Concourse Village Traffic Study Will Not Fix All

A traffic plan that is attempting to resolve congestion in Concourse Village was not received well by residents, with some claiming it would be like putting ‘lipstick on a pig.’

On Thursday, March 5, elected officials Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, Senator Luis Sepulveda and Assemblyman Michael Blake held a town hall at 777 Concourse Village East, where residents expressed concerns about the NYC Department of Transportation’s study that would mitigate traffic and congestion in the Concourse Village West corridor, between East 153rd Street and East 161st Street.

The mixed-use area includes residential and commercial properties, and six schools along Concourse Village West.

The schools are: P.S. 359 Concourse Village Elementary School, P.S. 156 Benjamin Banneker School, P.S./M.S. 31 The William Lloyd Garrison School, KIPP Academy Elementary School, Cardinal Hayes High School, High School for Careers in Sports and in September, a school will open at the corner of East 156th Street/Concourse Village West.

In January the study received full support from Community Board 4. If the plan is approved, it will be implemented in the summer.

DOT Borough Commissioner Nivardo Lopez explained that many vehicles travel north on Concourse Village West that need to go all the way to 161st, however the DOT prefers cars come off Concourse West and make the left turn on 156th.

Additionally, new housing is coming to 701 Grand Concourse, 156 Concourse Village West and Grand Concourse Village.

The consensus throughout the evening was that most drivers in the area do not obey traffic laws, double park, idle, park illegally and make illegal turns.

One resident named Sarah said people don’t care where or how they park. She stressed, if the DOT does the improvements and people still double or triple park nothing will have changed.

She’s convinced that making 158th Street a two-way street will not help. She explained there is a walkway at Grand Concourse and 158th, but in order to get across they have to wave down cars.

“You have to really look at this because it will not work,” she said. “I’m 87-years-old, if I have to cross 158th Street with my walker I can never get across the Grand Concourse.”

Another attendee Beverly Bovinn said the police are another issue. She explained that between 159th and 161st traffic is very bad and the turn lane onto 161st is often filled with cop cars that are clogging up the road.

“We need to get that parking lot open underneath the courthouse so the court officers, the police and anybody else can park,” she said. “They are triple parking. They are the ones that are the problem in the neighborhood.”

Teacher and parent Awilda Santos noted that many people don’t obey turn signs near schools during drop off and pick up hours. Santos was quite emotional and fears for the kids.

She said rarely are these drivers ticketed or pulled over.

“This is so disrespectful,” Santos exclaimed. “I’m really frustrated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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