Metro-North Track Rebuild

The Metro-North tracks from East 115th Street up to East 122nd Street will be replaced over the next couple of years.

Starting this summer, the contractor will be building the new concrete supports under the existing tracks, getting them ready. This process of building the new concrete supports will take about a year, and only in Spring 2024 will they begin to replace the actual tracks.

The plan will be to replace all the tracks on the eastern side first, then to do all the tracks on the west side.

Sidewalks will always remain open, but parking will be impacted and eliminated during the construction and road closures will be ongoing.

This will be a massive undertaking and critically necessary to replace a 130-year-old faltering raised train structure. In the end, we’ll have a solid, safe, and quieter MTA line above Park Avenue.

As Seen In Harlem

On Malcolm X Blvd.

Urban Garden Center’s Storage Area

If you recall the fire under the Metro North tracks at 118th Street a few years back, the fire was the result of material that the Urban Garden Center had been storing under the tracks, between 117 and 118th Streets. This photo shows the storage of everything from concrete block, to pallets, to soil, to machinery:

With the forthcoming rebuild of the MTA tracks, all the material has been moved south between 111 and 113th Streets. The space between 117 and 118 is now empty:

The Studio Museum Progresses

After several women came forward with allegations that Sir David Adjaye of Adjaye Associates – the architect behind the new Studio Museum in Harlem – was a serial sexual harrasser, construction has resumed. Adjaye was removed as The Studio Museum of Harlem’s architect of record, and Cooper Robertson & Partners are now serving in that role.

The 125th Street, 82,000-square-foot structure will feature expanded gallery and exhibition space for more than 2,000 objects, multiple lecture halls, a roof deck, a café, and retail space when completed. Construction lulled in 2022, but work has resumed and a 2024 opening has been floated, if optimistic.

Open Streets – August 18th

M116 Bus Will Be Free

The MTA announced that the M116 bus will now be free. Starting on September 24th, five local bus routes will be free as a test pilot program. The pilot will run for 6-12 months on the:

Bx18 A/B, B60, M116, Q4 and S46/96 — routes

These routes are estimated to serve close to 44,000 daily weekday riders across all five boroughs. The MTA has more than 200 local bus routes.

M116: This bus route operates daily during daytime hours between W 106 Street /Broadway and E 120 Street/Pleasant Avenue. The route primarily operates along 116 Street, Manhattan Avenue and W 106 Street and serves the Harlem, East Harlem and Morningside Heights neighborhoods. The route makes connections to the 1, 2, 3, 6, B, C trains and several bus routes. Major employers and institutions covered on the route include St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University and the East River Plaza Mall.

The MTA recently released a report that nearly 1/3 of bus riders are currently not paying their bus fares.

NYPD Commissioner Caban Visits the 25th Precinct

NYPD Commissioner Caban, the former Commanding Officer of the 25th precinct, addressed the precinct’s roll call as the Police Commissioner.


Boriken Open Streets

The Boriken Neighborhood Health Center will be hosting Open Streets every Friday from July 7th- Sept. 15th.

During these events, we will close the street on 123rd Street between Third and Second Avenue from 10am-4pm.

Our mission with Open Streets is to provide resources to our community while strengthening ties with local organizations. At our events, we will be providing free health screenings and giving out information about our services. We will also collaborate with organizations by inviting them out to table and provide resources to the community. There will be entertainment, activities, and giveaways for attendees at these events.

SAS (Second Avenue Subway)

The new rendering is in:

The view above would be for the south-east corner of Park/125. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is soliciting the first contract for the 1.5-mile extension of the Second Avenue Subway to 125th Street and unveiled the new rendering of the project.

The roughly $7 billion extension will connect the line’s current endpoint at 96th Street on the Upper East Side to a new station at 125th Street in Harlem, with two more fully accessible stations created along the way at 106th and 116th Streets.

115 to 123

Metro North is going to be completely replacing the elevated tracks between 115th Street and 123rd Street, starting in about 9 months or a year. However, not only are they going to do this massive task, but they’ll do it while the tracks are in use.

The engineering behind this is all predicated on closing off parts of Park Avenue and side streets and using a massive gantry system to hoist sections of track into place, once new supporting pillars are ready.

The replacement of this section of the elevated track is urgently needed to replace a 130+ year old structure that has far outlasted expectations.

Sugar Hill Arts Festival – Tomorrow!

Click here to learn more:

NY Post Raises Councilmember Jordan’s Council Attendance Record

The NY Post notes that Councilmember Jordan has missed 46 percent of her council committee and caucus meetings since last year, records show.

She’s been recorded absent 53 times and present 61 times with one entry listed as “conflict” since taking office in January of 2022.

“I wish she would be more active on the committee and the council,” said Councilman Robert Holden (D-Queens), who chairs the veterans committee.

This year alone, she’s missed five meetings of the Aging Committee she serves on, four Youth Services and Sanitation Committee meetings, two Veterans Affairs Committee meetings and two full Council Committee meetings.

The councilwoman also skipped two meetings of the committees on Civil and Human Rights and Women and Gender Equity.

Richardson Jordan, 36, also was recorded as absent from the Council’s Manhattan delegation meeting on April 27. 

Under The Tracks

(from Uptown Grand Central’s newsletter)

“The overhead lights in the back of a public plaza in East Harlem, mounted on a rusty viaduct that supports the Metro-North Railroad, were not working. And Carey King was panicking.

Ms. King, who runs the plaza as the director of Uptown Grand Central, a nonprofit group formed by local merchants, was getting ready to reopen that section in the spring of 2021 after two years of construction to make it nicer. It was so dark that neighbors stayed away. Drug addicts shot up in the shadows and others found hidden corners to urinate and defecate.

When Ms. King tried to get the lights turned on, the Metro-North Railroad, which is operated by the state, said they were not its lights. She went to the city’s Department of Transportation, only to be told to check with Metro-North. After months of going back and forth with different agencies, she finally got city transportation officials to take ownership of the lights.

‘It’s a bad joke: How long does it take to change a light bulb?’ Ms. King said.”

👉🏽👉🏾👉🏼 Big thanks to The New York Times for giving our spot under the train tracks some shine! And to the NYC Department of Transportation for getting the boxy white lights on.

Also grateful to the Design Trust for Public Space and NightSeeing for the colorful string lights that are making our space even brighter and better.

Head here for the full article on the city’s new public space director and problem-solving plans.


There’s just a little while longer to enjoy the Winter Lights that are glowing here along East 125th Street.

Our trees are lighting even more blocks than ever before, from Fifth to Second avenues. We’re grateful as always to local small business Urban Garden Center for the many weeks they spend to bring you the holiday magic.

The lights will be up through the end of February — adding not only festive cheer, but extra shine and safety on the sidewalks on these dark winter nights.

Join Your Community Board

Jacques d’Amboise

On Frederick Douglass Blvd. near West 138th Street is a historical marker for Jacques d’Amboise.

Jacques d’Amboise was a ballet dancer, choreographer, actor, and educator. He joined the New York City Ballet in 1949 and was named principal dancer in 1953, and later choreographed over 15 ballets for them over his career. He most famously appeared in the films Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Carousel.

As an educator, D’Amboise founded the National Dance Institute in 1976 and in 1990 received the MacArthur Fellowship. He received Kennedy Center Honors in 1995, and the National Medal of Arts in 1998.

(Harlem) Artists Wanted

As part of the Park Avenue Viaduct project, the MTA will be incorporating a commissioned permanent site-specific piece of artwork at East 116th Street. MTA Arts & Design has put out an open call for artist submissions, open through the end of January.

You can learn more about this opportunity, including selection criteria, funding available, and how to submit, on the MTA website here.

Below is the artwork at 125th and Park Avenue:

The Worst Subway Stations

The MTA’s customers have spoken. Harlem and East Harlem have some of the dirtiest stations, with the most open drug use on the platforms, and begging in the mezzanine.

In the spring survey of MTA riders, Harlem riders expressed frustration that their departure stations looked so much worse than the ones they exited.

Get a Job

We Need You! Now Hiring Emergency Snow Laborers 2022-2023 Season

The New York City Department of Sanitation has announced that registration is now open for those interested in working as Emergency Snow Laborers for the 2022-2023 winter season. Emergency Snow Laborers are per-diem workers who remove snow and ice from bus stops, crosswalks, fire hydrants and step streets after heavy snowfalls. Snow Laborers earn $17 per hour to start, and $25.50 per hour after 40 hours are worked in a week.

Snow laborers must be at least 18 years of age, be eligible to work in the United States, and capable of performing heavy physical labor. Additionally, candidates must be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus. All applicants must bring the following items at the time of registration:

  • Two small photos (1 ½ square)
  • Original and copy of two forms of identification
  • Social Security card
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination

Those interested in becoming a Snow Laborer must register for an application appointment at Registration appointments take place at the Department’s 59 garages. Applicants should not attend the appointment if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.

HNBA October Meeting – Tuesday, October 11th

(and yes, you’re invited!)

HNBA’s October meeting will be on Zoom, tomorrow, Tuesday, October 11th, at 7:00 PM.  

We’re going to have representatives from the MTA presenting on, and answering questions about the project to replace the MetroNorth viaduct from East 115th Street up to East 123rd Street – while the trains continue to roll on!  This major project will secure this aging and increasingly fragile public transit lifeline for New York.

In addition, the MTA presenters will talk about progress on the 2nd Avenue subway and where that project is headed at the moment.

Lastly, we’ll have Joshua Clennon, a Community Board 10 member who works with HDFCs and will talk to us about the state of affairs of HDFCs in Harlem today, as well as what the future looks like for this important form of affordable housing.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Topic: HNBA Meeting
Time: Oct 11, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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