Park To Park 103

W 103rd Street - Block by Block Improvements

About the W 103rd Street Department of Transportation (DOT) Street Improvement Plan (SIP)

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Street Improvement Project (SIP) is part of a plan to improve safety and beauty of streets, supporting the vast majority of New Yorkers who get about by walking, mass transit, and bicycling.

Following a 3-year process of surveys and community engagement, the SIP was presented to the Community Board 7 Transportation Committee in June, 2022 and to the CB7 Full Board in December of 2022.

Both the Committee and Full Board approved the plan with only one dissenting vote.

The SIP is a long-term project to make W 103rd Street between Riverside Drive and Amsterdam Avenue safer, more beautiful, and more pedestrian-friendly. The goals of the redesign are to reduce traffic crashes and pedestrian injuries while providing the community with safe, accessible, and attractive outdoor space. Construction of the W 103rd Street SIP began in 2022, with the first major phase of the project scheduled to be completed in 2023.

As experience is gained with SIPs throughout the city, the Department of Transportation (DOT) promises to continuously improve these spaces based on real-world evidence following the installation. For example, future changes and designs might address the permeability of street surfaces and storm-water drains to address flooding. Or new policies to address the rat problem, and how we handle trash and garbage.

What the SIP will Look Like - Block by Block

Three blocks of W 103rd will be redesigned to prioritize pedestrians over drivers. All drivers on the street will be required to adhere to a posted 5MPH speed limit. Among the most visible changes will be the addition of 30 large planters overflowing with greenery, provided and maintained by the Horticultural Society of New York and several new public spaces.

These new public spaces include a parklet wrapping around the southwest corner of Broadway (by The Marseille) and on the east side of Amsterdam Avenue at the entrance of the Frederick Douglass NYCHA campus and Hosteling International.

W 103rd between Amsterdam Avenue to Broadway

Everyone needs a hug! Traffic-calming “hugs” are white semi-circles painted on the street, with the asphalt pavement painted tan with gravelized epoxy, and set off from the surroundings by a safety stone and planter.

When drivers see the painted lines and the hugs that narrow their driving space, they slow down. Street hugs allow walkers and others to safely access, exit, or cross the Open Street. Visually, they are a signal to drivers that the Open Street is different from conventional streets, as it is shared with pedestrians, people in wheelchairs, and those engaged in other activities such as dog walking, playing, and more. Hugs reinforce the 5 MPH signs on this shared street.

Hugs do not limit access for emergency vehicles such as fire trucks. They are carefully designed with the approval of the FDNY to safely accommodate even the largest next-generation fire equipment. Double parking, especially by large trucks or vans, is the real danger to emergency vehicle access to the street.

Park to Park 103 Youth Ambassadors are working to design artwork painted on the street to create a welcoming community space where people can meet and talk with friends or take a break. In the future, we hope to collaborate with community artists and young people to create new art installations as and when the opportunity arises.

By Hosteling International and the entrance to the Frederick Douglass NYCHA campus, there will be the addition of seating on W 103rd. This will ensure that walking on our street is accessible all who need to take breaks while walking/traveling by foot and/or are mobility impaired, as well as create a safe environment for people to rest if hot temperatures necessitate rest, allowing them to relax and cool down.

The majority of crashes that result in injury or death happen when vehicles turn, especially at intersections. The solution is to create spaces around intersections so that drivers, pedestrians, and others can see each other. These changes also make the turn onto the street tighter, so vehicles have to slow down. No more “curb cutting” at speed — a leading cause of crashes that cause injury and death. More info

The NYC Department of Transportation (NYC-DOT) uses a special tan-colored gravelized epoxy on the pavement in pedestrian priority spaces. This pavement is slip-resistant for pedestrians, and the different color alerts drivers that they are on a different kind of street. This prompts drivers to slow down and be more attentive to pedestrians and others they are sharing the street with.
This includes space for greenery, planters, safety stones, street furniture, and more!

W 103rd between Broadway and West End Avenue

  • 4 Traffic Calming “Hugs”
  • Asphalt Art
  • Shortened Crossings
  • Public Space Amenities

W 103rd Between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive

  • Shortened Crossings
  • 4 Traffic Calming “Hugs”
  • Public Space Amenities