Pelham Gardens residents upset over new Stillwell Avenue light

The new traffic light at Stillwell Avenue and Pelham Parkway North. Photo by Vito Signorile

Pelham Gardens residents are livid over a new traffic light installed just off Pelham Parkway.

The holiday season has arrived and with that, Pelham Parkway North will be congested at night throughout the month of December as thousands of people visit the famous Garabedian holiday-decorated home.

As if traffic could not get any worse during the holidays, the city Department of Transportation recently installed a traffic light on the corner of Pelham Parkway and Stillwell Avenue, which is the first turn into Pelham Gardens from Pelham Parkway.

DOT claims that the light was installed right before Thanksgiving after a request from a resident and a study of the intersection. Local residents are not happy about the new light, which replaced a stop sign on Stillwell Avenue, and claim that it is actually creating traffic and congestion.

“I honestly do not understand why this light was installed to begin with. That area was fine with just a stop sign,” said Vincent Prezioso, president of the North East Bronx Community Association. “What’s worse is the timing, right in the middle of all the Pelham Parkway reconstruction project. I’ve talked to plenty of people about this new light and we’re all very disappointed.”

Prezioso said that he and other local residents were caught off-guard with the light installation and that he had never heard anydiscussion on the matter.

Several complaints have already been made to Community Board 11 and the office of Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. According to Prezioso, the limited space on Stillwell Avenue between Pelham Parkway North and Pelham Parkway causes cars to back up onto Pelham Parkway.

“The backed up cars cause a huge problem with the traffic light camera on Pelham Parkway. If a car is waiting at the new traffic light but is stuck on Pelham Parkway, that camera will go off,” Prezioso said. “There’s just a lot of issues that can be caused by this light, especially during the daily rush hour.”

Backed up traffic could also block the BX 12 bus lane, which stops on Pelham Parkway immediately before Stillwell Avenue, Prezioso said.

According to a spokesperson for DOT, the agency recently inspected the location again and is planning to make adjustments to the signal’s timing to avoid traffic buildup on Stillwell Avenue.

Reach Vito Signorile via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3383.

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