City Reconsidering Plans to Close Baseball Fields for Rotunda Reconstruction; Bike Lanes Also An Issue

File photo of the Rotunda via NYC Parks.

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.

NEWS | 7 comments | permalink
    1. J says:

      There should be no bicycles here. It is a roadway used by the bus and as an exit from a highway.
      It is already challenging to navigate due to its shape and situation. Cyclists here would endanger everyone, not to mention cause traffic back-ups on the West Side Highway and around Riverside Drive etc.

      Cyclists should dismount and use the interior paths.

      Also pretty incredible how much money is spent on enhancements in affluent areas in Manhattan whereas parks and roads in the boroughs, in lower income areas are in bad shape and in need of repair.

      • fucque cars says:

        drivers of cars should dismount as their cars are vaulted into the hudson river

      • EagleEye says:

        Why should cars(a large portion from out of town) have priority of this NYC project? Why should cyclists have to dismount? Why not have drivers get out of their cars and push them through the rotunda. I guarantee you will have not one person murdered by automobile if this is implemented. Lastly, if you find a simple rotary challenging to navigate, maybe you should not be driving.

    2. 79thstmaria says:

      Does anyone know if car traffic will be possible on the rotunda during construction, or if traffic will be diverted to 95th or 56th st exits off the West Side highway?

    3. Melodie Bryant says:

      Glad the DOT listened to voices of the residents. You cannot close off baseball fields indefinitely. And the plan was not safe fir cyclists either.

    4. ST says:

      Via Helen Rosenthal’s office, we voted on participatory budgeting for a fix to the bike lane problem along the boat basin esplanade a number of years ago. Zero happened and there ihas been no explanation as to what happened to those funds.

      • EagleEye says:

        The bicycle bypass has been put on hold until after the rotunda is renovated. This makes perfect sense.