Drivers are apparently crushing plastic posts placed on 93rd Street and West End Avenue by the city to force drivers to make more gradual left turns. The “nubs” left behind, after the posts are repeatedly run over, pose new hazards.
Just a few days after the foot-tall, reflective posts were installed in the middle of West End Avenue, they were all destroyed by cars, leaving six black plastic base mounts that drivers can’t see… particularly at night.
A Department of Transportation spokesperson noted that the smashed posts were quickly fixed – adding that the city may start using stronger materials. The posts are part of a “Left Turn Calming Program,” meant to mitigate the high rate of left turn bike and pedestrian injuries. A dedicated maintenance crew is responsible for repairs.
West End Avenue has proven deadly for pedestrians in the past few years. Both 61-year-old Jean Chambers and 9-year-old Cooper Stock were killed by drivers making left turns onto West End. A surveillance video from the scene showed the driver who hit Chambers on 95th and West End taking a particularly sharp left turn. The avenue gets substantial traffic from the Henry Hudson Parkway, and drivers sometimes treat the avenue like an off-ramp instead of a residential street.
The DOT insist that left-turn barriers have proven successful at forcing drivers to slow down: “In New York City intersections where Left Turn Traffic Calming Treatments have been implemented, median left turn speeds have decreased by 24.4%,” noted a DOT spokesperson.
Source: West Side Rag