Yesterday, representatives from the Department of Transportation and Community Board 3 met with East River residents, including Michael Marino of Friends of Corlears Hook and Jeff Super from the house committee, to look at and discuss options for the intersection of Cherry Street and the FDR Drive access road. Michael Marino had raised safety concerns months ago with the CB3 transportation committee about the lack of a pedestrian crosswalk and the dangerous, blind turn made by cars and buses every day.
During the meeting, the corner’s safety problems were quite evident: double-length buses made the turn at precipitous speeds while two residents in wheelchairs and another with a baby carriage had to make their way along the street to get from one curb cutout to another.
The DOT rep suggested that the removal of two current parking spots on Cherry Street would help “daylight” the corner and give large buses extra room to turn. New signage on the corner might give cars needing handicapped access a place to park without blocking visibility for turning vehicles. And cars parked along the no-parking stretch of the access road with NYPD and FDNY stickers will be verified through the local authorities.
In addition, the DOT will bring analysts to look at traffic pattern during the morning, late afternoon, and evening to see if there is enough use of this intersection by automobiles and pedestrians to warrant a Stop sign or a traffic light, along with a painted pedestrian crosswalk and proper curb cutouts. That analysis will likely happen sometime this fall, so a solution is not imminent, but is on the horizon.