December 25, 2015
Most Dangerous Intersections in Manhattan: West 34th Street and 6th Avenue
By Jonathan Damashek
Home to most of the city’s tallest building and iconic attractions, Midtown Manhattan generates high levels of pedestrian activity at all hours of the day. The area also has the densest concentration of pedestrians in Manhattan. Between 2009 and 2013, there were 2,684 crashes that involved pedestrians. This weeks article in the “Most Dangerous Intersections in Manhattan” series focuses on the intersection of West 34th Street and 6th Avenue.
What makes this intersection so dangerous is that 34th Street is an arterial road. Arterial roads are wider than normal roads, and because of the additional width drivers tend to drive at faster speeds than they normally would. This places pedestrians at a higher risk of danger.
In December 2014, a driver injured 5 pedestrians and pinned a woman with her car, when the mustang convertible slammed into the showcase window of a Forever 21. Aside from crashing into the window, driver Stella Mednik crashed into an SUV and attempted to leave the scene of the crash. While several of the pedestrians were severally injured, none were killed.
The high concentration of pedestrians at this intersection, otherwise known as Herald Square, has over a 100 million pedestrians crossing its corners each year. With that much foot traffic cause by the near by Macy’s and several subway stops, pedestrians and vehicles must compete for space when the sidewalk becomes over crowded.
In 2001, killed 6 pedestrians and injured at least 9 others as plowed through the intersection which was crowded with commuters and post-holiday shoppers. The van then crashed into a bus. The crash was considered an accident and no charges were filed.
This intersection one of the most dangerous intersections in Manhattan and under Vision Zero, an initiative whose goal is to eradicate all traffic related deaths, safety measures have been implemented to increase pedestrian safety. Pedestrian refugee islands and speed bumps were added to the streets to give pedestrians safe havens as they cross the street. None the less, when at this intersection be wary of your surroundings.