Pedestrians no longer have to walk in the street on West Mt. Eden Avenue following new road improvements.
The ‘safety improvements,’ according to the NYC Department of Tranportation, include a two-block adjustment on West Mt. Eden Avenue changing the roadway from a two-way street to a westbound only one-way street.
The one-way adjustment runs from Jerome Avenue to Macombs Avenue.
DOT then added a sidewalk on the north side of the avenue from Inwood Avenue to Mcombs Road.
In addition, at the intersection between West Mt. Eden Avenue and Inwood Avenue, there are now new two crosswalk areas.
Also, motorists can no longer make a right turn from Inwood Avenue onto West Mt. Eden Avenue as, according to the DOT, it was difficult for drivers to see oncoming traffic.
Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson said when pedestrians “are forced” to walk in the street, both motorists and the walkers are presented with risk.
DOT Deputy Borough Commissioner Nivardo Lopez echoed Gibson’s sentiments saying it “never makes sense for pedestrians to walk in the street.”
Over the years, DOT had received multiple requests from residents, politicians and community members to address the north side of West Mt. Eden Avenue.
Prior to the improvements, the sidewalk on West Mt. Eden stopped at Inwood Avenue.
This caused pedestrians to either cross to the other side of the street or walk on the roadway until they reached Macombs Road.
According to the DOT, as many as 1,100 people were recorded either crossing at Inwood Avenue or walking in the street from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The new sidewalk will service people coming off the 4 train at Jerome Avenue, as well as those previously walking in the street.
In 2013, DOT released a Jerome Avenue Transportation Study which suggested changes to West Mt. Eden including the sidewalk and the narrowing of the roadway.
The DOT report said it would have been difficult to construct the sidewalk on a narrow 32-foot two-way wide street. To resolve the matter the one-way street plan was initiated.
“These changes will provide a safe route which will have a positive impact on area residents’ quality of life” said Paul Philps, district manager for Community Board 4.
The improvements in the Mt. Eden neighborhood are part of the mayor’s Vision Zero Initiative.
The initiative will provide safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike.
Earlier this year, Mayor De Blasio announced a $115 million investment in street redesign and traffic-calming measures on certain thoroughfares around the city.
©2016 Community News Group