In what is becoming an ongoing saga, residents of St. Paul Avenue and the surrounding blocks are still fighting over what was a change in direction for the street over two years ago.
The direction of St. Paul Avenue, between E. 196th Street and Pelham Parkway South, was changed in April 2006, after residents of the quiet residential block complained about the high volume of vehicular traffic, mostly exiting from Pelham Parkway and coming down the block on the way to Westchester Avenue.
Over the past few weeks the exchanges between the two factions – those in favor of the current traffic flow on St. Paul Avenue and those who want it reversed -- have become more heated, with yelling back and forth and angry exchanges when various news organizations show up at the location to cover the story.
A group opposing the current direction of St. Paul Avenue recently went to the intersection and urged motorists exiting Pelham Parkway to honk their horns if they wanted to go down the street.
“We were living terribly,” Virginia Valenti, a St. Paul Avenue resident who does not want the street switched back to its original direction. “St. Paul is a residential street that was not designed to handle the volume of traffic that was coming down the block.”
Valenti said Burr Avenue is better suited to handle high traffic volume.
Another group of Pelham Bay residents collected over 600 signatures to prod the NYC Department of Transportation into reviewing its earlier decision.
That group is in favor of the original traffic pattern and is growing impatient with the City and State DOTs, which are in the process of conducting two separate traffic studies on all Pelham Bay streets.
The Pelham Bay Taxpayers and Community Association’s Anita Valenti – no relation to Virginia Valenti – an outspoken advocate for getting St. Paul Avenue’s direction reversed, said, “The people on St. Paul Avenue between E. 196th Street and Pelham Parkway is the only block benefiting from the change.”
Community Board 10 is awaiting the City and State DOT’s complete study of Pelham Bay streets, but Anita Valenti feels that the results of the study will be detrimental if the street’s direction is not reversed.
“St. Paul Avenue needs to go back to its original direction,” Valenti said. “They should handle any traffic concerns on St. Paul with speed humps.”
©2008 Community News Group