East 96th Street Pedestrian Access to the Esplanade

Access to the East River Esplanade can be problematic in many locations along its span, but perhaps one of the most dangerous entry points is the crossing at East 96th Street.


This is due to heavy, high-speed traffic as cars enter and exit the FDR Drive.  Pedestrians cross multiple entry and exit ramps with poorly marked crosswalks and poorly placed traffic lights.

Working with Transportation Alternatives, the Stanley Isaacs Neighborhood Center and other neighborhood partners, CIVITAS has requested the NYC Department of Transportation make improvements to increase pedestrian safety under the elevated highway. These include: repainting crosswalks, moving painted “stop bars” for cars out of the pedestrian zone, repositioning traffic lights to allow pedestrians to see signals, and installing directional signage to the park on East 96th Street.  8,500 people live within a few blocks of this intersection and deserve safer access to this much-needed and much-used park. Since 96th Street is the district boundary, both the Upper East Side (8) and East Harlem (11) community boards passed supportive resolutions after CIVITAS, Transportation Alternatives and partners presented proposals at their public committee meetings.

Click here to read the letter of recommendations to the Departments of Transportation and Parks & Recreation, which includes sign-on support from:

Common Ground NYC
East Coast Greenway Alliance
East River C.R.E.W
Friends of the East River Esplanade
Mount Sinai Medical Center
New Yorkers For Parks
Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center
Transportation Alternatives
Upper Green Side

UPDATE:  The Department of Transportation responded to our request and installed pedestrian crossing signals at the intersection of East 96th Street and the FDR Drive.  This photo was taken in April 2012.  Have the new crossing signals helped you access the East River Esplanade?  Let us know what you think.  Email info@civitasnyc.org or call 212.996.0745