DOT Announces $7 Million in Upgrades to Quisqueya Plaza in Inwood

New signage in Quisqueya Plaza. Image Credit: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office.

On February 27, 2023, the New York City Department of Transportation announced an investment of $7 million to bring capital upgrades to Quisqueya Plaza in Inwood. Located on Dyckman Street between Broadway and Seaman Avenue, the plaza was the first Open Street location to become a permanent plaza in 2021. 

The capital upgrades include a reconstruction of the plaza with pedestrian and bike lane safety enhancements. The Department of Transportation installed a new two-way bike connection linked to the two-way protected bike lane on Dyckman Street. The agency is currently in the scoping phase for the project, with the design set to begin in 2024. 

New signage was also unveiled to reflect the co-naming of “Quisqueya Plaza” as part of the celebration of Dominican Republic Independence Day, which was celebrated on the 27th. The name “Quisqueya” is the Taino name of the island that contains the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The name means “mother of all islands.” 

The agency has also worked with Dyckman Gardens, a local restaurant and neighborhood stakeholders group established during the pandemic which has helped this public space grow. The changes made during the pandemic had allowed seven restaurants on a single block to expand outdoor dining options. 

The upgrades are part of the City’s larger efforts to find, develop and transform more public spaces after the success of the City’s Open Streets program showed the benefits of allocating more space for pedestrians, which as an extension benefits local businesses. In Mayor Eric Adams’ State of the City, he committed $375 million to improving public spaces.

Mayor Adams stated, “Every New Yorker, no matter where they live in our city, needs a safe place to gather, socialize, or just take a stroll. That’s why, as part of my State of the City address, I committed $375 million to create new public spaces in all five boroughs. On Dominican Independence Day, I’m proud to announce $7 million of that funding will go to bringing dramatic upgrades to Quisqueya Plaza, an Open Street that helped save local businesses and jobs right in the heart of Northern Manhattan’s Dominican community.”

Council Member Carmen De La Rosa stated, “Quisqueya Plaza has become a staple in the community for events, outdoor dining, and an added open space alternative for many community members and local businesses. We saw the importance of third places and open areas during the pandemic, and we know that they have the ability to foster our sense of community. We hope to continue investing in our outdoor infrastructure to create safe spaces for our Uptown families and business owners to enjoy.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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