On March 21st, 2023 , three commissioners (Department of Transportation (DOT) Departement of Design and Construction (DDC), and Department of Environmental Preservations (DEP) came together with Council Member Erik Bottcher to cut the ribbon of a new dedicated and protected “walk lane”. This Super sidewalk on the east side of 9th Avenue (50/59th Streets) increases walking space by 100%. An improved protected bike lane is part of the installation.
Started in 2012, DEP’s goal was to modernize the water infrastructure in Hell’s Kitchen north and connect it to the third water tunnel. Such projects are critical to eliminate water main breaks as well as recurring street digging to repair malfunctions.
In 2020, as the project was finally wrapping up, Manhattan CB4 proposed that – instead of simply restore an antiquated street design, DDC and DOT join forces and – within the existing budget – refurbish the street to a modern standard with improved walking space. To our delight, the administration agreed to do it.
Many steps paved the way toward this remarkable turn of events: in order to free up capacity on 9th Avenue, the DOT had previously added one lane for Lincoln tunnel Traffic on 11th Avenue in 2017. Such a change had been evaluated as part of a 2007-2014 DOT study of our district. In turn , this study was informed by the 2006 “9th Avenue Renaissance” community consultation that established our neighborhood vision for our streets.
This has taken a long time, but the changes are spectacular and will make our neighbors safer on such a roomy sidewalk. Our appreciation to DOT’s pedestrian unit, who never fails to deliver.