This Is What Harlem Plaza Supporters Will Be Up Against at CB 10 Tonight

Anonymously sent by someone who had the personal email addresses of all CB 10 members.
Someone anonymously sent this to the personal email addresses of all CB 10 members.

Neighbors have fought for years to get Manhattan Community Board 10 to support creating a small plaza by Frederick Douglass Boulevard and 150th Street. Tonight that proposal is up for a vote at a general board meeting of CB 10 for the first time.

Bradhurst Plaza would convert a short one-way “slip lane” segment of Macombs Place, which runs diagonally across the Harlem grid, into pedestrian space, connecting a small triangle-shaped patch of trees to the sidewalk in front of the Dunbar Apartments building.

Today, northbound drivers on their way to the Macombs Dam Bridge make a quick right turn from Frederick Douglass. With a plaza, pedestrians would no longer have to worry about getting hit by drivers taking fast turns. Drivers going to Macombs Place would have to turn from 150th Street instead.

In addition to improving the pedestrian environment, the plaza would provide space for a new farmers market. Local businesses and community groups, led by the Harlem Community Development Corporation, have signed on to maintain the plaza.

Someone really, really doesn't want this to happen. Image: DOT
Someone really, really doesn’t want this to happen. Image: DOT

And yet, the proposal has languished at the CB 10 transportation committee in the face of vociferous opposition from members of the Dunbar Residents Association, local block associations, and committee member Barbara Nelson. A vote to support the plaza deadlocked at the committee in January.

In June, the issue was bumped up to the CB 10 executive committee, which voted to put it on the agenda for the September general board meeting.

Now, opponents of the plan are mobilizing. An anonymous email sent to CB 10 members yesterday urges them to vote against the plaza. Opponents lob the usual arguments against the plan, including questioning DOT safety data, proposing another location for the farmers market, and claiming the plaza will impede emergency vehicles [PDF].

Harlem CB 10 has a long record of opposing road diets, bus lanes, and plazas. Will fear of changing streets win out again, or will plaza supports muster a supportive vote? The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at the Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Harlem State Office Building, 163 West 125th Street, eighth floor [PDF].


Harlem Bus Lane Foes: Good Streets for Bus Riders “Trampling Our Liberties”

Community board meetings in central Harlem have officially gone off the deep end. A DOT plan to extend bus lanes and add turn restrictions on 125th Street was shouted down last night by the same hecklers who have filibustered street safety improvements at Community Board 10 for years. Noticeably absent from last night’s meeting: People who ride the bus on 125th Street. […]

New Year, Same Old Community Board 10

Despite serving an area of the city where the vast majority of people don’t own cars, Manhattan Community Board 10 has delayed, watered down, or otherwise worked to foil several major projects to improve transit and street safety in the past few years. After obstructing 125th Street Select Bus Service and refusing to support traffic […]

This Week: Harlem River Bridges, Woodhaven Boulevard

There’s a flurry of community board action this week before the lull of summer recess, plus a kid-friendly bike ride in East Harlem. Here are the highlights for the week — check the Streetsblog calendar for the full slate of events: Monday: DOT continues its series of workshops on Harlem River bridge access. Today’s meeting will […]