Street safety and public space initiatives on Underhill and Vanderbilt Avenues serve thousands of New Yorkers each week, creating safer streets for cyclists and pedestrians, offering several acres of new temporary and permanent open space, and providing a venue for more than a hundred free events each year. They generate significant economic benefits to local businesses, many of which are minority- and woman-owned, and create jobs in our community.
A vocal group of individuals campaigning to preserve privileges for drivers is now targeting Open Streets on Vanderbilt Avenue and street safety improvements on Underhill Avenue, including the Bike Boulevard and the Plaza.
The first casualty of their campaign is the Underhill Bike Boulevard. At a time when it was nearly completed, all work was stopped. The Mayor confirmed to us that his office is reviewing the project based on opponents’ complaints.
Community programs on Vanderbilt and Underhill Avenues require funding by neighborhood businesses and a large volunteer effort to operate. They can not continue if the administration is willing to arbitrarily curtail them on behalf of narrow interests, ignoring the City’s stated policies on improving street safety, reducing carbon emissions, and promoting economic development.
We need your voice now to ensure that public spaces our community has built over the last four years are here to stay. Please join us in telling our elected officials to support programs that open our streets to all, and to prevent them from being derailed by the few who want our streets returned to cars.