Inwood's Post Avenue redesigned into shared community plaza

In a major street makeover, the Department of Transportation has redesigned the block of West 207th Street and Post Avenue in Inwood, unveiling what they claim to be a safer haven for pedestrians and much-needed community space.
"They wanted to make this space a communal space," said Gwen Martinez, executive director of the Inwood Merchant Association. 
Martinez highlighted the multi-use aspect of the new space, emphasizing its role as a community hub with added benefits for local vendors.
"So local vendors can come and have a space where they can vend outside of the corridors, and we are also looking to revitalize our neighborhood to bring people outside our neighborhood here for cultural activities and bring economic development to our businesses," added Martinez.
“This is a great example of what I mean when I say reimagining the use of public space,” said Ydanis Rodriguez, commissioner of the NYC DOT at the official unveiling on Jan. 4. 
The DOT says its conversion of the northernmost block from a two-way street into a one-way configuration has resulted in over 9,400-square-feet of fresh pedestrian space. The newly designated "Shared Street" boasts a 5 mph speed limit, enhancing safety in the area for everyone.
Rodriguez said there were more than 90 crashes at the intersection beween 2016 and 2020.
As part of the initiative, the Inwood Merchant Association will serve as the city's public space partner, taking on responsibilities for maintenance and programming. In December, the group introduced the neighborhood's first local skating rink in the new space. Martinez sees this as an opportunity to provide enriching experiences for residents, especially children. 
"These are the types of things we want to bring to the community. If our people, for whatever reason, don't go downtown or they don't have these experiences, we can bring it to them here," said Martinez.