Playstreets: Summer of 1968

The city’s Parks Department opened a new photography exhibition at Central Park’s Arsenal Gallery that displays more than 40 archived photographs from the department’s collection. Called “Streets In Play: Katrina Thomas, NYC Summer 1968,” the exhibit features images taken by the late photographer Katrina Thomas, who in 1968 was hired by NYC Mayor John Lindsay and tasked with capturing the city’s summer initiative, “Playstreets,” in which residential blocks were closed to vehicles and instead equipped for recreational activity.

The Arsenal Gallery is located on the third floor of NYC Park’s Central Park headquarters at Fifth Avenue and 64th Street. The hours are Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Admission to the exhibition is free, and more information on the gallery can be found on the department’s website. “Streets in Play” will be on display through September 2.

Tree In The Middle

This is the only tree I know of in Harlem that has grown in the middle of a sidewalk.

Safe, Family Bicycle Ride from Harlem to Astor Place

Join Transportation Alternatives for a bicycle ride along the newly-extended route for NYC DOT’s Summer Streets! For the first time in city history, the DOT will be extending Summer Streets Uptown into East Harlem.

To celebrate, we will be hosting a ride that starts in Harlem at the State Building, travel along Adam Clayton Powell and then heads east on 110th Street toward Park Avenue. We will then ride Park Avenue all the way down to Astor Place where TA will have free bike valet so we can all hang out and build together.

Along the route, we plan to highlight various campaigns our TABxUP and TAMAC activist committees are currently working on (Central Harlem Bikeway, Bike Crosstown and Fifth Avenue). We hope you can all join us!

This free, family-friendly event will start at 9 a.m. on August 13 by the ACP State Office building. We’ll meet at the Citi Bike station, near the corner of W 125th St & Adam Clayton Powell Jr Blvd, and depart at 9:15 a.m. for a 90-minute ride down Summer Streets to Astor Place.

Please make to register and share with your friends!

RSVP HERE

*The course map will be emailed to attendees the week of the event.*

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.”