Eerie photos show why this overcrowded street in New York was recently called the 'boulevard of death'

  • Lower Manhattan's Canal Street was recently given the name "boulevard of death" by a group of advocates for safer transit in New York.

  • One reason behind the name is the high number of deaths and injuries that have happened along this street.

  • There's a mix of million-dollar condos and abandoned storefronts, with many businesses having to close their doors because expensive real estate has driven up the costs of formerly affordable spaces to live and work.

"The boulevard of death" was the harsh name recently given to Lower Manhattan's Canal Street by Transportation Alternatives, a safe-transit advocacy group.

In late January 2018, the group launched a petition demanding city officials do something to calm Canal Street's traffic.

"Businesses struggle to receive deliveries along the corridor. Workers ... carry massive loads, on foot, in the middle of car traffic. People walking to shops and storefronts do not fit on the sidewalk, and are forced into harm's way," reads the petition.

The seven-lane street allows cars access to the Manhattan Bridge, Interstate 78, and the Holland Tunnel, as well as pedestrian access to nearly every subway line in Manhattan. Because of the amount of access the road allows, traffic is often crazy, with drivers hardly following traffic cues and pedestrians running across the street whatever chance they get.

Canal Street has not only become one of the most hectic boulevards in New York City, but one of the most dangerous — a 2017 study by New York's Department of Transportation found that Canal Street was one of the most common crash locations of 2017, with at least 100 reported accidents. The DOT had spent $1.5 million on making it more pedestrian-friendly over the two years before.

The real estate along the 1.4 miles of Canal Street is an eccentric mix of multimillion-dollar condos and empty storefronts, with the occasional gift shop or boutique scattered along the strip. The blocks lined with empty storefronts are especially eerie considering the bustling neighborhood of SoHo is just a block away.

I went to Canal Street myself to see why the street has been deemed the "boulevard of death," and this is what I found:

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