How did one half of St. Paul Avenue accomplish getting the two streets of St. Paul Avenue to go in two different directions?
One half of St. Paul Avenue, from 196th Street, goes towards Westchester Avenue. The other half of St. Paul from 196th Street, goes towards Pelham Parkway South. This direction of 196th Street to Pelham Parkway South has created a private residential street for one half of a block with little or no traffic. St. Paul is the only block that is calmer. The adjacent blocks are now a traffic nightmare.
The taxpaying residents of the Pelham Bay community submitted two petitions with hundreds of names, objecting to this reversal. We attended community board meetings objecting to this reversal. We addressed the objections to DOT and our elected officials. The Pelham Bay Taxpayers was re-vitalized because of the frustration of our petitions and objections being ignored.
We were informed that we had to wait for a DOT study. We felt that a DOT study would take years. Why a study? The negative and dangerous impact the reversal has caused is very “visible” to all the taxpaying residents of Pelham Bay. The backed up traffic on Pelham Parkway South and Burr Avenue from residents returning home from work. The dangerous congestion of too many tandem buses going up Burr Avenue to Pelham Bay Station and zig zagging with dozens and dozens of tandem buses converging onto Pelham Bay Station from every direction causing a serious hazard to residents trying to cross the street. We need the skill of Mario Andretti and the patience of Mother Theresa to maneuver around Pelham Bay Station.
I have listed many other unsafe problems in previous columns that the reversal of St. Paul has contributed to. In addition to all the previous hazardous conditions, another unsafe fiasco has converged onto Burr Avenue
As reported by Kenneth Kearns in his August 14 Community Board 10 column, we now have a SBS Program. There are three SBS buses that use SBS stations on Burr Avenue between Westchester and Wilkinson avenues. They leave from Pelham Bay and travel to Inwood in Manhattan, or Orchard Beach or the Bay Plaza Shopping Mall in Co-op City. The same area is also served by the BX12 bus. When these buses line up along Burr Avenue their sheer size and bulk- make it nearly impossible for cars and other vehicles to pass through Burr Avenue, contributing to a serious traffic congestion problem. Community Board 10 has requested both agencies to survey this situation, with an eye towards placing the traditional BX 12 bus, at another location in the general vicinity of the others, to allow for a smoother flow of traffic. Something else added to the Burr Avenue, congested unsafe street! St. Paul’s complaints were mild in comparison to what Burr Avenue is having to deal with.
Another “immediate solution” that would help relieve the serious congestion at Pelham Bay Station is to reverse the section of St. Paul from 196th Street to Pelham Parkway South, back to the previous direction. This would eliminate many of the cars forcibly making a right turn onto Burr Avenue. Being able to again make a right turn onto St. Paul Avenue will enable our taxpaying local residents to return home from work, and the taxpaying local residents to shop in our own area. Also, paying more than $4 a gallon for gas to daily idle in backed up traffic, and driving around and around several blocks out of our way adds to the anger.
After more than two years of being forced to deal with backed up, unsafe traffic congestion-plus the multiplied congestion at Pelham Bay Station, why is half of St. Paul continuing to benefit and enjoy living on a private street. Our patience and frustration is now turning to anger of nothing being done “NOW” to reverse St. Paul. Why must “Only We” continue to be subjected to these unsafe, dangerous traffic congestion and why is it only “us” that have to wait for the study Reverse St. Paul back “NOW” so the ENTIRE COMMUNITY can patiently wait for the D.O.T. study.
We have had complaints about the decline of quality service in U.S, Postal delivery Service in Pelham Bay. Prescription medication to many of our residents have been delivered to incorrect addresses. The PBTCA has asked Councilman Jimmy Vacca to remedy this huge problem. More on this situation in my next column.
The end of summer is fast approaching, so let’s enjoy the warmth of sunny days before the heating season begins.
©2008 Community News Group