Broadway must be fixed ... now


To the editor:

It’s been several weeks since the city’s transportation department implemented its new plan for the Broadway corridor — enough time to begin to evaluate reality from glossy presentation pictures and promises. As we live with it, its flaws have begun to become apparent.

DOT measures have created dangerous and confusing situations for vehicles exiting from the Henry Hudson Parkway and attempting to merge into the north and southbound traffic on Broadway. Drivers must now navigate through the middle-of-the-street parking, buffer, and protected bike lane to exist from Broadway and the reverse when exiting the Henry Hudson Parkway onto Broadway.

The curb extensions and concrete raised islands are hard to see and navigate around due to awkward sharp turns, especially at night.

The entire section of the redesign from Burger King to West 242nd Street is chaotic. Drivers heading southbound are confused by the myriad of lane markings, and are unsure how to proceed. That hesitation and indecision creates a safety problem for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike, and has severely hurt access to our businesses.

The new islands and bus bulbs have created a situation where sometimes there is not enough space for all the buses, resulting in double-parked buses discharging passengers into the traffic lane under the elevated tracks. The wall of backed-up buses, dispatched by MTA to accommodate riders during closure of the 1 train for track repairs, has also impeded access to those businesses.

The redesign of Sheridan Triangle located at Mosholu Avenue and Broadway is an accident waiting to happen. Cars are now parked in the middle of the roadway. When proceeding up Mosholu Avenue from northbound or southbound Broadway, the merge at the triangle’s western peak is blind. Drivers can’t see each other until the last second because there are no longer any sight lines.

DOT misled the public when they said at several public meetings that narrowing the lanes on Broadway to accommodate a protected bike lane would not affect parking. DOT has removed approximately 20 to 25 parking spaces between the southwest corner of West 254th Street all the way to the bus stop at Lakeview Avenue.

The approximately 10 spots that were added on the park side of Broadway are inadequate, and more dangerous for residents who must now exit their cars into the narrow traffic or bike lanes.

Our feedback from residents of on Post and Fieldston roads is that traffic has greatly increased on side streets as drivers choose to avoid the narrow traveling lanes, merges from the Henry Hudson Parkway, and de facto bus lanes. This is not a complete list of problems that have come to our attention.

Clearly, it’s time for DOT, our elected officials, and community to evaluate impacts of this new plan in terms of reality rather than theory.

Rob Spalter, Laura Spalter

The authors represent the Broadway Community Alliance, and Laura Spalter is a member of Community Board 8.