Manhattan CB 12 Still Obsessed With Greenmarket Traffic Disruptions

fwgrab.jpgThe intersection of Ft. Washington Ave. and W. 168th St. may soon be a little calmer for a few hours each week. But don’t tell CB 12.

Months after Community Board 12 killed plans for a Washington Heights Greenmarket over concerns about parking, a scaled-down market is set to open at a location further south. But not before the board could reiterate its unwavering deference to Upper Manhattan motorists.

The new market is planned for W. 168th Street and Fort Washington Avenue, near New York Presbyterian Hospital. The initial proposal, originated by a Washington Heights resident, would have sited a market on W. 185th Street, adjacent to Bennett Park. CB 12, however, decided that the loss of 19 parking spots for a few hours a week was too great a sacrifice.

The new market will occupy about five street spaces, but in its coverage of a recent committee meeting, the Manhattan Times finds that the board remains preoccupied with motorist convenience.

Committee members and other board members in attendance expressed concern about aggravating the already terrible traffic around the hospital.

"That’s something you have to look at very closely," Board Member Emilia Cardona said.

"The north-south traffic is horrible already," added committee member George Preston.

It’s true: The hospital area is a traffic sewer. And the best way to ensure it stays that way is to shoot down and nitpick any proposal that would enable pedestrians to repurpose their streets. Lest anyone mistake CB 12’s motives with an actual desire for equity among street users, this is the board that overruled the wishes of over 1,000 Greenmarket supporters based on the testimony of three — three — who preferred the auto-centric status quo.

In other news, one of the drivers CB 12 members are tripping over themselves to accommodate flipped his car last night near the pedestrian-heavy intersection of W. 207th Street and Broadway in Inwood. Fortunately, no parking spaces were harmed.

  • Glenn

    Someone needs to write a authoritative presentation named Traffic Reduction 101 that shows proven strategies to reduce traffic like market rate meters, tolling bridges, NOT just facilitating flow

  • Kate

    Seriously, How do we get rid of this board? I’m relatively new to the neighborhood and I find the lack of interest in improving it by the people that actually have some power to do some good appalling and depressing.
    It could be so great up there!

  • LN

    The hospital is at fault for the traffic up there — there’s no loading docks, and all the trucks are regularly double parked along 168, ft Washington and Broadway. Its a biking nightmare I pass every day.

    Looking forward to the greenmarket though.

  • Kate, I’m pretty sure we have to wait for them to die.

  • Liketoride

    The green market needs to be on 168th and not block Ft Washington. Be better if it didn’t block 168th either but just took away parking — there is a surface parking lot owned by the hospital where 168th curves. Problem in this area is that the grid is interrupted by the hospital superblocks and the really long blocks funnel traffic into the intersection of 168th and Ft Washington.

    Ft Washington is the main bicycle connector between the George Washington Bridge and Riverside Drive and the Hudson River Greenway. Hundreds, maybe thousands of cyclists some days, use it to get over to New Jersey and Hudson Valley riding.

  • Glenn

    All those intersections created by St. Nicholas Ave between 160th and 168th probably create havoc with traffic too. There’s a large bow-tie between 168th and 170th that could be untangled perhaps.

    Steering cars onto the West Side highway or Harlem River Drive at 155th for the GW/Cross Bronx would also help a lot I bet. For instance, you could reverse the flow at 155th between B’way and Riverside Drive to lure more cars over there, instead of drawing more into the center.

    There are lots of great opportunities in Hamilton/Washington Heights to expand some of the public spaces or even pedestrianize a street to prevent a five-way intersection.

  • It’s sad that Manh BP Stringer, who has wisely brought the issue of food inequality to the forefront (that wealthier neighborhoods downtown have better access to fresh foods and thus the corresponding health benefits) has not been able to get that point through to the CB members he appoints in those very neighborhoods that lack fresh foods.

    Maybe he’s been unable to find suitable recruits for CB12? Anyone here applied?

  • There is already a Greenmarket on 175th and Broadway, every Thursday, June through November.

    I would say from my limited direct experience with CB 12 that the Transportation Committee members especially are sensitive to traffic and to the neighborhood being used as a thoroughfare by drivers headed to and from New Jersey.

    Kate: You should join Inwood and Washington Heights Livable Streets! We are meeting next Wednesday, 7:30 pm, place TBA. Our mission is to improve the neighborhood by advocating for more greenways, more pedestrian improvements, and more parks.

  • annonymous

    I have been working with both the Transportation and Parks Committees and the administration of Board 12 for a few months now…

    It seems that before my time there was a decision to shoot down a previous greenmarket, which I know nothing about.

    Nonetheless, let me say that the support for greenmarkets is well understood in the board who have to work with the NYPD enforcement to discuss livery traffic issues in the area, on top of regular AND hospital traffic.

    I think that fair consideration is due in deciding upon a greenmarket and that Board 12 in many ways is being fair – including taking into consideration the affect on the street vendors of instituting a greenmarket.

    Don’t be so quick to hate on board 12, they are actually very concerned with the health and well being of the community as a whole.

  • chucklehead

    The “green” market on 175th St. is a joke.

    At least half of the vendors are peddling DVDs, video games, tube socks and cheap housewares.

    As for the produce, there’s nothing on display that can’t be found at local bodegas for the same price: wilted lettuce, bruised tomatoes and tons and tons of starchy root vegetables.

    It’d be nice to see green stuff at the local greenmarket, but one has to travel to other neighborhoods for that.

  • JLS

    Look, it’s not just the hospital causing congestion, though it is responsible for a ton of it. There is also the Armory right there, which has buses for track teams, and a halfway house on 168 around the corner. CB 12 has been trying to deal with complaints about the existing congestion at the intersection for a long time, which is why they were making sure that the Greenmarket wouldn’t mess things up any more than they are already – and I bet they also wanted to have this dead clear so when motorists eventually come in to complain, they can explain what was really the take-home point, that this Greenmarket should be fine because it isn’t really on the intersection but really on the one-way Haven Ave, which feeds into 168th St, so that it is really out of the way of the rest of the traffic.

    Kate – if you don’t like the board, complain to MBP Scott Stringer, and if he isn’t responsive vote for someone else next time.

    chucklehead – That is not the Greenmarket, but a different market that is there everyday. Your “familiarity” with the situation is a joke.

  • Ian Turner

    JLS,

    How does a halfway house cause automotive congestion? Are the city’s homeless driving to shelters now? Where do they park?

    –Ian

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