The new calendar year also spells out new tranportation goals for one Bronx legislator.
Assemblyman Jeffery Dinowitz listed his own 19 commuter priorities for 2019 before heading back to Albany on Wednesday, January 9.
While in no particular order of necessity, Dinowitz emphasized that poor bus service in his northwest section of the borough needs to see significant improvement.
“It’s been a chronic problem,” the assemblyman said, mentioning that much of the problem is caused by traffic light duration, something he has been working with NYC Department of Transportation on improving.
“In the outskirts of the borough many commuters rely on busses as much if not more than the subway,” he said.
Another huge issue Dinowitz aims to tackle is making subway platforms more accessible via the installation of elevators with priority at the #4 IRT Mosholu Parkway station; which currently sits in a design phase.
Completion of a pedestrian bridge for Van Courtlandt Park was also among the priorities.
Dinowitz originally secured $12 million for that project, but over time the cost estimate of the project has jumped to $21 million.
He also included his own ‘pipe dream’ of relocating the Henry Hudson Bridge toll to Yonkers-New York City line rather than at the bridge itself.
“With the governor in talks of congestion pricing, Bronxites shouldn’t be put in a sitation of paying two tolls. That isn’t fair,” Dinowitz said, adding how he’s pushed for this initiative for years in office.
“I couldn’t resist putting it on the (list),” he added.
The remaining transportation priories are: prioritizing signal system upgrades along #1 and #4 IRT lines; accelerating the installation of Transit Signal Priority at intersections along all bus routes throughout the northwest Bronx; accelerating implementation of all-door boarding on all local bus routes; and implementing a second free MetroCard transfer to address transit deserts, new commuting patterns.
Other goals he noted are: improving multi-modal transit accommodations, such as the addition of bicycle parking at MetroNorth and subway stations with a particular focus on terminal subway stations such as Van Cortlandt Park 242nd Street for #1 IRT, Wakefield 241st Street for the #2 IRT and Nereid Avenue for the #5 IRT and Metro-North stations such as Riverdale Spuyten Duyvil Wakefield and Woodlawn; re-implementing express subway service along the #1 IRT to reduce commute times into Manhattan.
Also included was increasing the frequency of local Metro-North service along the Hudson and Harlem lines throughout the day and night; working towards west side access for the Metro-North Hudson Line to Penn Station; implementing a half-price MetroCard for veterans; a study of where bus lanes can be installed to improve service throughout northwest Bronx; significantly increase the number of bus shelters also throughout northwest Bronx; increase parking at Metro-North Railroad stations, where feasible; completing an engineering study for Hudson River Greenway; and expanding bike share programs into northwest Bronx.
Only two weeks into the new year it’s already apparent that 20 is the new 19. The assemblyman’s 20th priority: obtaining the vacant Putnam Right of Way from railroad giant CSX to convert into a green space along I-87.
“We’re still fighting for that one,” Dinowitz said.