DOT: Safety and street improvements underway on Willis Ave.

DOT: Safety and street improvements underway on Willis Ave.

Officials say part of Willis Avenue is receiving significant safety improvements.

Among the changes include concrete pedestrian islands to reduce crossing distances.

According to a report from The Department of Transportation, in the last five years, 236 injuries, including two fatalities, have occurred between 135th and 147th streets.

The Vision Zero Initiative proposal notes the high volumes of pedestrians near schools, businesses and housing in this particular area.

The project also hopes to help bikers. Existing bike lanes are not separated from moving vehicle lanes. The project will create two-way protected bike lanes that discourage wrong-way sidewalk riding and reduce pedestrian conflicts, according to the DOT.

As for bus stops and vehicles, the DOT plans on building two concrete boarding islands on both East 140th and 144th streets to save parking spaces.

The DOT says 14 parking spots across Willis Avenue will be lost, but they plan on adding parallel spots closer to the south side of East 137th Street.

Officials expect the work to be completed by this fall.