125th Street Redesign

Transportation Alternatives is floating an idea on how to address the endemic double parking on 125th Street that effectively blocks bus traffic, forcing busses to veer into traffic lanes, causing more congestion and slowdowns.

The proposal is to take the bus lanes which are located on the edges of the street, and instead put them in the center of the road.

Bus lanes ensure that disproportionately low-income and BIPOC bus riders aren’t stuck in the traffic created by private vehicles. They propose the city install center-running bus lanes to minimize double parking and delays by private vehicles, and allow for a cycle track.

They also propose more greenery to combat high pollution and asthma in our community. In times of extreme weather, trees increase a city’s resiliency. During summer heat, their shade can lower surface temperatures by up to 20°C, and during heavy rain, a single street tree can reduce runoff by around 60 percent. Throughout the year, they also clean the air: one tree can remove 26 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually.

Lastly, parking spaces for bicycles along 125th street can combine waste receptacles as well as secure bike parking. Moving trash from piles on the sidewalk to sturdy containers in the street will increase pedestrian space, ease the work of sanitation workers, and reduce rat populations while creating secure bike parking will expand access and reduce maintenance costs for bike owners.

To see an interactive version of the plan:

https://platform.remix.com/streets/plan/0748e39f/scenario/49358c0d?latlng=40.80813,-73.94615,17.77,p0,b29.12

To see the comments made by Harlem residents on the plan/idea, see:

https://platform.remix.com/streets/plan/7fadc9d4/scenario/f0532c2c?latlng=40.80543,-73.93876,15.803,p0,b28.6&public=true

Meanwhile, Kristin Richardson Jordan is quoted by Patch.com as saying:

she supported measures to reduce congestion on 125th Street, pointing to her campaign materials calling for “a solution that helps move people, busses, taxis, and bicycles faster and safer.”

Asthma+Poverty

Throughout the city, neighborhoods with higher rates of poverty also experience higher rates of childhood asthma, which we can see from the rates of emergency department visits.

On the scatter plot below, each dot represents one neighborhood. Its horizontal position represents the neighborhood’s poverty rate, and its vertical position represents its asthma rate. The pattern of dots, roughly grouped around an ascending line, shows a connection between poverty and asthma: the higher the poverty rate, the higher the asthma rate.

Why does this connection exist? The connection between poverty and asthma is due to a variety of factors, including:

  • A shortage of healthy housing in poor neighborhoods means that people experience a range of housing conditions like mold, pests, and leaks that trigger asthma and make it worse.
  • A lack of access to high-quality health care means that people with asthma may not be on the right medicine to prevent attacks.

Some studies have concluded that the place you’re born largely determines your economic future. Other studies have concluded that where you’re born is determined by income, race and ethnicity.

This means that in our society, too many outcomes of health and well-being are determined before we’re born. To improve public health, we need to address poverty and racial inequities.

Run Like An Olympian

Train like an Olympian with RIPA! Join us on Thursdays from 6 – 7 pm in July and August at Icahn Stadium to enjoy a walk, jog, or run around our “icahnic” track! Our International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF) approved track has hosted Olympic Trials and seen records set by Jesse Owens, Meseret Defar, and Usain Bolt. 

Participants must be 18 or older to participate. This is a free event, but registration is required. For more information on this event series, please visit RIPA’s website. We hope to see you there!

P.S. Congratulations to all the athletes participating in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics! To celebrate the Olympic games, check out our video of when RIPA partnered with the Manhattan Soccer Club to surprise five lucky athletes with a special virtual interview with US Women’s National Soccer Team Captain Carli Lloyd!

Asthma Prevalence – Adults

How Calculated: Estimated number of adults aged 18 years and older who reported medically diagnosed asthma with symptoms in the last 12 months, divided by all adults and adjusted for age; expressed as percent.

Source: New York City Community Health Survey (CHS)

Asthma Prevalence – Children ever diagnosed with asthma (ages 0-13 years)

How Calculated: 

Estimated number of children ages 0-13 years who were ever diagnosed with asthma, divided by all children of the same ages, expressed as a percent. 

Source: NYC KIDS Survey

En Foco: Deep Roots

En Foco has a wonderful exhibition of a powerful collection of work from Harlem artists. The exhibit runs until August 19th:

Deep Roots, curated by Lisa Dubois, featuring photographers Samantha Box, Burroughs Lamar, Carmen Lizardo, Richard Louissaint, and Joana Toro, includes visual narratives that poignantly connect the artists with their beloved heritage, past and present. The photo essays explore themes of history, survival, and tradition; depicting the various ways each photographer has retained the customs and culture of their birthplace in their adopted land.

See: https://enfoco.org/deeproots/