The community board is asking residents to help identify areas that the Department of Transportation should make safer Crossing the street can be pretty dangerous in the busy areas of the Upper West Side. Luckily Community Board 7 is trying to make the streets and crosswalks a safer place for pedestrians with a new Traffic Study that focuses on 94th-100th Streets. A group of concerned neighborhood residents met with the community board to talk about the most perilous intersections on the Upper West Side. Not surprisingly, residents had a lot to say about the intersections at 96th and Broadway outside the subway entrance, and West End Avenue and 96th Street. "We chose this area because it's an interesting set of blocks - only 6 blocks wide but encompasses a variety of neighborhood feels," said Community Board 7 Chair Mark Diller. "There are issues with public transit, volume and congestion. The purpose of the study is how to make everyone's experience on the street feel safe." At the meeting, community members mapped the problem areas. The next step, said Diller, would be to put together a series of questions to ask a professional. Council Members Melissa Mark-Viverito, Gale Brewer and Inez Dickens pulled together $17,000 for the purpose of paying a consultant to find some solutions to the traffic safety problems on the Upper West Side. Then, said Diller, with the help of the Department of Transportation, some of these solutions could be put into action. The "most dangerous intersection" in the area, Broadway and 96th Street, has recently become even more confusing because turn signals were recently put in. As a result, people think the light is going to turn green, but in reality, it is a turn signal. "There's a lot of layers of confusion to this intersection," said Diller. We visited the intersection at 96th and Broadway and spoke to residents about their experiences. "You have to really watch out here. There's so many ways cars can turn and they sometimes don't obey the lights," said Josefina Calcano, a mother of two who lives on Amsterdam Avenue. "You always have to be on alert especially when you're crossing a huge intersection like this. A lot of people just look at the light not the 'don't walk' sign. That's what confuses everyone. They should have bigger or brighter signs because everything blends in." "Trying to cross here with the different lights is scary. I usually have to walk with a cane," said Yvonne Fawcett, who has lived on the Upper West Side since 1957, and has had to cross the intersection with a cast on her leg for a fracture. "These cars are going, these cars are stopped. When do I go? We're not used to these turn signals here yet. But I just think - that's how I'm gonna go. A New York taxi is going to get me." "Is it dangerous? It depends on the time of day. There have been a number of accidents here. The turn signals are a little bit confusing because they're allowing traffic to go in a certain direction and you don't realize. It allows Southbound traffic to make right turns unsuspectingly, and that's not good," said Marc Cooper, a father and resident of the Upper West Side. "I never have a problem crossing here," said Alicia Alvarez, who lives on the Upper West Side. "If you respect the law, there should be no problem."
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