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Eyes on the Street: Carving Up Morningside Avenue for a Road Diet

Morningside Avenue Road Diet 1st cut! @PedestrianTom @MLSESSOMS @transalt @MarkLevineNYC @StreetsblogNYC @HarlemHCL pic.twitter.com/b2tdNNkc4d

— stevemiami (@stevemiami) July 28, 2014

After a breakthrough vote from Community Board 10 in May, DOT crews are out remaking 10 blocks of Morningside Avenue as a safer, calmer neighborhood street. This morning, @SteveMiami captured this circular saw operator at what looks like the moment of incision -- the asphalt will be cut away to make room for a concrete pedestrian island.

An earlier photo of a pedestrian island outline from Transportation Alternatives' Tom DeVito gives a nice sense of scale:

Pedestrian islands being marked for Morningside Avenue road diet. @MLSESSOMS @transalt @MarkLevineNYC @StreetsblogNYC pic.twitter.com/bjew3U2zLh

— Thomas DeVito (@PedestrianTom) July 24, 2014

The Morningside project will trim the four-lane speedway down to two lanes plus center-median turn bays [PDF]. Pedestrian islands will be installed at four intersections where people cross the street to access Morningside Park entrances, and there will be several painted sidewalk extensions to demarcate expansions of pedestrian space.

Neighborhood residents had requested action from the city to tame dangerous speeding on Morningside, but the plan almost didn't make it through the gauntlet of Community Boards 9 and 10. The May vote in favor of the project followed nine months of waffling.

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