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Manhattan Community Board Five

Proposal on the Madison Square Pedestrian Improvement Project

WHEREAS, The  NYC Department of Transportation has proposed a new vehicular and pedestrian circulation plan for Broadway and Fifth Avenues between West 25th Street and East 22nd Streets; and

WHEREAS, The existing traffic patterns are illogical and confusing so that it is very difficult for drivers coming down Broadway and Fifth Avenues to continue on those streets; and

WHEREAS, Pedestrians are faced with numerous obstacles, confusing signals and are forced to cross great distances to navigate the streets so that they are essentially discouraged from traveling through this area; and

WHEREAS, The Broadway bicycle lane simply stops just north of this area and begins again south of the area; and

WHEREAS, The existing traffic patterns create dangerous conditions for pedestrians and bicyclists and forces drivers, including bus drivers, to take extra turns and stop for more traffic signals; and

WHEREAS, The Department of Transportation has proposed a new circulation plan which will simplify the traffic patterns by making it easy for vehicles traveling down Fifth Avenue to remain on Fifth Avenue and for vehicles traveling down Broadway to remain on Broadway; and

WHEREAS, The proposed plan will create new safe bicycle route connections through the area; and

WHEREAS, The proposed plan would greatly increase the amount of “safe” pedestrian areas north and south of 23rd Street in the middle of the present intersection as well as along Madison Square Park and at the intersection of Broadway and West 24th Street; and

WHEREAS, The proposed plan makes a number of pedestrian crossings, some presently illegal, safer and more logical in that they more closely resemble the routes pedestrians would expect to take; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five is concerned that there is no way for pedestrians to cross Broadway and Fifth Avenues from West 24th Street or to exit the north end of the island at this intersection and that this encourages jaywalking and creates dangerous conditions; and

WHEREAS, The Department of Transportation will install “hard landscaping’ features to discourage pedestrians from jaywalking in this area; and

WHEREAS, The Flatiron/23rd Street Partnership BID has agreed to work with DOT to provide materials and maintain the hard landscaping and would like to work with the Board on the design and use of the new pedestrian space in the area; and

WHEREAS, The new traffic and pedestrian changes can be further modified because the present plan does not involve changing curbs or other major infrastructure in the area:  therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five approves the Department of Transportation Madison Square Pedestrian Project as presented to the Board and expects DOT to continue to remain open to future modifications of the plan as future pedestrian and vehicular patterns develop in the area and that a final plan will be presented to the Board before any permanent curbs or sidewalks are installed in the area.

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