W. 103rd Avenue Remodeled in Pilot Open Area Undertaking – Streetsblog New York Metropolis

Right here’s taking a look at you, W. 103rd St.

Volunteers have as soon as once more proven the town Division of Transportation how straightforward — and the way in style — it’s to remodel a roadway from a automobile sewer right into a vibrant public area.

Residents and activists spent Friday morning turning two curbside areas on the block of W. 103rd Avenue between Broadway and West Finish Avenue right into a mural and a seating space that functioned additionally as a curb extension that made crossing the road less complicated for seniors and likewise supplied daylighting for drivers.

The mural featured Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in a basic “Casablanca” pose. (Bogart lived at 245 W. 103rd St.)

103rd St 5
Photograph: Peter Frishauf

The block is already a part of the mayor’s COVID-19-era open streets program, however residents haven’t been broadly utilizing it as a result of automobile drivers have continued their hegemony over the area. However the colourful bulbous and seating space present what can occur when underutilized area is activated for the general public, slightly than for automobile storage.

Janet Liff of Open Plans and Mike Lydon of the city design agency Avenue Plans have been engaged on the demonstration undertaking since October 2019 to profit the block, the place a big majority of households don’t personal vehicles.

“We drew up this imaginative and prescient [to] present how DOTs interim “shared road” idea might be used as a bridge to a extra everlasting and lasting redesign that’s targeted on delivering extra public area, a greater managed public realm (trash corrals, for one!) and to scale back the quantity of whole area afforded to parked and transferring autos,” Lydon stated, touting his before-and-after renderings for a fuller undertaking under:

103 before and after
Present (above) and after. Photograph: Avenue Plans

The misuse of public area on W. 103rd St. is fairly frequent in New York’s city middle. Lydon’s surveys confirmed that the block between Broadway and West Finish Avenue accommodates 250 pedestrians per hour versus solely 60 vehicles per hour within the roadway — but pedestrians get solely 20 % of the property line to property line area. A full 80 % is allotted to an 18-foot-wide vehicular lane, two eight-foot-wide parking lanes tree pits, rubbish and, as Lydon put it, “different components that restrict area for individuals.”

The block can be house to The Marseille, a 134-unit senior residence with a pre-school within the constructing, plus a 24-unit NYCHA property.

“Despite the fact that Central and Riverside parks are comparatively shut, a variety of seniors and kids don’t have rapid entry to open area,” Lydon stated. The demonstration undertaking superior only one small piece of the general undertaking, however seeks to impress much more help for rethinking the hall.”

It has help, because the Open Plans/Avenue Plans survey reveals:

The vast majority of W. 103rd Street users want fewer cars on the block. Source: Street Plans
The overwhelming majority of W. 103rd Avenue customers need fewer vehicles on the block. Supply: Avenue Plans


The demonstration undertaking evokes an earlier effort by the Meatpacking Enterprise Enchancment District to indicate off how a lot better New York Metropolis’s open streets program might be with extra restrictions on cars. As reported by Streetsblog, a weekend-long demonstration project on Little West 12th Street turned an in any other case dour and barely used open road right into a neighborhood gathering spot, which was, alas, gone after one weekend.

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