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Community Boards Consider Safe Streets Proposals to Connect Bronx River Parks

The face of the southern Bronx River has changed in recent years. There are great new parks, including Hunts Point Riverside Park, Concrete Plant Park, Starlight Park, and more on the way. Unfortunately it’s difficult for neighbors to walk or bike to these new parks, due to obstacles including rail lines, expressways, and busy streets. Fortunately, there’s a proposal to make some streets safer and to better connect communities with our river.

The Alliance and our Greenway Team partners, especially Boogie Down Rides, Bike the Bronx, and Transportation Alternatives, worked with NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop a proposal for new street improvements that  make it easier to bike and walk to new Bronx River parks, especially where Westchester Avenue and Bruckner Avenue/Expressway cross the Bronx River. DOT responded to community concerns, and designed a proposal to re-work several streets and intersections. The new plans maintain the capacity for existing car and truck traffic, while making the streets safer and more convenient for walking and bicycling.

DOT presented their proposal to Bronx Community Boards 2 and 9 in mid-January. UPDATED 4/25/2013 CB9 did not have quorum on March 21, so CB vote postponed – now expected April 18th 2013. CB9 meets at  1967 Turnbull Avenue, Bronx, NY 10473. Note: no entrance on Turnbull Ave. Meeting room is on the second floor of the mall north of Turnbull – enter parking lot off White Plains Road between Story Ave and Turnbull Ave. If you like these proposals (or even if you don’t), the Bronx River Alliance encourages you to attend the upcoming CB9 meeting and let them know what you think.

If you’re unfamiliar with these streets, watch this Alliance/Transportation Alternatives/Boogie Down Rides video that explains existing conditions and concerns. See the full DOT proposal presentations here, and a Streetsblog article summarizing them here.

Below are some highlights from DOT’s proposals: (These are proposals, as presented in January, not finalized. Things may change somewhat during final approval processes.)

On Westchester Avenue at Edgewater Road (between the Sheridan and the River), existing traffic lanes are preserved and re-striped. New bike lanes on Westchester and a new 2-way bikeway will connect to both Starlight Park and Concrete Plant Park.

On Edgewater Road from Westchester to Starlight Park, new bike lanes will be added. This portion of Edgewater is along the Sheridan Expressway, and tends to serve as a Sheridan on-ramp. The Sheridan on-ramp is preserved, while making for safer bike connections to Starlight Park.

On Westchester Avenue at Whitlock, existing traffic lanes are preserved, while new painted "curb extensions" make for safer pedestrian crossings, making it easier to get to river parks.

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About the Bronx River Alliance

The Bronx River Alliance is a coordinated voice for the river that works in partnership to protect, improve and restore the Bronx River corridor so that it can be a healthy ecological, recreational, resource for the communities through which it flows.

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