Board backs C.P.W. protected lane
BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH
The Upper West Side’s Community Board 7 voted
in favor of a protected bike lane along Central
Park West at its July 2 full-board meeting.
The decision was met with an eruption of cheers
inside the packed meeting room, at the Goddard Riverside
Community Center, where many bike-lane supporters
held yellow signs reading, “Board 7, do the right
Before community board members voted on the resolution,
Edward Pincar, the Department of Transportation’s
Manhattan borough commissioner, and Nick
Carey, senior project manager at the D.O.T. Bicycle and
Greenway Program, presented the department’s plan
for the bike lane, which would run between W. 59th
and W. 110th Sts. To create the bike lane, D.O.T. would
need to remove 400 parking spaces along the avenue’s
Pincar, Carey and Ted Wright, D.O.T. director of
Bicycle and Greenway Programs, had fi rst presented
the plan at a June 10 C.B. 7 Transportation Committee
meeting, at which some residents expressed concern
that the bike lane would cause traffi c congestion.
The trio received pushback from car-owning or cardependent
residents when they revealed that installing
the bike lane would mean losing parking spaces. That
pushback only intensifi ed at the July 2 full-board meeting,
where bike-lane opponents repeatedly interrupted
the D.O.T. offi cials and community board members
COURTESY N.Y.C. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
A schematic rendering of Central Park West
before and after the planned installation of
the protected lane.
with hisses, boos and loud demands for an environmental
“A lot of Upper West Side families are struggling just
to survive,” said car owner Laura Jenkins, on the verge
of tears. “The subways don’t work properly. I go borough
to borough and I have a child, and I can’t afford
not to have my car. ”
She added that the cost of parking garages in the
neighborhood was also out of her price range.
“We need our parking spots,” she declared. “Do not
take away our parking spots.”
But bike-lane boosters and cycling activists from
groups like Streetopia and Transportation Alternatives
were equally as impassioned. Activists repeatedly called
for “Safety now!” Some bike-lane-backing residents
even compared the critics to climate-change deniers for
failing to recognize the connection between cars, a lack
of protected bike lanes and the city’s rising number of
During a particularly tense moment, Chelsea Yamada,
a Transportation Alternatives member, held a
photo of a ghost bike in the air and shouted “Data denier!”
when community board member Jay Adolf tried
to speak about his proposed amendment to the resolution.
Adolf’s proposal called on D.O.T to conduct a
study six months prior to any construction on the bike
lane, to examine the effects that eliminating 400 traffi
c spots would have on resident and transient parking.
The amendment failed to pass.
The push for a Central Park West bike lane started
last year after the death of Madison Lyden, a 23-yearold
Australian tourist who was forced to swerve her bike
into oncoming traffi c and was hit by a garbage truck.
Upper West Siders, bicycle safety activists, C.B. 7 and
local politicians, including Assemblymember Richard
Gottfried and Councilmember Helen Rosenthal, called
on D.O.T. to create a two-way protected bike lane.
According to D.O.T.’s Pincar, the department will
monitor the bike lane on a quarterly basis for the next
year. Construction on the bike lane will start immediately.
Harlem historian: Suffrage statue ‘racist’
BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH
Jacob Morris just wants to tell the truth and he
wants the city to do the same.
The Harlem-based historian is pushing for a
redesign of the forthcoming Central Park monument
honoring the women’s suffrage movement. As
currently designed, the monument is racist, Morris
Morris has drafted a resolution for Manhattan’s
Community Board 11 calling on the City Council, the
Mayor, the Public Design Commission and Manhattan
Borough President Gale Brewer to suspend all
taxpayer money allocated to the monument. That is,
until the monument is made to refl ect what Morris
says is a balanced and accurate depiction of the fi ght
for women’s suffrage that “incorporates the role not
just of white women but all women.”
Morris is not a member of C.B. 11.
His resolution also calls for including “a historian
on the panel to ensure the optimum functioning of
our Public Design Commission,” so that the commission
can improve its mission to deepen public knowledge
of contributions made by “under-acknowledged
peoples to our society and include a ‘Truth in Labeling’
as criteria for approvals.”
The statue would go on the park’s Literary Walk
and is currently slated for installation in the summer
of 2020. It is being funded with $500,000 from a
New York Life Insurance Company Challenge Grant,
$100,000 from Borough President Brewer and
$35,000 from City Councilmember Helen Rosenthal,
c0-chairperson of the Council’s Women’s Caucus and
chairperson of the Council’s Committee on Women.
The Parks Department announced plans in 2017
for a monument honoring women’s suffrage movement
leaders Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan
Jacob Morris, director of the Harlem Historical
Society, says the women’s suffrage monument
planned for Central Park is racist and
must be redesigned.
B. Anthony, and selected sculptor Meredith Bergmann’s
proposed design for it. The design features
women’s-rights activists Stanton and Anthony working
alongside each other at a desk, with a lengthy
scroll falling toward an old-fashioned ballot box below
them. In honor of the breadth and diversity of
the movement, the scroll will be inscribed with names
and quotes of other women who took part in the fi ght
for women’s rights.
Sojourner Truth, Lucy Stone, Ida B. Wells, Anna
Howard Shaw, Lucretia Mott, Matilda Joslyn Gage
and Alice Paul are some of the women that will be
But the design has received criticism from some
historians who believe that it depicts a a slanted and
“It purports to honor Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth
Cady Stanton as champions of universal women’s
suffrage,” said Morris, the director of the Harlem Historical
Society. “They were not. They were champions
of white women’s suffrage.”
Both and Anthony and Stanton used racist rhetoric
and valued the concerns of white Protestant women
over those of of black women, as well as black men,
and were generally elitist, Morris and others charge.
Morris would support adding more fi gures to the
monument, including Sojourner Truth and Ida B.
Wells. But above all, he wants the Public Design Commission
to go back to the drawing board and create
a monument that is “more inclusive” and “accurately
After presenting his case to C.B. 11, including a letter
of support from fellow historian David Levering
Lewis and articles from historians Martha S. Jones
and Nell Irvin Painter, Morris spoke with Deputy
Borough President Matthew Washington and Councilmember
Rosenthal to air his concerns about the
According to a spokesperson, Rosenthal has no
plans to rescind her $35,000 allocation at this time.
“Our offi ce really looks forward to a community
process which leads to a statue that celebrates women’s
suffrage and the diverse movement that achieved
it,” the spokesperson said in an e-mail.
Brewer’s offi ce declined comment for this article.
C.B. 11 is scheduled to vote on Morris’s resolution
6 July 11 - July 24, 2019 MEX Schneps Media