Traffic Will Flood Our Streets As City Rebuilds Rotunda, Closes 79th St. Parkway Ramps

Gotta love those folks at the Department of Transportation (DOT). They study traffic. But sometimes they solve one problem by creating a worse problem. But while they study what to do with the traffic they divert from the Henry Hudson Parkway on-off ramps at 79th Street, they forgot to talk to our neighbors, who will be impacted by more traffic either coming off of the 95-96th St. Parkway exit, or using West End, Riverside, Broadway and Amsterdam to get to 96th St. We do not want our neighborhood turned into a gridlocked, asphalt arena for raging motorists.

Traffic-geddon Plan Will Overwhelm West 90s: City To Close 79th St-HHP Ramps During Rotunda Renovation
Can West 90s Bear Resulting Traffic Congestion?

Anyone who has ever experienced the traffic nightmare of the 79th Street-Riverside Drive-Henry Hudson Parkway (HHP) intersection would agree it is the confluence of chaos and congestion for pedestrians, cars and cyclists. 

Now, the City’s Department of Transportation (DOT), with related agencies, is planning a $150 million rebuilding of the 79th Street rotunda in Riverside Park that impacts the Traffic Circle and HHP on-off ramps. And when these ramps are shut, the streets of our neighborhood will be impacted severely by the resulting traffic diversion.

While not all ramps will be closed at the same time, this epic four-year long project means our community will bear an insufferable increase in traffic as the 95-96th Street exits becomes the only Upper West Side access point to the Parkway.

If these plans, which were announced without seeking input from our already traffic congested neighborhood proceed, we could be facing a “traffic-geddon” beginning as early as next summer, warns N90s president Aaron Biller.

“The City is treating the monstrous impact of this very complicated, four-year-long major project on our neighborhood as a minor footnote,” says Biller. “Plans were presented by the DOT, Parks Dept. and the Highway Department to a committee hearing at Community Board 7.”

“This City’s planning process requires the input of all parties that will bear the impact of this project. The West 90s has terrible traffic congestion issues during peak hours on every major street. We already bear the impact of closing HHP exits and on-ramps at 72nd Street. Reducing 79th Street parkway access for four years, would be a disaster.”

He added, “We should not be finding out about the City’s plans after-the-fact. N90s works with several city agencies, including the DOT, so we are surprised that they bypassed the community on this critical project that impacts our safety and quality of life.”

While the DOT is still working on its proposals to divert traffic and reroute the crosstown 79th Street bus that now terminates at the traffic circle-rotunda, we urge our neighbors to contact key officials to express their concerns before plans are finalized.

Make your voice heard:

— Call State Senator Daniel O’Donnell, 212.866.3970
— Call Deputy DOT Commissioner Eric Beaton (Division of Traffic Planning & Management), Tel: 212.839.6697 or send a Fax: 212.839.7188
— Call Assembly Member Linda B. Rosenthal, 212.873.6368 *(If you live between 90-93rd St, West End to Amsterdam)
— Write to: Penny Ryan, community manager, Community Board 7,

Let’s be proactive and loud in protecting our community! Call or write today!

Tell them you are concerned that the new 79th Street Traffic Circle/Riverside Park Rotunda project in Manhattan will cause traffic gridlock in your neighborhood. A DOT representative has already indicated to the Community Board that the 95-96th Street exit on the Henry Hudson Parkway will bear the load of the traffic diversion.

This is unacceptable because peak hour traffic volume has made travel in our neighborhood impossible. Solving one problem while creating another is unacceptable.

Below is an excerpt from the West Side Rag on the DOT presentation at CB7:
See West Side Rag story:
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Need a cop? Who to call:

24th Precinct neighborhood policing program (NCO)
Sector A
Covers West 86th Street to 110th Street,
Broadway, west through Riverside Park to the Hudson River
NCO Officers:
Jovani Soto

Paige Hilbig

Sector B
Covers Broadway, east to Central Park West, West 86th to 100th Street.
NCO Officers:
Lindsay Robles

Nelson Gomez

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