PSAC II opens amid continuing concerns about increased traffic

PSAC II began taking 911 calls in June.
Community News Group / Patrick Rocchio

A recent addition to the Pelham Parkway skyline is raising concerns.

The imposing building at Pelham Parkway and Hutchinson River Parkway, the city’s new 911 call taking center known as Public Safety Answering Center II, is about to be staffed.

P.S.A.C. II will take its first call this month and the facility will fully open gradually through 2017, stated a mayor’s office spokeswoman.

Local residents have expressed concern about parking and traffic issues that may arise from the travel needs of employees who will work at the facility around-the-clock, keeping the city safe.

In addition, local elected officials are pushing for another access point into the Hutchinson Metro Center next to P.S.A.C. II, to accommodate increased traffic to the general area.

Community Board 11 chairman Tony Vitaliano said, in his opinion, that P.S.A.C. II does not help the local community directly and that it will bring more vehicles to the local streets, based on experiences with other nearby facilities.

“The way it is situated, it is going to cause traffic congestion – that’s the bottom line,” said Vitaliano, adding he expected traffic congestion to increase on the parkways, Waters Place and Eastchester Road.

CB 11 advocated for a reduction in the overall size of P.S.A.C. II when it was originally designed several years ago, according to published reports in the Bronx Times.

Tony Signorile, Morris Park Community Association president also expected the facility to create traffic on the Hutchinson River and Pelham parkways, but expressed optimism about improved public safety.

Councilman James Vacca, expressed believes the P.S.A.C. II will bring more law enforcement personnel into the area, which will be beneficial to the economy.

“I think it is going to be very promising that we will have law enforcement personnel in and out of our neighborhood, all day long,” said Vacca.

The councilman agrees, however, that traffic along the already congested Waters Place will get worse.

The councilman said that the sheer volume of traffic on Waters Place between Westchester Avenue and Eastchester Road at peak times require changes.

Both Vacca and Senator Jeff Klein said they are calling for creating an entrance/exit directly from the Hutchinson River Parkway into the Hutchinson Metro Center to relieve traffic elsewhere.

Vacca said that with planned further expansion at the Hutchinson Metro Center, the on/off ramp is necessary to mitigate increasing traffic from the complex and P.S.A.C. II.

Funding has been secured to study an on/off ramp into the Hutchinson Metro Center.

“The study will examine the feasibility of and develop a conceptual plan to construct a new southbound access ramp to the Hutch Metro Center via the Hutchinson River Parkway, in addition to the creation of a service road and two-way public street connecting to the complex,” stated Klein.

The Police Department and NYC Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications will operate P.S.A.C. II.

It will be a secure facility that is off-limits to the general public, according to published reports.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @patrickfrocchio.

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