A grassy area surrounding a busy transportation hub in the Pelham Parkway community needs a massive rehabilitation, but so far only patchwork solutions have been offered.
At the #5 train station at Pelham Parkway and Williamsbridge Road, there is a grassy plaza that is hardly maintained, angering area homeowners who say that the eyesore has a negative impact both on their quality-of-life and property values.
MTA-New York City Transit, Parks Department, and Department of Transportation all claim some of the maintenance duties in the area at Esplanade, but so far the recurring issue is not being addressed in any meaningful way, some feel because the agencies aren’t working together.
“There has been an issue at the train station for a long time, and we have been working on it,” said Community Board 11 district manager John Fratta. “We have asked the MTA to paint the station. The sidewalks need to be redone, because they are cracked, and in the winter time it is a real headache because it never gets cleared of snow”
Fratta said that CB 11 has made progress recently, as parks has designated the grassy area as a greenstreet. A parks spokeswoman said that while the broken sidewalks are the DOT’s responsibility, the greenstreet would be an asset to the community.
Despite the good news, a homeowner who has been living in the area since 1994 nevertheless is very upset about the conditions near his home on Waring Avenue.
“Every winter, snow around the perimeter of the station is not removed,” said homeowner Segundo Fernandez. “My neighbors said that they have not seen the area around the station have regular snow removal in the 25 years they have been in the neighborhood.”
Fernandez said that he found, after researching the matter, that the MTA-NYC Transit owns everything within 36 feet of the station, while the DOT should be responsible for sidewalk maintenance and repair, and parks is responsible for the rest of the grassy area beyond the transit’s limit.
“It has been 30 years since they have done the sidewalks around the perimeter, and they are all cracked,” Fernandez stated.
In addition, the station itself has seen better days, and efforts to spruce it up have proven futile.
“They sent about 50 people down to paint the station two years ago, and the paint is already flaking off,” Fernandez said. “A neighbor, who is a local painter, takes time out to go over there and paint over graffiti when the place gets tagged.”
Neither MTA-NYC Transit or DOT had comment as of press time.