Eyes on the Street: Rehab of Inwood’s 215th Step-Street Finally Underway

Photo: Brad Aaron
Photo: Brad Aaron

After years of delays, work began today to rebuild the 215th Step-Street in Inwood.

These stairs, which technically serve as a car-free street, connect residential blocks in northwest Inwood with shops on Broadway, and they are a link for commuters headed to the 1 train. The step-street is quite steep, with cracked stairs and broken lamps. The city has done a decent job patching the steps as needed, but there’s only so much that can be done in its current state. In 2007 a woman tripped on a hole in the stairs, cutting her legs and face. Several steps had begun to crumble again during the recent cold snap.

In the fall of 2011, the Department of Design and Construction told Streetsblog the stairs would be rehabbed in the summer of 2013. Before that, the timeline called for a 2009 finish date — and before that, Inwood residents were told it would be done in 2005.

DNAinfo reported last July that a contract had been awarded, and now it looks like the wait is over. By 7:30 this morning, crews had cordoned off a segment of the stairs to start work. In addition to new steps, the design will include tracks for bikes to be wheeled up and down the stairs.

Construction is expected to take 17 months, according to DNAinfo, and DDC says the steps will remain open for use throughout.

  • Jonathan R

    Was there any thought given to installing an elevator? It’s tough climbing steps with heavy bags of groceries or a sleeping baby in a stroller.

  • Brad Aaron

    I’d settle for a bar halfway up.

  • red_greenlight1

    Why not just have one side be a ramp?

  • BornAgainBicyclist

    Way too steep to do that. It’s a tad out of the way — but not much — to take a ramp via Isham Park to the south and at 218th to the north. Unless you live right at the top of the steps that’s really less than 5 minutes out of the way even if you’re pushing a cart of groceries or have a stroller.

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