DOT Moving Forward With Safety Plan for ACP Boulevard [Corrected]

Community Board 10 has yet to get behind the DOT plan to save lives on Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard.

Safety improvements on deadly Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard could be in place by September, the New York Times reported yesterday, despite continued resistance to the redesign from the local community board.

Three people have been killed while walking on Adam Clayton Powell this year; 12 were killed by drivers since 2006. The road’s wide, straight lanes lead motorists to approach highway speeds: the average speed after 8:00 p.m. is 50 miles per hour, according to the Department of Transportation.

Though Community Board 10 has repeatedly stated that it understands the seriousness of the safety problem along the corridor, it has for years opposed the most comprehensive proposals to fix Adam Clayton Powell. In 2009, CB 10 voted against a plan to add a buffered bike lane to the street. CB 10 opposition forced the road diet proposed for the street this time around to be shrunk to cover only half the distance initially proposed, and the board still hasn’t signed on to the plan.

Breaking from its usual procedure, DOT is ready to move ahead with or without the community board’s firm approval. Construction is set to begin in August, according to the Times, and last a month.

“We just don’t understand it yet,” transportation committee chair Deborah Gilliard said of the plan to extend medians and narrow traffic lanes. Instead, the Times reported that her committee wants to see “more left-turn traffic signals, 30-miles-per-hour speed-limit signs, and pedestrian crossing signals that give those on foot a head start.”

Correction: This post originally ran under the headline “DOT Rejects CB 10 Suggestion for Incorrect Speed Limit Signs on ACP Blvd.,” based on the New York Times report that the transportation committee wanted “35-miles-per-hour speed-limit signs.” The Times has since corrected their piece to reflect that the paper mistakenly reported the speed limit, and the committee did not ask for 35 mph speed limit signs. Streetsblog has in turn corrected this post.

  • Eric McClure

    Good for DOT. These retrograde feet-draggers have stood in the way of safer streets long enough. When the city can implement changes that can literally save lives, they have a moral duty to act, whether or not the local Community Board embraces the change.

  • Dolts

    “‘We just don’t understand it yet,’ transportation committee chair Deborah Gilliard said…”

    No, obviously you don’t. 

  • Emily Litella

    Fred Sanford would call CB10 ‘A bunch of dummies’ were he alive today and not a fictional TV carachter (like me).

  • Non-driving majority

    This community board needs to be cleaned out from top to bottom. A transportation chair who doesn’t know the speed limit ought not to be a transportation chair of this, or any community organization.  It’s time to get some people on this board who represent the majority of community members who do not think it’s okay to race through the neighborhood at 50 or even 35 miles per hour.

  • PJS

    That board is living in a different time and a different world. It’s high time they woke up and started helping their community!

  • Ian Dutton

    There are times that city agencies must act in the face of community board opposition, after considering the nature of that opposition. Every community board member faces a conundrum of acting as a bellwether of community opinion or standing against the prevailing opinion when that opinion is clearly misguided. It is up to the trained professionals of the agency to see that lives are on the line. Unfortunately, history shows us that very often city agencies acting contrary to CB sentiment (see: DOT prior to JSK) end up actually being destructive to those communities. 

    This from a recent community board member…

  • Anonymous

    Thank God I don’t live there, and I won’t bike there, either.

  • Appalled

    If the head of the Transpo Committee doesn’t know the posted speed limit, she should be removed from her post.  Which politician appointed her?  

  • Appalled

    Looks like Inez Dickens appointed her (see link).  And given the coverage of Dickens here at Streetsblog, I doubt Gilliard will be forced to resign.

  • Is it going to go all the way down to 118th, or only 134th?

    I don’t understand why the CBs have any say in the matter of road layout. The whole city uses the street, not just people who live there. They should have no say in the matter at all.

  • Station44025

    The idea, as promoted by Christine Quinn, that road safety improvements should be subjected to a process of vetting by a long series of know nothings, busy bodies, political alliances, interest groups, and loudmouths is both counterproductive and immoral.

  • A Teacher

    Well I do live here and would love to not walk out my door and be in risk of being run down to my death. Sorry that as a teacher in this city I can’t afford living in afluent neighborhoods. I think this is step in the right direction.


CB 10 Scales Back Adam Clayton Powell Safety Improvements [Updated]

Responding to the local community board, NYC DOT has shrunk its proposal for safety improvements on Harlem’s deadly Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard. The revised plan only covers half the distance initially proposed. And even with that concession, the board has yet to approve the plan to expand the road’s medians and slow speeding traffic. In […]

DOT Proposes Traffic-Calming Redesign for Deadly Adam Clayton Powell Blvd

After more than three years of delay and debate, safety improvements may finally be coming to one of Harlem’s deadliest avenues. Under a plan tentatively okayed by Manhattan Community Board 10’s transportation committee last night [PDF], Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard will get wider medians, shorter crossing distances, and narrower traffic lanes in an attempt […]