Dangerous Allerton congestion causes headache for community

Without traffic agents directing traffic, the Bronx River Parkway entrance at Allerton Avenue becomes clogged, contributing to rush-hour back up and accidents.
Photo courtesy of Bronx Park East Community Association

Dangerous traffic congestion at the Allerton Avenue entrance to the Bronx River Parkway at Bronx Park East is causing headaches and raising concerns.

According to Raphael Schweizer, Bronx Park East Community Association chairman, the NYPD stations traffic control agents at this congested intersection mostly during evening rush hours, but only once or twice a week during the morning rush.

He believes more needs to be done.

“From 7:15 to 9 a.m., the area is impassable and drivers are basically just sitting there,” he said. “Congestion has been a problem at this location for years and it’s getting really dangerous.”

Schweizer explained the congestion stretches all the way back from the New York Botanical Garden’s entrance near the Mosholu Parkway and has resulted in a number of motor vehicle accidents.

According to the NYPD’s Motor Vehicle Collision Data Reports from this past January through April, there were a total of nine traffic accidents at the intersection with no injuries reported.

Last month saw a total of three collisions reported at this same intersection, one of which involved two people travelling in sports utility vehicles , which resulted in one reported injury, according to the NYPD’s Motor Vehicle Collision Report Bronx Intersections for June 2015.

This hazardous situation is also problematic for parents walking their children to P.S. 96 via Bronx Park East and attempting to cross at Allerton Avenue with vehicles trapped in the crosswalk, he added.

Last October, Schweizer; Jeremy Warneke, Community Board 11 district manager and Vincent Prezioso, CB 11 Transportation Committee chairman, gave New York City Department of Transportation Borough Commissioner Constance Moran a walkthrough of the traffic-plagued area and they were told the DOT would offer to conduct a traffic study.

Residents have suggested widening the Bronx River Parkway entrance for two-vehicle use as well as banning the left turn only traffic signal for motorists exiting the parkway from turning onto Bronx Park East and interfering with Allerton Avenue commuters attempting to enter the parkway.

“The traffic congestion during the a.m. rush is very dangerous for pedestrians and drivers alike,” Schweizer said. “We need DOT to listen to the community’s suggestions on changing the current traffic signals and roadway conditions.”

A spokeswoman for the NYC DOT explained the department is aware of the community’s concerns at the Allerton Avenue entrance to the Bronx River Parkway at Bronx Park East and is evaluating several factors at this intersection including turn signals and signal timing.

As with every community concern, the DOT spokeswoman explained the agency works with local community boards and elected officials to obtain valuable input that plays a significant role in its work.

The spokeswoman added the intersection’s evaluations should be completed by the end of this summer.

“My office is working with the Department of Transportation to identify options for reducing traffic congestion in the Allerton section of the Bronx. I am optimistic that DOT’s traffic study will result in a more fluid traffic pattern at the entrance to the Bronx River Parkway,” Councilman Ritchie Torres said. “I will be in communication with DOT and community stakeholders to ensure the necessary measures are taken so that residents have an easier commute.”

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