INWOOD — The Department of Transportation is hosting a meeting Thursday night to discuss changes to one of the busiest streets in Inwood — including bike lanes and pedestrian improvements — but the city's handling of the changes has stirred controversy within the community.
The Department of Transportation and Community Board 12 are hosting a community workshop Thursday night from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at P.S. 5 on 3703 10th Avenue off Dyckman Street and Harlem River Drive to discuss the bicycle and pedestrian safety changes for the stretch of Dyckman Street between Broadway and Nagle Avenue.
DOT officials want “work with the community to come up with a design solution for the stretch of Dyckman Street where the community previously expressed concerns,” an agency spokesman said.
The workshop, the first organized to discuss the street changes, comes after Community Board 12 raised concerns about the plan at the March general board meeting.
CB12 passed a resolution to approve the DOT’s design for Dyckman Street between Nagle Avenue to 10th Avenue, however, the board tabled a resolution on the second portion of the DOT redesign, which they said needed more input from small business and community members.
“As it stands right now, that portion of Dyckman is a relatively lawless space, no clear lines on the street for either bikes or cars,” Inwood resident Mike McDearmon told DNAinfo New York. “This results in even city buses having to resort to stop and start slaloming through double and triple parked cars.”
McDearmon, who said he’s been living in Inwood for 4 years, said these issues makes even crossing the street a challenge.
“As a direct connection between Manhattan's two riverfront parks and bike-ways it stands out as one of the most treacherous parts of both systems,” McDearmon continued. “It's important that the Inwood community at large comes out to this meeting to help address this challenge.”
CB12 member Maria Luna, however, said the city's plans were confusing and poorly communicated.
“I attended one of the committee meetings regarding this issue and I saw a resolution on this particular ‘mess’ that is going to happen on the Dyckman area wasn't going to be put for a vote until the the community in that particular vicinity was truly informed of the impact that something like this was going to have, especially the business community and those residents of the area,"
Committee members, however, defended voting in two sections and moving forward.
CB12 board member James Berlin said approving the bike lane and safety changes is a no-brainer.
"This is pretty uncontroversial and the whole idea of having bike lanes is to make bicyclists and pedestrians safer. Most people are not particularly concerned with what the DOT is doing there," he said of the section east of Nagle Ave.
"I want to point out there are no businesses east of Nagle Avenue. It's the park to the south and the Dyckman Houses to the north."
Once they have community feedback, DOT officials plan to return to the local community board’s transportation committee in June with an updated proposal, officials said.
This isn’t the first time a major Inwood corridor gets redesigned. In 2015, new bike paths were integrated into Sherman Avenue, almost a year after the MTA added the M100 bus route down Dyckman Street to Nagle Avenue.