More than 100 Upper West Side residents packed a community board meeting Thursday to discuss a dangerous intersection at 96th Street and Broadway after three recent pedestrian fatalities. NY1's Michael Herzenberg filed the following report.
The uncle of nine-year-old Cooper Stock told elected leaders and neighbors Thursday that his family's only solace is that others might not die the way Cooper did.
"Please do not let politics, bureaucracy and interest groups squabbling prevent meaningful reform in the name of Cooper," Cooper's uncle said.
A cab driver struck and killed Cooper on January 10 on 97th Street and West End Ave as he lawfully crossed the street with his father.
That same day, a tour bus hit and killed Alexander Sheer at 96th Street and Broadway. Nine days later, 26-year-old Samantha Lee was killed crossing the same intersection.
"The main cause in these tragedies is drivers failing to yield," said one person at the meeting.
More then 150 residents came to Community Board 7 to hear the Department of Transportation pitch its plan make 96th and Broadway safer for pedestrians.
In addition to making the pedestrian space more square and reducing the crossing distance, the DOT would simplify the traffic signals and ban two left turns.
"I was actually blown away by how great a plan this actually is," said one person who attended the meeting.
Most at the meeting stood in favor of the plan. Some, though, worried that those on 96th Street trying to go left on Broadway would just go left on West End Avenue, increasing traffic and pedestrian danger there.
"So more cars in the morning will be turning left on 96th onto West End Ave, which is right across every morning, right where lots of lots of schoolchildren cross the morning," said one person at the meeting.
The DOT said that the impacts to other intersections would be negligible.
The uncle of Cooper stocks says he's just happy the issue as a whole is getting the attention it deserves
"This is the main thing that I think makes us glad," Cooper's uncle said.
The DOT hopes to move forward on the plan in March. It all comes as the mayor looks to reduce pedestrian traffic deaths to zero in the coming years. Part of that plan includes improving 50 dangerous intersections like this one per year.