Kingsbridge Road business district to get facelift

The iconic Tortoise and Hare statue on Broadway greets visitors to Van Cortlandt Park. The Kingsbridge/Broadway business district will see various improvements in the coming months.
Community News Group / Arthur Cusano

The Kingsbridge Road/Broadway business district will see major improvements in coming months thanks to a new batch of city funding.

Councilman Andrew Cohen recently announced an allocation of $40,000 to the Kingsbridge Riverdale Van Cortlandt Development Corporation through two City Council initiatives; the NYC Clean-up Initiative and the Neighborhood Development Grant Initiative.

“It took years of hard work and collaboration by the elected officials and community organizations to support development of Kingsbridge/Broadway as a destination for shoppers,” stated Cohen in a press release. “We will now be able to make a number of improvements to our growing retail district with this funding.”

The funding was secured following a study of the corridor by Cohen, Borough President Ruben Diaz and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz that determined beautifying the busy business corridor, that runs from Van Cortlandt Park to Marble Hill, with new trash receptacles and street benches, as well as adding community bulletin boards and new tree pits was needed.

In recent years, the roadway has seen the addition of two multi-level shopping centers that brought large box stores like Target, Petsmart and Bob’s Discount Furniture to the neighborhood, as well as several national chain restaurants.

Dinowitz said there is still some room for improvement.

“It is exciting to see the amazing renaissance that has taken place along Broadway in recent years,” Dinowitz stated. “New developments, including the construction of two new shopping malls, bring a new vitality to this corridor. There is so much more potential for growth along Broadway, but it must be done in a smart and coordinated fashion.”

The road will also likely become a bit safer in the near future.

Cohen spokesman Joshua Stephenson told residents at the November 50th Precinct Community Council meeting the councilman was working to get NYC Department of Transportation officials to attend a meeting with him to discuss possible resolutions to traffic issues compiled last year.

Several residents at the meeting complained of inadequate signage and a need for four-way stop signs on the roadway.

“They are going to meet with us and give an overview of their response to that general meeting that we had and we are looking to set up a meeting where the community can come and listen to that envisioning session,” he said.

Other renovations are also on the horizon in the area: the NYC Parks and Recreation Department has announced a series of public hearings concerning $4.5 million worth of improvements to the main entrance of Van Cortlandt Park aimed at adding better aesthetics and safety.

The project will focus on the southwest corner of the park at the entrance at West 242nd Street, which is also the location of the MTA 1 IRT subway station.

There is also talk of adding additional security cameras, according to 50th Precinct Dep. Inspector Terence O’Toole.

Reach Reporter Arthur Cusano at (718) 260-4591. E-mail him at acusano@cnglocal.com.

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