Eyes on the Street: Safety Upgrades Come to Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Blvd.

Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard looking east at 141st Street. Photo: Stephen Miller

Although the project covers only half to the distance initially proposed thanks to foot-dragging by the local community board (the other half may be implemented next year), safety enhancements along 19 blocks of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard are in place and giving pedestrians more room to cross the street. When complete, the boulevard between 134th and 153rd Streets will include left turn lanes, wider median pedestrian islands, and one less through lane in each direction. With current nighttime speeds averaging 50 mph, the road diet will have an impact on calming the avenue’s deadly traffic.

Here are a few shots from this weekend, where you can see how the pedestrian space in the median has been expanded with paint and flexible posts.

Looking west at 145th Street. Photo: Stephen Miller
  • any greenery coming too? This may be vastly safer, but still looks like a place no person would comfortably choose to wait for a light to change. 

  • Public Abdicate

    Perhaps this could have been done incrementally. One block this year, another next, and so on. I’m not to big on radical approaches like slowing down speeding drivers (many of whom vote) and making streets safe for pedestrians.

  • Ben Kintisch

    I’m glad that DOT did the right thing and improved ACP despite some misguided local elected officials. It’s about time that safety improvements trump autocentric political objections. Imagine if that precedent was applied uniformly across the city – what a safer place NYC could become!

  • Daphna

    The original plan was a buffered bike lane that would remove one lane of traffic on Adam Clayton Powell which has excess capacity for the amount of drivers using it which leads to speeding.  The community board objected.  The DOT came back instead with a plan to widen the median, remove a lane, create left turn bays, and make the parking lane 14′ wide (which creates a bike lane effect without the bike lane markings).  The community board objected.  They wanted the 12′ wide highway-speed-style lanes and wanted the speed limit raised to 35mph. The DOT for once went ahead with a road re-design without approval from a misguided community board.  However, to appease the community board, only half of it is being implemented, and it is being done without planters.
    dave “paco” abraham asks why there is no greenery – well, the DOT wanted planters but the community board objected and the DOT acquiesced.  So no greenery is on the way thanks to Manhattan Community Board 9.

  • Miles Bader

    @88b32fb69e499718d95067da9d3d7b03:disqus wait, why on earth would the CB object to plants…?!

  • fj

    Safe public streets is the secret weapon for developing advance net zero mobility solutions; ie. besides saving millions of lives worldwide and rapidly increasing the quality of life.


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 […]

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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 […]

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