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Pelham Parkway traffic mess

Traffic fixes for gridlocked East Bronx intersections

Bronx Times

Local drivers may soon get some relief from traffic woes at two troublesome east Bronx intersections.

The intersections at Pelham Parkway and Boston Road, and at Allerton Avenue and Bronx Park East, are known troublespots for residents of Pelham Parkway and Allerton.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca has led the fight to bring changes to the intersections, and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has heard his plea.

Vacca said that traffic enforcement agents have been restored to Pelham Parkway and Boston Road, and that he is working with the city Department of Transportation to improve traffic signal timing at Allerton Avenue and Bronx Park East.

In a March 11 letter to Vacca, Bratton wrote the agents will regularly be assigned to the Pehlam Parkway intersection until the DOT is able to address traffic control at the situation, and that the police department will follow up with DOT about adjusting signals at the Allerton Avenue intersection.

A DOT spokesperson said the department has reviewed signal timing at both locations and the agency continues to review the locations to further balance pedestrian safety and mobility needs.

“It’s good news on both fronts,” said Vacca.

Edith Blitzer, head of the Pelham Parkway Neighborhood Association has a definite opinion on the traffic situation.

“It stinks,” said Blitzer. “It really does.”

She was happy to hear about the addition of traffic agents at Pelham Parkway and Boston Road, which she thinks will make the intersection safer.

Gene De Francis, director of the Allerton International Merchants Association, said he avoids the Allerton Avenue intersection “like the plague.”

Addressing the traffic situation, he said, is long overdue.

“I’m glad DOT is taking notice.”

But DeFrancis said he’d prefer to see traffic enforcement agents assigned to Allerton Avenue and Bronx Park East as well because humans can respond to a changing traffic situation in a way machines can’t.

He also feels that people are more likely to drive cautiously with the eyes of the agents on them.

But it seems like the promise of traffic enforcement agents has not completely fixed the problem at Pelham Parkway and Boston Road yet.

One fed-up resident complained in an email to Community Board 11 District Manager Jeremy Werneke about the traffic back-up, saying traffic on Pelham Parkway was at a standstill all the way back to Williamsbridge Road and it took her two hours to drive her son to school the morning of Wednesday March 19. She said there was a traffic enforcement agent at the intersection, but that drivers were ignoring their directions.

Another resident posted photos of traffic at the intersection to Board 11’s Facebook group, saying she began noticing traffic as early as 6:45 a.m.

A second commented that the traffic was worse than usual, but said she didn’t see any enforcement agents at the intersection when she drove through it.

It was unclear whether the traffic Wednesday morning was caused by accidents in the area.

Reach Reporter Jaime Williams at (718) 742–3383. E-mail her at jwilliams@cnglocal.com.

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