New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez announced changes on Route 9A in Manhattan (West Side) that will enhance safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists between Battery Place and 59th Street.
The work includes:
The work will be completed this fall.
“Safety is always the top priority of the New York State Department of Transportation and these changes to Route 9A, including new markings, signals and signage, will enhance safety along this heavily traveled roadway and make it easier for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists to move around Manhattan’s West Side,” Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said.
“Adjusting speed limits to safer travel speeds has been among the keys to saving lives under Vision Zero,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.“With the growth of Hudson River Park and the Greenway, the country’s busiest bike path, never mind great gathering places like Chelsea Piers, it is quite clear that the old “West Side Highway” is now more boulevard than highway. This new speed limit reflects that evolution.
We thank our partners at the State Department of Transportation for working with the City to make the West Side Highway safer for all of its users.”
In 2017, West Side elected officials and community boards called for enhanced road safety on Route 9A. Their advocacy was in response to concerns from pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. New York State Department of Transportation officials conducted a traffic study leading to these important changes.
New York State Department of Transportation contractors will implement most of the changes in the coming weeks. The work will be done overnight to minimize traffic disruptions.
Additionally, NYSDOT will work cooperatively with the New York City Department of Transportation to reduce the speed limit to 30 miles per hour from 35 miles per hour and implement the traffic signal changes.
A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that looked at crash data from cities around the country found that reduced speeds may significantly reduce fatalities and serious injuries among pedestrians. NYSDOT has also asked the New York City Police Department to enhance the enforcement of traffic violations along the corridor.
In addition to the speed limit reduction, specific changes will include:
1. Adding exclusive southbound right turn traffic signal phases at six intersections essentially stopping all traffic. This will enhance safety for pedestrians and bicyclists while also enabling cars to make unimpeded right turns at Route 9A’s intersection with:
2. Making it easier to cross Route 9A by extending walk times at:
3. Adding curb extension pavement markings at the southwest corners of intersections to help vehicles stay in their travel lanes at:
4. Refreshing pavement markings at 11 intersections, including:
5. Adding Right-turn yield signs at nine intersections, including:
In response to community concerns, NYSDOT will continue to monitor the corridor and has committed to enhancing additional intersections if warranted.
Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said, “Hudson River Park has long been one of the most cherished green spaces in all of Manhattan. Reducing the speed limit on Route 9A should make accessing the park a more pleasant and, more importantly, safe experience. I applaud NYC DOT and NYS DOT for their work on this and look forward to working with them to advance greater safety measures for New Yorkers.”
Congressman Jerrold Nadler said, “As a continuation of the City’s historic Vision Zero initiative, the reduction of speed of the West Side Highway by 5 mph to 30 mph may not seem like a lot, but it cuts the chances of pedestrians dying from being hit by a vehicle in half. I applaud City and State DOT for this action.
We must make our streets safer for pedestrians and reduce the tragic loss of life that is too often the result of dangerous driving. The West Side Highway is not some interstate highway in a rural area, but a boulevard street in Manhattan that is adjacent to a park, pedestrian walkway and bike path. This speed reduction initiative will help to create a safer environment for all New Yorkers.”
Senator Brad Hoylman said, “I am thrilled that New York State is responding to our calls for safety enhancements by making crucial changes to the street design and by working with New York City to reduce the speed limit on the West Side Highway. These enhancements will protect New Yorkers from harm and create a safer West Side Highway for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.
Council Member Margaret S. Chin said, “Here in Lower Manhattan, we have long advocated for improved safety measures along the West Side Highway,” said “By curbing the high speed, dangerous traffic at three critical junctures, increasing pedestrian crossing times and improving signal times, the Department of Transportation is showing they understand the urgency of the situation. I want to thank the advocates for their tireless efforts to push for a West Side Highway that is safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.”