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Views of present-day Third Avenue as seen from 200 East 62nd Street, #4A (Compass) Views of present-day Third Avenue as seen from 200 East 62nd Street, #4A (Compass)
Starting next week, construction will begin on a redesign of Third Avenue from East 59th to 96th Streets, a particularly dangerous stretch where, according to the NYC Department of Transportation, six pedestrians and one cyclist have been killed since 2016. One lane will become a dedicated bus lane to allow for faster bus commutes than the current 5.2 miles per hour; another will become an extra-wide bike lane to accommodate cyclists of all speeds; and new pedestrian islands will be added to improve visibility at intersections and allow for faster crossings. An estimated completion date has not yet been provided, but Gothamist notes that construction is likely to continue for the rest of the year.
Third Avenue East 59th-96th Street redesign Third Avenue redesign (NYC Department of Transportation)
When the plans for this nearly two-mile stretch were first announced, car owners protested the changes, saying it would lead to more congestion. More recently, some restaurant owners have expressed displeasure about having to close their outdoor dining areas to accommodate construction. However, it is important to note that after this temporary inconvenience, a safer and more accessible neighborhood could lead to even more business. Curbed notes that similar efforts have saved lives and improved quality of life along First, Second, and Ninth Avenues.
Additionally, it is impossible not to consider how this will affect the local real estate landscape. For many years, easy access to the 4/5/6 trains made Third Avenue the line of demarcation for Upper East Side buyers. This has changed in the wake of the Second Avenue subway and its accompanying building boomlet; however, luxury buildings like The Leyton, 200 East 83rd Street, and 180 East 88th Street have risen along Third Avenue in recent years. Safer streets would unquestionably lead to better quality of life, which would in turn improve property values.

203 East 89th Street, #1C (Compass)

Tower East, #12B (Coldwell Banker Warburg)

Bayard House, #6E (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

Ruppert Towers 2, #19D (Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC)

The Richmond, #4A (Sothebys International Realty)

Le Trianon, #9B (Corcoran Group)

Trump Palace, #8B (Corcoran Group)

The Savoy, #35D (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

200 East 84th Street, #17EF (Compass)

The Mayfair, #8M (Douglas Elliman Real Estate)

200 E 62, #4A (Compass)

Carnegie Park Condominium, #2617 (Compass)

The Leyton, #16A (Modlin Group LLC)

The Brompton, #20A (Level Group Inc)

The Gotham, #89E (Nest Seekers LLC)

180 East 88th Street, #44 (Corcoran Group)
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