MP Road Diet injunction hearing rescheduled, court date set

Morris Park Avenue
File Photo

The Morris Park Road Diet remains delayed – for now.

A Bronx court upheld the injunction on Wednesday, May 29, halting planned work by the NYC Department of Transportation’s to redesign the avenue.

This decision is still only temporary.

After two judges recused themselves from the case and another one did not attend the planned session on that Wednesday, the injunction will be revisited on Monday, June 10.

For Morris Park Community Association president and Community Board 11 chairman Al D’Angelo, he hopes that this stay of execution will give the court time to consider why upholding the injunction would be in the best interests of his community.

“Traffic studies and reports are showing that fatalities are increasing with this new road diet style, obviously it doesn’t work,” D’Angelo said after returning from court.

He was additionally perpexed after claiming that his trip to court took a painful 45 minutes to cross the Bronx without even using the Cross Bronx Expressway.

“We couldn’t get out of Morris Park. Even the side streets were jam packed,” he said.

Side street crowding has been a major concern for D’Angelo who along with Councilman Mark Gjonaj fear will only get worse if the road diet is to be implemented.

“The city is taking a cookie cutter approach to doing these kind of road diets,” D’Angelo said noting that a similar road diet proposal for Southern Boulevard was also met with community opposition.

“Each area is different, Morris Park is not downtown Brooklyn and it shouldn’t be analyzed like it is,” he continued.

The injunction that D’Angelo and other community members fought to have authorized came as result of a lawsuit from Gjonaj, D’Angelo and small business owners on Morris Park Avenue to Mayor de Blasio and high-ranking members of the DOT, which was filed at the beginning of the month, in sequence with when the DOT planned to re-do the roadway.

“This gives the mayor and the city an opportunity to re-visit the issue of Morris Park Avenue,” Gjonaj said.

“Now (paying attention) to the long-given input of the community and reaching something we can all agree on,” he continued.

If the road diet is imlemented, the current four-lane roadway will forfeit one lane in each direction, have dedicated turn bays and bicycle lanes on the bustling business corridor from Newport Avenue on the east to Adams Street on the western side, while also implementing a truck loading zones between Colden and Paulding avenues, according to DOT.

Earlier details of the plan had scrapped the addition of bicycle lanes, but they were later re-implemented.

“It is not a question of safety to us. We live, here our kids cross these streets, so we are all for safety on our roadways,” D’Angelo said noting other, cost free alternatives that he and Gjonaj had proposed to the city and DOT.

“We asked them to try staggering the traffic lights so that cars cannot speed down the road. They won’t even try that, but will spend money to redo what isn’t a guaranteed improvement,” the civic leader said.

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