DOT unveils plans for safety improvements in Morrisania

The Department of Transportation recently collaborated with high school students in Community Board 3 on a plan that will transform streets in Morrisania.
Photos courtesy of NYC DOT

The Department of Transportation recently collaborated with high school students in Community Board 3 on a plan that will transform streets in Morrisania.

The Morrisania School Safety Improvement Project was part of the DOT School Safety & the I Challenge Myself (ICM) after school program, where a series of field meetings and design workshops were held.

The surveyed roads are used by students accessing nearby schools, there is a community request for angle parking on Trinity Ave., wide streets with low traffic volumes and it is a dense residential area, including Forest Houses and William McKinley Houses.

The area where the improvements will take place

On Feb. 9, they unveiled their proposed plans to Community Board 3.

  • Trinity Ave., East 166 St. to East 161 St.: Two-way protected bike lane, add 26 angled parking spots and painted curb extensions and islands,
  • East 166th , Jackson Ave. to Union Ave.: Painted curb extensions and protected bike lanes,
  • East 165 St., Tinton Ave. to Trinity Ave.: Two-way protected bike lane and pedestrian islands,
  • 161 St., Trinity Ave. to Tinton Ave.: Angled parking, painted curb extensions and protected bike lane and
  • Tinton Ave., E. 166 St. to E. 161 St.: southbound protected bike lane and pedestrian islands and install rubber speed bumps.

Additionally, the DOT will remove up to 26 parking spaces on Tinton Ave. and East 163 St., eliminate four spots on East 165th St. from Tinton Ave. to Trinity Ave. and one parking space on East 166 St. to improve visibility for pedestrian crossing.

“The feedback we’ve gotten from our project has been supportive,” said Jeff McDuffie, project manager, NYC DOT School Safety Division. “Our number one priority is safety for all pedestrians.”

Board Chair Bruce Rivera praised the students for getting involved and trying to make the streets safer.

“We’re grateful to have young people work on a project in our community,” Rivera said.

Board member Aazam Otero has mixed feelings about the plans. He feels bike lanes are good as they slow down the traffic and help cyclists, but may also hurt parking. Otero also has an issue with angled parking.

“If you study a street that’s already inhibiting pedestrian and bike traffic and then conclude that there is no need for bike lanes because there is no bike traffic it defeats the  purpose,” he said. “Can parking blocks be installed in each angled parking space so that cars that park poorly don’t block the lanes? People are lazy and often in a rush. A Poor parking job blocks the lanes. Also parking stops are cheap.”

The DOT plans to implement these plans by the end of the year.

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