of service possible. Arterial roads are normally wider than normal roads which leaders to drivers treating these roads as if they were small highways and drive at faster than normal speeds.
In July of 2008 a 55-year-old woman was crossing Park Avenue when an out of control livery cab driver struck and killed her before crashing into a bank.
What makes this one of the most dangerous intersections in Manhattan is that it has some problematic issues that add to pedestrian endangerment. The intersection has chaotic traffic patterns that make the roads confusing and dangerous for both pedestrians and drivers. This leads to many pedestrian and driver conflicts. Lastly, there is not enough room for pedestrians on the sidewalks which leads to overcrowded sidewalks and an insufficient amount of time to cross the wide streets.
In June of 2013 Laura Rothfuss was biking westbound on 125th street when her bike was clipped by the driver of a taxi from behind. She was fatally run over by the driver of a second cab.
Some plans have been proposed to promote safety at this intersection. Some of these plans include adding crosswalk stripes alert drivers to presence of pedestrians in the roadway and constructing new pedestrian ramps at the SW corners of the intersection.
While these plans are sure to improve pedestrian safety, it is important to always be wary of your surroundings when on the streets of Manhattan.