Eyes on the Street: Inwoodites Enjoy Closed Street, Until Workers Go Home

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At this moment I hear two things through my apartment windows: a singer practicing his scales and the "beep beep beep" of construction equipment on nearby Isham Street at Park Terrace West, in Inwood.

The city is currently replacing sidewalks on these two streets, which is nice. During some of the times when construction workers are on-site, the south end of Park Terrace West, which divides Isham Park, has been closed to cars, allowing pedestrians to use the street itself for passage. This is also nice. But before the workers go home, they remove the construction barrels cordoning off PTW, leaving pedestrians with little choice but to hug the curb in the face of oncoming traffic through the evening and night.

As you can see from the photo, there is a retaining wall on the "other side" of PTW, not a sidewalk. So people leaving the park area on foot must either walk in the street or turn around and walk back through the park. In addition to being inconvenient, this, for many, is not the best alternative, as the park has seen a recent uptick in criminal activity.

Though the sidewalk nibbling here may be temporary, it’s another clear and potentially dangerous instance of prioritizing cars over people.

Photo: Brad Aaron 

  • When will it become normal to view sidewalks as important right-of-ways just like roads?

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