Pelham Parkway crossing leads to nowhere

An isolated walkway in Pelham Parkway has generated numerous complaints from residents and caused a major safety issue for pedestrians.

The paved walkway, located in the park area between Pelham Parkway North and South, near Tenbroeck and Narragansett avenues, has been an ongoing problem for residents and employees who work in the area who need to cross from one side of the parkway to the other.

The problem is that the walkway doesn’t lead anywhere – anywhere or safe, that is.

While walking from Pelham Parkway North side to South, a pedestrian has the option to walk on the paved walkway.

More than likely, this person will continue walking on the path, believing that the walkway will lead them to the other side.

This walkway is deceiving, however, leading pedestrians instead into a guard rail at the end of the park on the south side that separates the park from the parkway. To go further they must climb, hop, jump – or whatever – to get over the railing and onto the Pelham Parkway service road sidewalk safely.

Easier said then done, especially when a mother is pushing a stroller or when a handicapped person needs to get to the other side of the parkway and is incapable of doing so because there is no handicap ramp.

And nobody wants to make a five-block U-turn via wheelchair.

Walking from the south side to the north side of Pelham Parkway poses the same issue for those who need to get across quickly and safely. Doctors and nurses from Jacobi Medical Center and students from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, among others, are forced to run across the parkway to give themselves enough time to successfully hop over the railing before a car hits them.

This is also a problem for Bx12 bus passengers that get off at the bus stops on Pelham Parkway and need to get to the other side, two of these stops being located right next to the walkway.

Their placement creates the illusion that the bus stop and walkway are connected to each other, until the guard rail suggests otherwise and generates confusion.

“I always see people attempt to cross the park, either from the service road or when they get off the bus,” said Orthodontist David J. Stevens, who works at 1228 Pelham Parkway South, right near the dirt walkway.

“It’s dangerous for pedestrians as well as for drivers, and every time I see people attempt to get across it looks like somebody’s about to get killed.”

To make matters worse, a “No Pedestrian Crossing” sign right next to the bus stop faces north, making it completely invisible to the pedestrians that need to walk from the southern part of the parkway.

“I’ve seen parents carry baby strollers over the guard rail while watching the other children to make sure they don’t get hit by traffic,” said longtime Pelham Parkway resident Frank Vignali, who is outraged by this whole situation that he claims has been dragging on for over two years.

Frank Vignali also expressed the frustration the winter months create.

“When it snowed last winter, the walkway was shoveled and the sidewalks on the service road weren’t,” said Vignali. “When the walkway is shoveled, or any walkway for that matter, it’s ensuring people that they are eligible to walk there.”

“Somebody is going to get hurt because the city chose not to listen to the people in our neighborhood that have problems crossing the parkway on a daily basis,” said Vignali.

“I don’t care how many or how few people cross Pelham Parkway. In this situation, two people crossing is too many people crossing.”

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 742–3384. E-mail him at sgoodstein@cnglocal.com.

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