K’bidge development brings traffic concerns

K’bidge development brings traffic concerns
Arthur Cusano

It’s not hard to see why Kingsbridge was recently projected to be the hottest neighborhood in the city for 2017 by real estate company StreetEasy.

Various new retail and mixed-use development projects in various states of completion dot the landscape.

Add in easy access to Manhattan via the IRT 1 train and Van Cortlandt Park and it’s no wonder people are flocking there.

But increased development and road congestion have left area leaders concerned about traffic safety, especially at one particular intersection.

Earlier this month, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz called on the NYC Department of Transportation to study a stretch of West 230th Street that runs from Broadway to Tibbett Avenue which he refers to as a “half mile of danger.”

There have been 131 accidents involving more than 250 vehicles on that stretch of road alone, according to statistics obtained by the assemblyman’s office from the NYPD Vehicle Collision data reports.

Nearly half of the accidents took place at the intimidating intersection of West 230th Street and Broadway, where a multi-level shopping center was recently constructed and where an access ramp to the Major Deegan Expressway is located nearby.

“Residents from all over the Bronx use West 230th Street to gain access to the Major Deegan, and many of them deal with this hazardous situation daily,” Dinowitz stated. “With so many accidents happening along this corridor, the city needs to take steps to ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians.”

Dinowitz also recently called for the placement of a traffic signal at the intersection of West 230th Street and Tibbett Avenue to allow left hand turns onto Tibbett from westbound West 230th Street.

Tibbett gets heavy traffic on weekdays due to the nine schools that are located near it, as well as various businesses such as a large U-Haul rental center.

The DOT has two ongoing open left turn studies – one on Broadway and West 230th Street and another at West 230th Street and Tibbett Avenue – which it anticipates completing in the coming week, according to a DOT spokesperson.

Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation executive director Tracy Shelton said she supported ongoing traffic studies for the area, since there has been so much development in recent years.

She said the proposed traffic signal at Tibbett would be a huge help.

“That entire corridor needs as much TLC as it can get in terms of traffic safety,” Shelton said. “Because it’s just so up and coming with development, and that adds trucks and everything else into the mix. It’s just a perfect storm in terms of traffic issues.”

Community Board 8 chairman Dan Padernacht said the intersection of Broadway and West 230th Street was by far the area’s biggest traffic concern, and that the board would likely support additional traffic studies.

The DOT had already altered the intersection to prevent illegal left turns and made the crossing light times longer, he said, but the new shopping center had further exacerbated the problem.

Padernacht said another area of concern that may be revisited is West 238th Street at Broadway and Bailey Avenue, due to another new retail center on Broadway, that features several retailers including a BJ’s, a Petco and a Buffalo Wild Wings eatery.

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 742–4584. E-mail him at acusano@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @arthurcusano.