Choose Your Own Hells Kitchen

The Ninth Avenue Renaissance project continues to evolve into the most thorough and impressive community-driven Livable Streets effort currently underway in New York City (the Gansevoort Project runs a close second). Following up on a design workshop facilitated by Project for Public Spaces in January, Ninth Avenue Renaissance has launched a survey that allows you to choose and comment on three different redesign options for the avenue.

Click here to take the survey.

For example, the option below proposes reconfiguring the avenue to three lanes for travel and one for parking. It widens the sidewalks and installs dedicated bus and bike lanes and adds a number of pedestrian-friendly amenities:

Then there is this neighborhood-friendly vision for Hells Kitchen’s side streets — mid-block neckdowns and pedestrian crossings, little bump-outs for cafe tables, benches or bike parking, raised crosswalks, basically all of the great street design stuff that you see in European cities these days:

The Ninth Avenue Renaissance project was initiated by the Clinton Hell’s
Kitchen Coalition for Pedestrian Safety
, a group of neighborhood stakeholders who want to reclaim Hell’s Kitchen from "hellish"
Lincoln Tunnel traffic. The goal of the project is to develop a shared vision
of street design and traffic calming measures aimed at turning Ninth Avenue into a vibrant community Main Street.

You’ve got to think that this could be an ideal showcase for Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030 vision. One thousand days is enough time to do something like this and it is entirely within city government’s power to make it happen — no begging or bribing up in Albany necessary. It strikes me that this sort of Livable Streets project could be a direct and tangible way to show New Yorkers how the PlaNYC process is making city life better right now.

Frankly, the redesign can’t happen soon enough. Yet another elderly pedestrian was mowed down and killed crossing 23rd Street at Ninth Avenue on Friday afternoon — the third such victim in three months.

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