The Department of City Planning will deliver its findings about a vital east Bronx traffic artery in several months.
Originally scheduled to be completed in mid-2014, as was previously reported in the Bronx Times, the DCP made public on their website that they will present the findings of a report that studies traffic along the Hutchinson River Parkway corridor from Co-op City to the Ferry Point early next year, likely in spring 2015.
DCP took time to take in more community input after the formation of a coalition of community organizations called the Inter-Association Traffic Steering Committee.
“City Planning has been meeting with community stakeholders, including Senator [Jeff] Klein, and city and state agencies from the outset of this process,” said a DCP spokeswoman. “This is not a race – it’s important to get the right recommendations in place to support this growing area with its complex transportation network.”
She added: “We are working to bring together the relevant agencies to analyze the feasibility of the improvements the community desires so that we can finalize a study that will be a roadmap to enhance connectivity, circulation, as well access and safety for auto, bicycle and pedestrian users.”
Now some of the traffic advocates at IATSC, who are concerned that the community will become overrun with traffic after the opening of new malls and commercial developments along the corridor, see the delay as something positive, allowing more time for the issues to be studied.
After hearing about the study’s delay, Arlene Grauer, one of the leading lights of the IATSC, said that she thought it was a “good“ sign.
“A later report that is a good report is better than a timely report that is not complete,” she said, as she expressed optimism that DCP is listening to community concerns about traffic in an area where three new malls and several commercial developments will open or have already opened.
She said that it is her hope that DCP will be innovative in developing solutions.
Another member of the IATSC, John Doyle, said that he is already fielding concerns about the two new malls that have opened, specifically in his capacity as a board member of the 45th Precinct Community Council.
He said a lot of Co-op City residents expressed their concerns at a recent council meeting that traffic from the new Mall at Bay Plaza was detouring through local streets in Section 5 of the development.
“Throggs Neck Shopping Center has opened, Bay Plaza has been re-designed, and the Montefiore medical facility at the Hutchinson Metro Center is now operating, so I don’t know what they are waiting for,” an impatient Doyle stated.
IATSC is working with Klein’s office. Meanwhile the senator is also advocating for the city Department of Transportation to reevaluate an idea for an exit off the Hutchinson River Parkway directly into the Hutchinson Metro Center.
In a letter to city DOT, Klein stated that he believes that such an entrance way into the sprawling complex is a necessity for thousands of his constituents in the surrounding area.
“It is my belief and the belief of thousands of constituents that reside in the 34th district that an entrance ramp off the Hutchison River Parkway into the Hutchinson Metro Center complex is a necessity,” stated Klein.