The northwest Bronx claimed a victory when the NYC Department of Transportation announced it would install a left turn signal for southbound traffic at Riverdale Avenue and West 231st Street on Wednesday, September 4.
The DOT agreed to intall the traffic signal after Assemblyman Jeffery Dinowitz and Councilman Andy Cohen demanded a study of the intersections along Riverdale Avenue up to West 236th Street, on Tuesday, August 27.
“With so many new buildings going up, including several schools, we have seen a marked increase in the amount of pedestrian traffic in recent years,” Dinowitz said following his presser.
Those schools are mostly just south along Riverdale Avenue at West 230th Street, such as the entrance to the former JFK school campus, which now hosts seven public schools that seat over 1,000 students each, according to Dinowitz’s office.
One the new high schools, called International Leadership Charter High School, opened on the corner of West 231st Street just three years ago.
“This intersection has long been a problem, not only for pedestrians but also for drivers who are tired of saying their prayers every time they want to turn left onto West 231st Street,” the assemblyman continued.
The two elected officials have been requesting increased traffic safety measures at this location for years, according to Cohen.
When they started campaigning for the improvements in 2017, there were 131 accidents involving more than 250 vehicles on that stretch of roadway alone, according to statistics obtained by Dinowitz’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.
“This stretch of roadway has had over a dozen accidents since the beginning of the year, so more must be done,” Cohen said mentioning that this call to action came mostly from residents more than it did from City Hall.
“It is my hope that this area will have leading indicator lights, pedestrian islands, increased cross walk times, and more so that we can stop all these close-call situations,” Cohen continued.
In addition, Dinowitz and Cohen criticized the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s policy of removing printed bus maps from all the city’s bus stops.
The two penned a letter to the MTA, saying that the move is more “penny pinching than efficient” on Tuesday, September 10.
“At a time when we should be expanding information access to all bus riders, such as adding modernized bus maps and route frequency information, it is very unfortunate that the MTA has decided to eliminate an essential service for many of their customers,” Dinowitz said adding the move was unfair to senior communities because many of the elderly don’t own smartphones to research bus routes.
The MTA has not indicated that it plans to restore the bus maps at this time.