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E. Bronx traffic in a jam

Bronx Times

Zigzag. Break. Slow. Repeat. And don’t forget a dash of patience.

That’s the recipe for cruising through two east-west Bronx roadways clogged with bumper-to-bumper traffic on most days.

The congestion has provoked the ire of Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who is calling for help from Police Commissioner Ray Kelly in hopes of securing permanent traffic agents. Vacca recently toured the traffic hotspots -- the intersection of Bronx Park East and Southern Blvd. in Allerton,along with both sides of Pelham Parkway and Boston Rd.

“Those are major east-west crossings,” said Vacca. “I want the police department to put them on their radar screen.”

Much of Pelham Parkway’s backups often involve disjointed traffic light patterns, disrupting the flow of traffic that’s worse during the morning and evening rush.

For example, Vacca said the moment the Pelham Parkway/White Plains Rd. light shifts green, the following light at Boston Rd. suddenly flips to red. The parade of cars are forced to hit the brakes, with many stuck in the middle of the road, blocking oncoming vehicles.

Meanwhile, traffic underneath the elevated No. 2 subway at White Plains Rd. converges onto Pelham Parkway, keeping drivers jammed in a sea of vehicular chaos.

Vacca thinks mass transit options running east-west are lacking, leaving many to get behind the wheel.

A burgeoning healthcare network has also contributed to daily snarls with employees from the largest sector employer contributing to a swath of drivers, according to Vacca. The problem could likely worsen in the coming months as the renovation work by the city Dept. of Design and Construction gets underway on Pelham Parkway.

The major re-construction project, one year behind schedule, will focus on upgrades to Pelham Parkway North, diverting more drivers to its main road.

North in Allerton, much of the traffic tieups there are caused by drivers on both sides of Bronx Park East simultaneously turning onto Southern Blvd./Mosholu Pkwy, a single-lane that snakes toward the northwest Bronx.

“You can’t navigate your way because the intersection’s full of cars,” said Vacca.

But hectic traffic is not exclusive to those sections. Residents shuttling into City Island are already accostomed to backups, particularly during holidays, where traffic edges beyond the island and to Shore Rd.

Vacca convinced the city to dedicate traffic agents to City Island Ave. during it’s peak summer season of visitors, easing traffic flow for City Islanders.

“We can modify a light here, a stop sign there. I don’t think those are going to address the problem totally,” said Vacca. “I think we have to use traffic agents like they would in Manhattan at major intersections that are problematic.”

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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