A busy Morris Park side street has been converted to one-way and most residents are relieved and grateful.
Lydig Avenue, which used to be a two-way street between Williamsbridge Road and Neill Avenue, has been changed to a one-way street with the traffic going west towards Williamsbridge Road. The change went into effect on Saturday, December 4. It now joins the portion of Lydig that alrady was one way, running towards Bronx Park East.
During morning and evening rush hours, Lydig Avenue became too much of a problem, causingtraffic back-ups on Williamsbridge Road. There had also been concerns about pedestrian safety on Lydig Avenue after several close calls as traffic increased over the years.
Previously, if two cars had to pass one another, they were forced to practically stop because the roadway was so narrow. Al D’Angelo, president of the Morris Park Community Association, feels the direction change is best for the community.
“The community board has been advocating for this change for a while,” D’Angelo said. “The street was too narrow for it to be two way, causing way too many accidents and a lot traffic congestion during the morning and evening rush hour.”
For the most part, the change in direction has been supported by residents of Lydig Avenue and surrounding blocks. Once Community Board 11 voted in favor of the change in direction, the Department of Transportation commissioned a traffic study of Lydig Avenue, said CB 11 district manager John Fratta. This also came on the heels of an increased number of accidents on the corner of Lydig Avenue and Williamsbridge Road, Fratta said.
“Lydig Avenue was very dangerous when it was a two-way street,” Fratta said. “There were a tremendous number of accidents that were never even reported, and small incidents would always occur, such as a rear view mirror being taken off.”
DOT spokesman Monty Dean said that the agency’s traffic study indicated that this part of Lydig Avenue would work as a one-way street. He said that according to official city records, there were no fatalities and only two pedestrian injuries at the corner of Williamsbridge Road and Lydig Avenue from 2005 to 2009.
Fratta said, by and large, the community was pleased with the change.
“I have been getting positive feedback about the change,” Fratta said. He received one complaint about driveway access on the stretch of Lydig Avenue.