Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Community Boards

Back to The Drawing Board: DOT Reconsidering Its Dangerous 79th Street Rotunda Upgrade

DOT’s redesign of the 79th Street rotunda omits protection for people attempting to access the country’s most popular bike path. Image: DOT

The city Department of Transportation is reportedly "reviewing" its much-criticized plans to rehabilitate the 79th Street boat basin and rotunda without bicycle improvements.

The $200-million renovation drew harsh criticism from local Community Board 7 last year due to the omission of bike safety upgrades and the agency's decision to close two nearby ballfields for contractor parking.

DOT will present its updated plan to CB 7 next month, Board Chair Roberta Siemer told the West Side Rag, which broke the story.

Currently, cyclists attempting to access Riverside Park and the West Side Greenway via 79th Street must navigate the rotunda's one-lane traffic circle, which doubles as an entrance and exit to the Henry Hudson Parkway.

"The first plan was so ridiculous," Manhattan Community Board 7 transportation committee chairman Howard Yaruss said. "To integrate cyclists with cars getting on and off a highway — I can't imagine anything less safe."

The plan presented in December maintains that arrangement, and makes things worse by narrowing the roadway so that cyclists, MTA buses, and highway-bound motorists — all vehicles that move at different speeds — must travel single-file.

It's not clear, however, what the agency actually plans to change in the project. In recent months, DOT has rebuffed CB 7's entreaties for safety upgrades on 110th Street and West End Avenue. In an email to Streetsblog, the agency declined to say whether bike lane upgrades were in the mix.

"We haven't had great success with them on protected bike lanes and safety in the past," Yaruss said.

Given the work already planned, constructing a bicycle path and connecting bike lane would be a relatively low-cost effort, as Streetsblog Publisher Mark Gorton opined last month.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

Tuesday’s Headlines: Valley of Political Death Edition

Did you see the new poll showing congestion pricing is really unpopular? Ignore it! Good times are coming. Plus other news in today's headlines.

April 23, 2024

Open Streets Groups Warn of Extra Red Tape to Run Events

Two weeks notice for hopscotch or a yoga class?

April 23, 2024

Monday’s Headlines: A Federal Case over Parking Edition

We're flicking our bicycle bell over a big scoop last week that no one picked up on...yet. Plus other news.

April 22, 2024

Hochul, Legislators Reach Toll Evasion Crackdown Deal

Higher fines for covering a plate and for not paying tolls are part of the budget deal inked on Saturday.

April 22, 2024

Behind the Scenes: How Gov. Hochul Got ‘Sammy’s Law’ Over the Finish Line

Opponents didn't want to put their name on a no vote for the life-saving measure.

April 22, 2024
See all posts