By Sabina Mollot
Stuyvesant Town residents will soon see $100,000 worth of traffic and pedestrian safety improvements made to the neighborhood.
Funds for the project were allocated last week, as part of the city budget, at the request of Council Member Dan Garodnick.
What exact improvements are going to be made has not yet been determined with Garodnick saying he wanted to have the Department of Transportation make its own recommendations. The goal, however is to make the cityscape surrounding the property more child and senior-friendly with smoother curb cuts (the slopes from sidewalks to the street on corners) and other changes aimed at minimizing car and bike accidents.
Increasing crossing times at street lights is a possibility, as are changes to the service roads. Last month, a Town & Village reader asked Garodnick, via a letter to this newspaper, to make the service roads safer. This was after witnessing a pedestrian dart out into one to catch a bus, only to get hit by a car.
“Pedestrians treat the service road as a semi-sidewalk, while drivers drive at full speed,” observed the writer, Joseph Sanderson.
Garodnick said he’s been in touch with Sanderson. “We’re looking at the safety issue on the service road and that could be a part of this potentially,” he said.
He added that he’s also heard from residents that some curb cuts are difficult to manage by people using walkers or pushing strollers.
Meanwhile, other changes aimed at pedestrian safety are already afoot within Stuyvesant Town.
The Council member noted how the recent move of the onsite daycare center from East 14th Street to the old management office building on Avenue C has led to a higher concentration of kids on Avenue C near the southbound entrance to the FDR Drive. Due to concerns over their safety, CompassRock was asked to implement its own safety measures along the Avenue C Loop — and management agreed.
“They responded almost immediately, which we are very grateful for,” said Garodnick.
Improvements include putting two speedbumps along the C Loop, installing “Caution: Children at Play” signage and painting the street outside the center yellow to prevent double parking. The speed bumps were put into place on Tuesday morning, while the painting was already done last Thursday and earlier in the week, Garodnick said he spotted at least one sign.
The improvements inside Stuy Town are being paid for by CompassRock/CWCapital, not the city.