park2park103 logo
Close this search box.

Benefits of W 103 Open Street

Safety & Accessibility

Data from NYC CrashMapper reveals that in the last 10 years, crashes on W 103rd Street from Amsterdam to Riverside injured 31 people, all at intersections that will be redesigned by the SIP. Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist Justin Davidson wrote about such neighborhood tragedies in what he called “the Upper West Side’s zone of pedestrian death.”

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Street Improvement Plan (SIP) addresses this problem with:

  • Clearly posted 5 MPH speed limit signs
  • Redesigns featuring High Visibility Intersections at every pedestrian crossing
  • 4 “hugs” on every block as clear signals to vehicles that these are shared streets.
  • An overall more pedestrian-friendly street that allows for a safer walking experience for all, especially young children, those with pets, elderly residents, and mobility-impaired neighbors.

There is no change in access for emergency and service vehicles, as well as residents whose mobility status necessitates the need of a car near their apartment under the DOT’s SIP. The SIP includes:

  • Full accessibility for emergency vehicles with a design approved by FDNY for fire, ambulance, and police.
  • Full access for taxis, car-share, and service vehicles.
  • No change to curbside parking regulations.
  • The conversion of 15 parking spaces over 3 blocks into spaces for safety improvements, and new public spaces fronting The Marisallie, senior/supportive housing landmark and , and the Purple Circle Early Childhood Education Center.
  • 30 planters on W 103rd, overflowing with greenery. They will receive daily maintenance by The Horticulture Society of New York.
  • New Public Spaces including:
    • A large “Street Seat by the entrance to the Frederick Douglass NYCHA campus and Hosteling International
    • A “parklet” wrapping the corner of Broadway & 103 by The Marseilles to create a safe space for all residents, including seniors living at WSFSSH and kids from The Purple Circle Early Childhood Educations Center
    • 12 traffic slowing “hugs” (pictured above) across the 3 blocks that will be decorated with a safety stone
    • Make it easier for people to walk between the sidewalks and street midblock in safety.
Check out the Analytics of Parking and Street Space Page to learn more about the dangers of double-parked cars, see visuals of large vehicles moving between our Open Street barriers with ease, and understand who is served by a parking space versus who is served by an Open Street.


Beauty and Health:

  • Spring planting and tree bed maintenance initiatives in cooperation with volunteers, the W 102nd-103rd Streets Block Association, and Community Gardens.
  • Asphalt artwork in three locations on W 103rd Street, designed by Park to Park’s team of 6 Youth Ambassadors from the neighborhood. Asphalt artwork involves colorful artistic designs painted brightly across the road to brighten up the street and community.
  • Street furniture from the DOT, allowing for people to enjoy a free, outdoor, public space leisurely.
  • A walkable street encourages both physical and mental health.
  • A more pedestrian-friendly street allows for those walking – alone, with children, or with their pets more space and freedom to enjoy our neighborhood. 
  • In New York City, we are frequently separated from our natural environment, caught up in busy lives that don’t accommodate visits to parks or other green/outdoor spaces. The SIP creates a space that provides for people to spend time outside near their apartments. This increases the access to and amount of time outdoors for residents. 
  • Spaces that allow people to gather for free allow them to meet their neighbors, make connections, and build relationships. This leads to a safer community that’s able to look out for one another. 

Check out our Planter Power Page to learn more about our streets’ beautiful new additions. 

Inclusion & Play

Park to Park 103 will support an inclusive and accessible space for those of all ages and abilities to play, enjoy themselves, and connect with each other and our natural environment. Some of the ways we commit to doing this are by:

  • Create a street welcoming to all ages, regardless of mobility, income, or languages spoken and understood.  
  • Supporting the NYCHA Connected Communities program through Park to Park with Douglass at its heart.  
  • Educating a Youth Ambassador team in civic involvement as they design asphalt art for W 103rd Street, providing young people with a sense of influence in their community. 
  • Partnering with the Bloomingdale Inclusive Playground on 104th Street and Hosteling International.
  • Activating the Open Street with events for all ages and abilities – Every event includes activities for children of all different ages, young adults, parents, and single adults.

Want to learn more about what W 103rd Street will look like after the SIP is implemented? Click here to see a block by block description of the project.