Have you noticed a change at the intersection of Broadway and Houston? We are not talking about the scaffolding that is going up, it’s more subtle than that. Once a prime spot for pedestrian and traffic congestion this intersection is seeing necessary improvements. The pedestrian signal along Houston (east/west) has been changed to allow pedestrians to cross the street before the west bound cars turning left onto Broadway (heading south) can turn.
Before this change took place pedestrians were crossing Broadway as the west bound cars turning left were permitted to turn. This was causing pedestrian safety issues and unnecessary traffic congestion as cars were forced to stop, blocking the intersection and occasionally weaving through pedestrians so as to not block traffic.
Today, the intersection is safer than it was thanks to this signal change. Pedestrians crossing Broadway east/west are now free to cross first without the left hand turning traffic from Houston conflicting. This change could not have taken place without the NYC Department of Transportation eagerly looking into this issue and Community Board 2 taking initiative in requesting a change to the light signal. The Community Board’s Transportation Committee and Shirley Secunda, the Transportation Committee Chair, played instrumental roles in leading this initiative, supported by the SoHo Broadway Initiative.