DOT Proposes Major Changes Along 96th Street

dot proposal 96th street changes

Jim.henderson, Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The Department of Transportation is proposing a number of bus and pedestrian safety improvements along 96th Street on both sides of Central Park.


While various projects have improved safety throughout the corridor over the years, 96th Street is still in the top 10% of streets with the most people killed or severely injured per mile, according to a presentation made by the DOT to Community Board 8. It specifically notes that there were “391 injuries on the corridor in the past 5 years, including 44 who were killed or severely injured.”

The goals of the project are to create safer streets for pedestrians while also improving the reliability and speed of the m96 crosstown bus, which the DOT notes is especially slow on the UES (as well as around Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue). The project also aims to enhance the speed of and safety around the m106 route, which overlaps with the m96 in Central Park and on the UWS.

One element of the DOT’s proposal is the creation of an offset bus lane so that buses wouldn’t have to share the lane with other vehicles. The DOT argues that this would increase bus speeds – which “are as low as 4 mph during peak hours” – while also alleviating traffic congestion on parallel lanes.

proposed typical offset bus lane


The DOT is also proposing “left turn bays” to “facilitate traffic flow and preserve turning movements” while also “safety by reducing ‘back pressure.'” These are being considered for implementation on Central Park West (eastbound), Park Ave (eastbound & westbound), Lexington Ave (westbound), and Third Ave (eastbound).


In addition, “queue jump signals” which would allow “buses to get a head start to bypass traffic” are being considered at 96th and Central Park West (eastbound), 97th and Fifth Avenue (westbound), and 96th and Third Avenue (both directions).

To improve pedestrian safety, the DOT is also proposing the installation of “turn calming treatments” throughout the corridor.

turn calming treatments


To view the presentation in full, please click here. To see the DOT’s presentation to Community Board 8, please click this Youtube video link (the segment begins at about 1 hour and 3 minutes).


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