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February 3, 2016
Ribbon Cutting

An Iconic Step Street Reconnects Inwood Residents

Looking up at the West 215th step street.

In the northern-most tip of Manhattan, generations of Inwood residents have climbed up and down a set of steps that have come to be a landmark for the neighborhood. The 215th step street was originally built in 1915 to connect pedestrians flowing between Broadway and Park Terrace East. Now, exactly a hundred years later, the step street has been refurbished for another century and beyond.

Commissioner Peña-Mora join was joined by DOT Manhattan Borough Commissioner Margaret Forgione to celebrate the renovation of an iconic fixture in Inwood. With local businesses, bus stops and subways nearby, the renovation of the stair step sees major improvements for pedestrians, furthering Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative. Improvements include:

  • More lampposts with better lighting
  • New drainage systems that will catch storm water and help prevent flooding
  • Increased safety with new handrails, guardrails and wider steps
  • New accommodations for bicycles; a “bike channel” allows cyclists to roll their bikes up or down the stair-step as they walk alongside.
  • Newly planted trees
  • Quotes from the likes of Nelson Mandela, set in bronze along the steps.

Care was taken to make sure the new design maintained the historic character of the street. The original, dual staircase design was only futher enhanced, and historic lampposts cleaned and reinstalled. “The architecture keeps the original design with more modern touches,” said DDC Commissioner Peña-Mora.