Things We'd Like to See Happen
More street trees, with planted tree-pits. (Check out the west side of Claremont between 116th and 120th). Restore the Broadway Malls.
Put newspaper vending boxes in proper racks, as the Grand Central Business Improvement District has done.
Restore the ripped-off cornices of buildings, and paint cornices their historically correct colors, not uniform black. UPDATE 1/1/02: Columbia is gradually doing this.
Replace ugly steel doorways and ugly modern fittings, particularly railings, lamps and windows, with historically appropriate ones. UPDATE 1/1/02: Columbia is gradually doing this in some places.
Restore stoops and other ground-floor elements of buildings. UPDATE 1/1/02: Columbia is gradually doing this in some places, as for example in this case on 114th St.
More street-baskets for garbage, with the improved designs that have been installed downtown by business improvement districts.
Have every retailer fulfill their obligation to shovel the sidewalk in front of their store when it snows. KFC / Pizza Hut doesn't do this.
Replace the ugly guard booths with historic guard booths, as has already been done in front of Columbia's main entrances.
Paint lamp-posts and traffic lights dark green, not silver. Even better, put in historic lamp-posts like on Columbus Ave. & 110th St.
Put up designated stands for posters to alleviate the blight of posters everywhere.
Systematically and regularly remove the grafitti that proliferates, especially on trouble-spots like the subway viaduct north of 122nd.
Repair the portico overlooking the Hudson.
Make contractors refrain from leaving piles of construction debris on the streets.
Remove all unnecessary barbed wire from the roofs and fences of buildings. Address legitmate security needs with other hardware.
Install attractive bicycle racks around the neighborhood, particularly in front of Broadway stores.
Replace solid steel grates on storefronts with the mesh grates that let out light at night. Light all stores at night.
Steam-Clean old buildings. UPDATE 1/1/2: Columbia is gradually doing this.
Restore the right kinds of Ivy to the walls of buildings where the condition of the wall makes this appropriate.
Restrain the tendency of merchants to spread out onto already crowded sidewalks not intended for private use. Get the City to revoke Dynasty restaurant's permit for their glass intrusion onto the sidewalk.
Floodlight our most attractive buildings at night, as is currently done with the tower of Riverside Church. Backlight visible stained-glass windows.
More plaques honoring the significance of historic buildings and their past residents.
Remove the pedestrian bridge over Amsterdam Avenue and replace it with a small footbridge that doesn't block the view and cause traffic accidents.
Properly landscape the barren plazas on Columbia's campus, particularly those at East Campus and in front of Pupin Hall.
Replace the empty asphalt triangles at Claremont & 116th, at Broadway & 107th, and at 110th & Amsterdam with proper traffic islands, preferably planted. UPDATE 4/1/2: This has been done, except at 110th & Amsterdam.
Build a footbridge to the Hudson River somewhere near 114th St. in Riverside Park.
Gild Columbia's statue of Alma Mater in gold, as it was originally designed to be.
Restore the original sundial (it was a huge polished stone sphere) on College Walk on Columbia's campus. UPDATE 6/1/2: Columbia seems to have investigated and decisively rejected this.
Renovate the 116th & 110th St. Subway Stations. UPDATE 4/1/3: The MTA is doing this, plus at 103rd St.
The neighborhood could use a first-run art-film movie theatre open to the public.