Manhattan Community Board 9 Votes for Broadway Road Diet

Manhattan Community Board 9 voted last night to approve DOT’s plan for safety improvements along Broadway in West Harlem. The road diet will slim Broadway between 135th Street and 153rd Street from three lanes in each direction to two, widening curbside parking lanes and adding a six foot buffer on either side of the Broadway Malls.

This section of Broadway is a Vision Zero priority corridor, with a high injury rate as well as a high concentration of senior citizens living nearby, who account for four of five pedestrian fatalities since 2007.

The redesign has the support of Council Member Mark Levine. Assembly Member Denny Farrell spoke out against the proposal over the summer but later scaled back his opposition. A well-organized local advocacy campaign by West Harlem residents helped overcome the board’s initial hesitance about the project.

DOT’s Broadway safety plan calls for a road diet between 135th Street and 153rd Street. Many neighborhood residents want the city to go farther and include bike lanes. Image: NYC DOT
DOT’s Broadway safety plan calls for a road diet between 135th Street and 153rd Street. Many neighborhood residents want the city to go farther and include bike lanes. Image: NYC DOT

The vote was 24 in favor with one opposed and three abstentions. The transportation committee unanimously voted for the plan earlier this month.

Conspicuously lacking from the proposal is any dedicated bike infrastructure. While local advocates had hoped for a protected bike lane, Transportation Alternatives organizer David Guerrero said they had received assurances from the transportation committee that improved bike infrastructure will be a priority moving forward.

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