Andrew Hinderaker

A Car-Free Central Park

This summer, millions of visitors to Central Park were able to experience that urban oasis at its absolute best, at least north of 72nd Street, where the park was completely car-free, 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week. Though the closure was temporary—a trial program that ran from July to September—it was another in a long-line of incremental steps. For decades, Transportation Alternatives and local stakeholders have been fighting for a completely car-free park, arguing that vehicles not only endanger park users and run contrary to the park’s values, but also that a complete closure of the park to cars would not cause traffic impacts on surrounding streets. This summer’s trial program buoyed all of those arguments, offering safe and serene space to millions of New York City residents and visitors without inundating nearby roads with added traffic. This was another small step in a long race. Next year, we hope the City crosses the finish line.

Andrew Hinderaker

Riding to Red Hook

New York City’s Department of Transportation has officially started construction on the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway extension to Red Hook. After years of advocacy from the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Initiative, Transportation Alternatives, community groups and elected officials, this project is moving with a full head of steam. Soon, cyclists, runners, walkers, skaters and every other sort of self-propelled person will be able to go from Greenpoint to Sunset Park on a car-free, traffic protected path. The DOT is also pairing Greenway construction with a series of traffic-pattern modifications that will improve vehicle flow and pedestrian safety in the area. It’s a win-win-win.


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A New Amsterdam Avenue

Upper West Side residents and commuters are clamoring for a way to improve street safety along Amsterdam Avenue. More than 1,500 local advocates have signed a petition calling for the now-dangerous street to undergo the kind of Complete Street treatment that tamed traffic on Columbus Avenue and made that thoroughfare safer for all street users—drivers, walkers and cyclists. The issue is now under discussion at the local community board. Supporters believe that a redesign of Amsterdam Avenue would not only provide a safe, speedy and efficient northbound complement for southbound Columbus Avenue, but would also have positive effects for local businesses and residents.

Andrew Hinderaker