Downtown Express photo by Julie Shapiro
A two-block stretch of the Bowery is getting a median this month, which will prevent illegal U-turns on the street.
A divider coming to end lawlessness on the Bowery
The Bowery is about to become a boulevard.
Hoping to make the six-lane street safer for pedestrians, the city is adding a concrete median with trees on the Bowery between Canal and Division Sts. The construction on the two-block stretch will take place this month.
State Sen. Daniel Squadron pushed for the median after hearing from Chinatown advocates and residents of Confucius Plaza.
“The Bowery is the nexus of some of the worst traffic in the city,” Squadron said. “You can’t fix the Bowery entirely but you can ensure that some of the worst things aren’t happening.”
Cars and trucks frequently make an illegal U-turn on the Bowery as a shortcut to the Manhattan Bridge, which is dangerous, Squadron said. Many senior citizens are afraid to cross the wide street, and the median will prevent the U-turns and will give people a safer place to wait in between light cycles, he said.
Jack Eng, the new president of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, said he was glad to see changes that would make the street safer, and an added benefit is that the trees will add beauty to Chinatown.
The change is part of the city Dept. of Transportation’s Safe Streets for Seniors program. A D.O.T. spokesperson said the median will be in place this month and the cost is not yet final.
— Julie Shapiro