Upper West Side residents demand new safety changes for pedestrians

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MANHATTAN (PIX11) -- It was standing room only at Thursday night's town hall meeting regarding proposed safety changes to West End Avenue, particularly from 72nd street to 107th street. 

52 pedestrians have been hit on West End Ave in the past year -- two of them fatally. 

Earlier this month, beloved 61-year-old Jeanie Chambers was hit and killed, and back in January, nine-year-old Cooper Stock.

Jeanie and Cooper both had the right of way in the crosswalk.

To be blunt, many people on the Upper West Side are asking -- did their deaths finally prompt action?

Mary Beth Kelly lost her husband six years ago in a traffic related death and now works for Families for Safer Streets

"When you have two people killed in six months within two blocks from each other, there is an outcry from the community for change to happen now," says Kelly. "We need a redesign that includes West End Avenue."

The Department of Transportation made their proposals in front of a packed audience. 

So let's talk about the changes: the DOT would like to implement a 'no left turn' sign on 97th and 95th street along West End Avenue.

They also are proposing reducing the four lane road to three, which would leave one lane North and South bound with a turn lane in the middle.

They also want to repave and repaint the entire stretch so drivers have a clear indication of what lane they are in.

One final addition would be adding pedestrian plazas at some intersections.

"I love the plan, but it is piecemeal.  It needs to be an overall plan that is bigger and wiser," said Kelly, who spoke at the meeting. 

"It is fine. It is certainly a step in the right direction," said another resident. ​

The proposed changes will be voted on by Community Board 7 on Sept. 2. 

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