Locals rail against guardrail

A local activist is “railing” against what he sees as a hazard created by the Pelham Parkway reconstruction project.

Morris Park and Pelham Parkway activist Frank Vignali is smarting about a new vehicle guardrail that is blocking an illegal pedestrian crossing of Pelham Parkway at Narragansett Avenue, near a Bx12 bus stop, that he said has been used by the community for over 50 years.

Even though there is paved path on the other side of the crossing, there was a never a cut made for pedestrians in the wooden guardrail installed in the Pelham Parkway reconstruction.

“They put the barriers down and they are blocking the path,” he said. “People get off the bus, wait for traffic to clear, start to cross to go to the path that they have been using for 60 years, and now the barrier is there.”

Vignali said that while he knows it is not a legal crosswalk, he feels that something needs to be done immediately because he fears that someone may get hurt or worse trying to step over the three-to-four foot high guardrail.

He was outraged that the traffic study that the DOT will undertake will take mouths, according to estimates.

Morris Park Community Association president Tony Signorile and Ostacio “Lefty” Negron, leader of the Morris Park patrol, both expressed concern after seeing pedestrian after pedestrian making there way into traffic and then over the rail to the concrete path.

“It could cause a big accident when they are crossing to the other side to get to the path and the other bus stop,” said Negron. “If you put your leg up, slip, and car comes….”

It comes down to common sense to expedite the process, said Signorile.

“I think they need to move fast because they cannot wait two months, three months, or as much as a year,” he said. “It does not take long to put in a sign, light, or crosswalk.” Morris Park resident Judy Capozi, who was crossing at Pelham Parkway near Narragansett Avenue on Monday, Nov. 11, thought there needed to be a cut in the guardrail because too many people are used to crossing there.

“This is ridiculous,” she said. “You’ve got elderly people, those with disabilities, and people with carriages crossing here,” she said. “The bottom line is they need to put up a traffic light.”

John Fratta said that Bronx DOT commissioner Constance Moran has initiated a traffic study at the location and she had asked that it be expedited.

Fratta noted that a traffic study must be complete before the installation of a signal and crosswalk.

“It is ridiculous and it has got to be taken care of,” he said, adding that the DOT feels that currently it is dangerous and illegal to cross there, yet it has been going on for decades.

CB 11 chairman Tony Vitaliano added: “They are crossing out of habit and are still going to jump the barrier and cross.”

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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