December 3, 2015
The Most Dangerous Intersections in Manhattan for Pedestrians: 125th Street and Lexington Avenue
By Jonathan Damashek
Despite containing 5 boroughs, when people think of New York City they imagine Manhattan. This borough, which is one of the most densely populated areas in the world with 71,672 residents per square mile, is the focus of our newest blog series: “The Most Dangerous Intersections in Manhattan for Pedestrians”. Each week we will feature a different intersection and educate the reader on what makes the intersection so dangerous for pedestrians and what the Department of Transportation’s plans to make the intersection safer for pedestrians are. The aim of this series is to inform the public of hazardous intersections so they can make informed decisions when walking about the various boroughs of New York City.
The first post in this new series features the intersection of 125th Street and Lexington Avenue, which has been regarded as one of the deadliest especially for children. Between 1995 and 2009, 20 children were stuck in 106 pedestrian crashes, more than any other intersection in Manhattan. Transportation Alternatives reports that a pedestrian or bicycle crash victim in the area is over three times more likely to be a child than in the neighboring areas.
In September 2011, Steven Reese, 58, was crossing the street at Lexington Avenue when he was struck by a van at 10pm. He was taken to Harlem Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
What makes this one of the most dangerous intersections in Manhattan is that 125th Street is an arterial road which creates faster than normal speeds and high-crash pedestrian environments. The intersection also has buses moving in all four directions, a massive supermarket on one corner, a DMV on another, and a busy subway station that leads to overcrowding on the sidewalks.
In May of 2008, 7 people including 3 children were injured when a van lost control and crashed into a street level entrance of a subway. The driver of the van died during the crash and 3 others were in critical condition.
Some suggested improvements to the intersection to make it safer for pedestrians are reduced speed limits, pedestrian islands, and shorter crosswalks. However little has been done to rectify the intersection, so if you find yourself in the area please be aware of your surroundings.