By Michael McDowell
The Upper West Side has spoken.
The NYC Department of Transportation is “revisiting” its plan to rehabilitate and reconstruct the West 79th Street Rotunda, which links the neighborhood to Riverside Park and the West Side Highway, following pushback from CB7, elected officials, and residents, according to Roberta Semer, chair of Community Board 7.
Although the rotunda is in need of both a cosmetic and structural update, two elements of the plan to reconstruct it as presented were unpopular: the lack of a protected bike lane in the traffic circle atop the rotunda, and the staging of construction on ballfields in Riverside Park used by the West Side Little League. The fields would likely have had to be closed for years to accommodate.
According to Semer, the project is still on schedule, but DOT will present a revised plan addressing these concerns in February.
“We are examining the concerns raised by Community Board 7 and will return to the board after completing our review,” said a DOT spokesperson.
The project is in final design, DOT noted. Upon completion of final design elements, the project will move into the procurement phase. An updated timeline for the project will then be made available, the spokesperson added.