A NYC Department of Transpotation study to mitigate traffic and congestion in the Concourse Village West corridor, between East 153rd Street and East 161st Street, received the full support of Community Board 4 recently.
On Wednesday, January 28, DOT representatives presented its traffic study to the board and community.
Driving through that area is challenging, even when the Yankees aren’t playing, the board members agreed.
If the plan is approved, it will be implemented in the summer.
“This has been an ongoing issue for a very long time,” said CB4 district manager Paul Philips. “Whether you’re there in the morning when it’s rush hour or when school’s out, it’s a nightmare. It’s a crucial stretch because it affects thousands of people. If what exists today isn’t working you have to make some changes.”
The area is mixed-use with residential, commercial 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.
Additionally, new housing is coming to 701 Grand Concourse, 156 Concourse Village West and Grand Concourse Village.
Some of the issues that plague the area include:
• Concourse Village West and E 156th Street – off-set intersections require multiple turns, creating congestion on this critical link; majority of vehicles traveling eastbound on East 156th Street, turn left onto Concourse Village West and then turn right onto East 156th Street; and key conflict between northbound through traffic and eastbound left-turning traffic.
• East 156th Street, Concourse Village West to Morris Ave – a narrow two-way street with 90-degree angle parking on the north side; turn restrictions onto East 156th Street are posted at Morris Avenue during school days (7 to 9 a.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.); and during weekday AM and PM school hours, the street becomes congested due to narrow width, head-on traffic conflicts due to turn prohibition, and school bus activity.
Some of the proposed improvements include:
• Convert East 153rd Street to one-way eastbound between Grand Concourse and Concourse Village West.
• Reverse direction of traffic flow on East 156th Street between Grand Concourse and Concourse Village West from eastbound to westbound.
• Convert East 156th Street between Concourse Village West and Morris Avenue to one-way eastbound (eliminate time-of-day turn restrictions).
• Convert East 156th Street to one-way eastbound from Concourse Village West to Morris Avenue.
• Require on-street parking removal on the north side of East 158th Street between Grand Concourse and Concourse Village West, to allow for safe two-way operation (street is 34 feet wide).
• Eliminate 14 parking spots on the north side of East 158th Street.
Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson told the Bronx Times that while she is concerned about losing 14 parking spaces, she is pleased with the study.
In March, she and other elected officials plan to hold a town hall to discuss the study.