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Created September 28, 2021 22:45
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GraPl DOT feedback

This one is a real challenge! The wide design of the Grand Army Plaza circle, combined with fairly long light cycles, permits drivers to feel safe going 40-50mph, and brings them off the circle onto Vanderbilt (and into this intersection) at speed. This intersection marks the start of significant bicycle (rare and unexpected to motorists two-way bike traffic on Plaza St E) and pedestrian (four crosswalks) activity not present on the stretch of Grand Army Plaza circle from the last light until this light. This shift from parkway/highway-like design in the traffic circle to residential street design surprises drivers, and they often have no time to adjust their speed appropriately when the light is green.

Additional issues at this intersection:

  1. Drivers at speed going northbound cannot see pedestrians or cyclists entering the intersection from the east side due to the advertising portion of the MTA bus stop and the allocation of the corner parking spot. Physically blocking this with a low planter or parking space would help increase visibility. There's also a fake, nonstandard lane (really a shoulder) that should be replaced with a raised bus bulb, given time and resources, to aid boarding and prevent traffic from exiting the lane and impinging on the crosswalk waiting area.

  2. Drivers traveling northbound into the intersection and intending to turn left onto Plaza St E quite reasonably do not expect southbound bike traffic making a right turn to conflict, but the one-side 2-way bike configuration on Plaza St E means that bike traffic has to cross all of Plaza St E. As a cyclist, I tend to make this turn against the light (illegally) because it means there is no oncoming traffic from the Plaza circle that might turn into me. It's never good when breaking the law is the safer option.

I have one friend who no longer uses this intersection at all, preferring any other option for getting onto the (very nice! very safe-feeling) Plaza St E bike lane after being nearly hit by a vehicle while he was making a legal turn. Without calming measures to reduce the perceived safe speed from the southbound side, it's likely people will be hurt or killed at this intersection.

Thanks for all that you do, I've been biking in NYC since 2013 (all five boroughs) and things have gotten noticeably better thanks to the DOT's work.

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