Greener future for Pelham Bay IRT Station

Members of the Pelham Bay Taxpayers and Community Association are hoping to soon see a redesign of Pelham Bay Station to create a cleaner and more pleasant entranceway for Pelham Bay. Photo by Victor Chu

Every summer the Pelham Bay IRT Station’s popularity transforms the neighborhood into a sea of litter. Plans are in progress to rid the transportation hub of this problem.

Swarms of Orchard Beach and Pelham Bay Park users create a sanitation situation that is poorly addressed by the city at Amandola Plaza.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca allocated money during Fiscal Year 2006, 2007 and 2008 for the renovation and redesign of Pelham Bay IRT Station.

“You get people putting garbage all over the place. The summertime transforms Pelham Bay Station into an area local residents are not happy with,” said Ed Romeo, president of the Pelham Bay Taxpayers and Community Association.

According to Romeo, the PBTCA has been pushing for a redesign of the station to create an inviting and beautified area that will generate respect from those passing through the area.

“I call [Pelham Bay Station] the urinal of the Bronx because it looks like a public bathroom, and that’s the way people are treating it,” said Romeo.

According to Vacca, $ 1.4 million was given to the Department of Parks and Recreation to oversee the redesign.

Though the project has not yet begun, PBTCA will stay on top of the project and provide input during its implementation.

“If a neighborhood doesn’t look nice, there is no reason for people to respect it,” said Romeo. “It is a lot harder to deface and disrespect something that’s kept nice.”

According to Romeo, Pelham Bay residents have suggested the addition of a water fountain, antique street lights with improved illumination lamps, greening the concrete plaza with planters and trees, introduction of a memorial for Bronx veterans, and wrought iron signage displaying the station’s name.

“I hope to make it a beautiful entrance way to Pelham Bay. I want to make it a beautiful pedestrian plaza, I want to green it with trees and shrubs,” said Vacca. “I’m going to be working on ideas over the summer and brainstorming with Parks to move this project along.”

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