City Offers Solutions Amid Washington Heights Traffic Problems

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS, NY – The Department of Transportation presented the Upper Manhattan Community Council 12 earlier in December about speeding and reckless driving issues on Amsterdam and Fort George avenues along West 188th Street to the St. Nicholas Avenue.

The specific area of ​​Upper Manhattan that the DOT has concerns about local traffic.

There are eight local schools in and around the Upper Manhattan study area.

From 2014 to 2018, the specific Washington Heights corridor recorded 45 traffic-related injuries, including two fatalities, according to the DOT.

Over the five-year period, 41 percent of motor vehicle injuries were in rear-end collisions, indicating speeding.

Additionally, with eight local schools around the study area, 17% of pedestrian and cyclist injuries in the hallway involved children – far more than the Manhattan average of 6%.

Summary of injuries for the study area (2014-2018)

  • Pedestrian: 5 injured
  • Cyclist: 2 injured
  • Occupant of a motor vehicle: 38 injured, 4 seriously injured, 2 fatalities

In recent months, DOT has worked closely with I Challenge Myself (ICM), an after-school program for students at the George Washington Educational Campus (located just north of 193rd Street) to develop a safe proposition for the streets of ‘Upper Manhattan.

Their collaborative work found that 63 percent of cars go faster than the 25 MPH speed limit in Amsterdam and 190th Street.

The wide, steep hills in the study area, especially those starting at Fort George Avenue and 190th Street “encourage speeding,” according to the DOT.

The recent study also pointed out that long crosswalks, wide one-lane roads, and blocked bike lanes in the Upper Manhattan area were another traffic safety issue in the area.

Photo courtesy of DOT

After laying out the issues for Community Board 12, the DOT also provided a set of solutions that it said could help improve traffic conditions in the area.

These solutions include the creation of shorter pedestrian crossings in the streets next to schools and centers for the elderly, the addition of pedestrian blocks in the middle of the streets and the insertion of protected cycle paths.

You can see a more detailed overview of the solutions, as well as renderings – on the DOT website.

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