Pols join push for ‘Allerton’

Councilman Jimmy Vacca, here at a recent CB 11 meeting, is on board with the group’s push to put “Allerton’ on the map. Photo by Ben Kochman

A trio of pols have joined an east Bronx’s campaign to put ‘Allerton” on the map.

But the question may end up being: which map, exactly?

Rep. Joe Crowley, Councilman Jimmy Vacca and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj penned a letter Jan. 28 to the city Department of Planning urging it to pick up Community Board 11’s push for recognize an ‘Allerton’ on “the official city map.”

“Like residents of other parts of New York City, Allerton residents have an affinity for their distinct region within their borough,” the electeds wrote to DCP Acting Director Richard Barth. “The reality is that many residents of the area define their residence in terms of their vicinity to Allerton Avenue.”

But a DCP spokesman said that no “official” city map exists that they can change.

Developers and real estate companies have long blurred NYC’s nabe lines, especially in the Bronx, which underwent a rapid transition from farmland to urban sprawl in the early 20th century.

What City Planning can do to appease Allerton advocates is change its unofficial resources, which include neighborhood names on its website. DCP currently lists no “Allerton” and instead a “Bronxdale” and “Laconia”, two names locals say are outdated.

The DCP spokesman said the department works with the community to produce the names on its maps and would be open to listening to the chorus of Allerton supporters in this case. Bronxites who live approximately north of Pelham Parkway, east of Bronx Park East and south of Gun Hill Road have long complained that they are unsure of what to call their neighborhood.

They say the media adds to the problem by mixing up the nabe names.

A reporter from the New York Times called Jeremy Warneke, CB11’s district manager, in the summer of 2013 to ask him about “life in Bronxdale.”

“I told her, there is no such place,” he said —and the reporter ended up writing about “Allerton.”

In the meantime, locals who want the name changed on massively popular Google Maps can simply do it themselves.

The site allows users to create and edit their own city maps, similar to the way Wikipedia lets users create and curate encyclopedia entries.

So have at it, Allerton activists: www.google.com/mapmaker.

Having the DCP change its unofficial maps may help any Google Maps change stick.

The New York Times profiled a Matthew Hyland in September 2012 who spends his free time editing revisions to the city’s Google Map, which back then came in at a rate of 2,000 a month.

His sources for checking if a nabe is properly identified, wrote the Times, include “city documents and community boards.”

Ben Kochman can be reached via e-mail at BKochman@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742–3394

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