Eyes on the Street: Safer Streets Around Marcus Garvey Park

DOT has installed painted curb extensions on Madison Avenue, looking north here at 121st Street, part of a plan spearheaded by the Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association. Photo: Stephen Miller

In January, the Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association was working with DOT to calm the streets around Marcus Garvey Park. Now, those changes are being implemented.

The project [PDF] aims to make drivers travel at safer speeds heading north on Madison Avenue and south on Fifth Avenue. It reduces the number of lanes, tightens turns, and adds zebra crosswalks. Installation of the markings began weeks ago, with new gravel-and-epoxy surfacing and plastic flexible posts going in more recently.

New pedestrian space helps calm traffic on Mount Morris Park West. Photo: Stephen Miller
  • Anonymous

    This is so awesome for residents and commuters alike. Beautiful work, DOT, and good work community activists!

  • callmeL

    This community does a great job.
    Hopefully the good work will spread out — drivers tend to start speeding once they are past this area.

  • Ian Turner

    I noticed they also repainted the lane on 120th st as part of this project. I’m a fan, even though the new design makes it harder to get past a red light passing Mt Morris Park W.

  • Matthias

    I was excited to see this go in, although it does make biking more difficult on MMPW. With all that space, I was expecting a bike lane to be included.

  • Matthias

    Just a follow-up to say this is working! Drivers go so much slower around the park!

  • aaron

    But where will I ride my dirtbike?

  • Kay

    This reduction of traffic around the north, west and south sides of the park to 1 lane is creating traffic jams. The congestion of parked and moving cars makes it difficult to spot and assess safety concerns. There’s no longer room for emergency vehicles and the first big snow storm will create a mess as the plow moves down the 1 lane, forcing snow up against the parked vehicles on its immediate right and left sides. The gravel-epoxy, 2 lanes wide “pedestrian plaza” is not about calming traffic; it is intended to accommodate food vendor street carts, table and chairs, and bike racks. This arrangement undermines the beauty and historic character of this landmark district while posing a number of safety concerns for vehicles and pedestrians.

  • Anonymous

    Right, the classic “wide streets full of speeding cars are historic and beautiful” argument that we often hear in defense of the old status quo on Times Square, Prospect Park West, and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd…

  • Peggy

    MMPCIA is an social club, not community minded and only represents ” people of like-kind”. They do not care about our safety, just making money on tourist and vendors with a hideous sidewalk extension. STOP luring pollution, crime, and danger to our children!!!!!

  • 121st Street Block Association

    No they speed around the corner of 121st street and hit cars parked on the right because traffic is backed up. What ever happened to protecting pedestrians crossing the street. This looks like a junkie mess.

  • callmeL

    I disagree – drivers and buses speed around the entire park in order to get to 5th. By increasing the area meant for pedestrians it calms the street allowing pedestrians more time to reach the other side of the street and forcing vehicles to use fewer lanes. The curb extension also provides a visual marker for drivers not to take the turn too wide on 120th.