Last weekend, a one-block street in Morris Park was the center of attention.
Seminole Street, located between Eastchester Road and Stillwell Avenue, and not to be confused with Seminole Avenue (located on the other side of Jacobi Medical Center) was recently changed to a one-way street and underwent other pedestrian safety improvements.
The NYC Department of Transportation worked on the street for the entire weekend, converting it to a one-way, eastbound street, while implementing other safety enhancements, which included the installation of a crosswalk, an updated stop sign, as well improved street lighting, to improve visibility for motorists turning onto Stillwell Avenue.
Crosswalk markings were also painted at the intersection of Seminole Street and Stilwell Avenue.
According to the DOT, the changes were made in response to community requests.
However, some members of the community see these changes as a potential disaster, given the amount of road construction work being done on Eastchester Road and Stillwell Avenue, which has already seen major traffic congestion.
“It’s going to be a nightmare for drivers in this area – and it already takes me nearly half an hour to get from Pelham Parkway to Morris Park Avenue with all the construction,” said Tony Signorile, president of the Morris Park Community Association, who added that construction on the nearby roads could take up to two more years before it is completed. “This area is a mess and its only going to get worse in the summer when the weather is hot and drivers have short fuses.”
Signorile also said that the MPCA did not ask for the one-way street change.
Nearby residents, particularly those who live on Seminole Street, seem more receptive to the street change.
“It’s taking vehicles a little while to get used to the street being one way, but I am happy that these changes were made,” said a Seminole Street resident who has lived on the block for four years. “This is a good thing – it will create a safer area for the residents and, especially, for the children.”
According to another resident, who has lived on Seminole Street for close to a decade, cars continue to park in the opposite to direction, creating the illusion that Seminole Street is still a two-way street.
Community Board 11, which was unaware of the recent changes at Seminole Street, wished not to comment at this time.