A New Vision for the Upper West Side
Supporters of a greener, safer and more livable Upper West Side were joined by elected officials, renowned urban planner Jan Gehl and P.S. 87 students in the Livable Streets Education program, to celebrate the launch of the "Blueprint for the Upper West Side: A Roadmap for Truly Livable Streets," at P.S. 87 on Thursday. Check out The Upper West Side Streets Renaissance Campaign on Livable Streets to learn more about the plan and how you can take action to make changes in your neighborhood.
[00:00] We’re here tonight at PS 87 on the Upper West side for the
release of the Upper West Side Streets Renaissance Blueprint.
[00:12] The process actually began about a year ago when the Upper West
Side Renaissance had its launch, and then over the last year, throughout
the summer we had… community design workshops, we had movie nights,
discussions, surveys, online activity And so it was sort of a
year long process listening to what the community wanted for their streets,
what type of improvements, what type of new bike lanes, etc. look better,
pedestrian access and crossings. And so we listened to everybody,
and then we were fortunate to be able to work with some professional
urban designers and they put together the Blueprint, which we released
[00:47] I think the bike boulevard, the separated bike lane, certainly
the bulb outs at intersections to make it easier for pedestrians, these
are all commonsense design features that any city can emulate and it’ll
make things really better for everybody.
One thing I just noticed that I just love is this bike parking on every
block, which just makes my heart sing.
Mark Gorton: [01:10]
The time is really right now to get change going. And the way
we do that is to have people start requesting it in very local ways.
People, individual block associations, groups of neighbours, start asking
for change on their specific streets.
[01:27] And so the most recent issue was having a bike lane on 106th
Street and we approved it, and it opened and there was a wonderful opening
party there, where even a community group that had originally objected
to the idea, embraced it and hosted a party. So we were very,
very excited to be a part of that process and we look forward to many
more interesting and new ideas.
Gale Brewer: [01:51]
The other exciting thing about this Blueprint is that we all participated.
I went to many of your conversations where people sat down and said,
okay, if you have a lane, you need the garbage to be picked up, you
need the delivery, we need bicycle access, we need to think of how the
sidewalk and the streets can work together.
Jan Gehl: [02:14]
Of course what has happened in New York has been that all this wideness
of the streets has been used to one single purpose, that is to have
as many cars as possible race up and down as many streets as possible.
Mark Gorton: [02:31]
And the fact is drivers take disproportionately a large amount of resource.
Quite simply, it’s impossible, I mean every single person that parks
on the street, they’re taking up about ten times as much space as
the average person is entitled to.
[02:47] We’re using the ideas that you see in the Blueprint and we’re
sort of making them age appropriate for kids and helping them to realise
ways that they could affect portions of the Blueprint around their school.
I’ve been working at PS 87, working with kids, kindergarten to fifth
grade, trying to teach them about how to change the streets around their
schools. And we work very closely with the classroom teacher,
meeting his or her goals for their students, whether those are science
goals, social science goals, literacy goals, math goals. And so
we take ideas from the classroom and we put them on the streets so kids
get real examples of the things that they’re studying.
Cars drive too fast around our school. Maybe if grownups work
together then we can make the streets safer and more liveable for children,
but the work can be [unintelligible 03:40], please change our streets.