December 16, 2021
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Dyckman Plaza Transforms Inwood Open Street
NYC DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman & Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez also unveiled new Citi Bike station that brings bikeshare to all of Manhattan
NEW YORK – Department of Transportation Commissioner Hank Gutman was joined by City Council Transportation Chair Ydanis Rodriguez today to unveil Dyckman Plaza, celebrating the transformation of one of the most successful Open Streets into a full-time permanent public plaza supporting Open Restaurants and community programming. This is the first Open Street that has been turned into a permanent Plaza. They were also joined by Citi Bike General Manager Laura Fox to celebrate the installation of the last station needed to ensure all of Manhattan has access to bikeshare.
"Dyckman Plaza is a shining example of how reclaiming space from cars can transform our neighborhoods," said DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman. "This is a historic day as we turn one of our most successful Open Streets into a permanent plaza that will be part of the fabric of this neighborhood for generations to come. And we have even more to celebrate with the opening of this Citi Bike station. Now, all of Manhattan has access to bikeshare, and I encourage all the residents of Inwood to embrace cycling, a sustainable, convenient and healthy way to get around our city."
"I am proud to have worked alongside DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman and Northern Manhattan electeds to make Quisqueya Plaza a reality. Quisqueya Plaza will become a place where local residents can gather and feel welcomed in," said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chairman of the Transportation Committee. "Working together with the local business leaders, I look forward to seeing various events and community programs come to Quisqueya Plaza. I hope that we can continue expanding the number of plazas we see across the City, embracing all of the different immigrant cultures. I look forward to continuing to work alongside DOT Commissioner Hank Gutman, Citibike, advocates, and community leaders to ensure we continue reclaiming our streets."
"With the last station of our Manhattan expansion in place, riders can pick up a bike to get to work, run errands, visit friends, connect to transit, exercise, and experience the city from every corner of the borough," said Laura Fox, General Manager for Citi Bike at Lyft. "Our biggest expansion year yet is fueling a record increase in ridership, with over 1.25 million New Yorkers taking more than 27 million rides -- and counting -- this year! We're proud to provide a sustainable, affordable, and dependable mode of transportation to New Yorkers, and look forward to our continued partnership with NYCDOT as we grow this great system."
The event today also featured a musical performance by Valentin Mesa as two local restaurants – Mama Sushi and Papasito – served visitors. To conclude the event, Commissioner Gutman met with the restaurant owners and adjacent business owner to discuss their experiences with the Plaza.
Located on Dyckman Street between Broadway and Seaman Avenue, the new plaza became a neighborhood haven during the pandemic as it allowed seven different restaurants on a single block to expand outdoor dining. Dyckman Plaza is the first plaza created from a successful Open Street and joins DOT's portfolio of 85 car-free pedestrian plazas citywide. DOT is working closely with Dyckman Gardens, a group of local restaurants and neighborhood stakeholders formed during the pandemic, to steward and help this public space thrive. The NYC Plaza Program is a key part of the City's effort to ensure that all neighborhoods have access to safe, walkable public space that supports local commerce, community, and culture.
A new two-way bike connection through the plaza linking to the two-way protected bicycle lane on Dyckman Street which was installed in 2019 and has already made the commercial corridor safer and serves 500 daily riders, many of whom are working cyclists.
Councilmember Rodriguez and the Inwood community are also undergoing the process to officially co-name the new plaza "Quisqueya Plaza." The Council passed legislation with the name change on December 15, 2021.
Just across the street from the new permanent plaza, at Riverside Drive and Broadway, a newly installed Citi Bike station now completes the Citi Bike Program's expansion to serve all of Manhattan.
DOT and Lyft are in the process of Citi Bike's Phase 3 expansion, which extended bike share service to upper Manhattan, and large portions of the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn. While this station means all of Manhattan is now served by Citi Bike, the process of adding stations to the densest and oldest parts of the system is still underway. When Phase 3 is complete, by the end of 2024, more than half of all New Yorkers will live in the Citi Bike will service area and the system will have over 40,000 bikes.
"Throughout the pandemic, Dyckman Plaza served as a thriving neighborhood haven amidst great uncertainty – providing our constituents with restaurants to dine in, neighbors to enjoy safe and distanced company, and a renewed sense of community," said Congressman Adriano Espaillat. "Our neighborhood local small businesses have gone above and beyond to steward and help this public space thrive – and I applaud The NYC Plaza Program for their tireless efforts to ensure that all of our neighbors have access to safe, walkable public space that supports the growth of our local small businesses, our greater community, and our thriving culture."
"Moving towards a plaza open to all with genuine community input is the right move for NYC, especially Inwood, home to a diversity of rich cultures - and turbulent traffic. I applaud DOT for engaging all stakeholders in this process resulting in a permanent space where neighbors can come together reclaiming the street from cars while enjoying cultural activities in a way that is safe and inclusive," said State Senator Robert Jackson. "My office looks forward to ensuring Dyckman Plaza's success. Congratulations!""I'm thrilled to celebrate today two major improvements for the Inwood community with the creation of Dyckman Plaza and the installation of the final Citi Bike station marking the system's expansion into all of Manhattan," said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. "Now the Inwood community can not only permanently enjoy a plaza that has served both residents and businesses tremendously during this pandemic but can also make use of our city's tremendous bike share system."