An industrial area in Throggs Neck will receive road improvements to alleviate rush hour traffic jams.
The improvements will be implemented at Brush Avenue, the location of numerous manufacturing and retail facilities, which has seen increased traffic congestion over the years.
Brush Avenue, a two-way street that runs north to south, parallel to Westchester Creek, will soon have an additional lane travelling north bound to give vehicles, especially trucks and buses, more room to maneuver.
Brush Avenue will have three lanes going northbound, including a dedicated bus lane. NYC Department of Transportation will shift the centerline on Brush Avenue, which will create the space for a left turn only bay.
According to a DOT study, 84% of the northbound traffic on Brush Avenue turns left onto Bruckner Boulevard.
The bus lane would also ease traffic congestion for the Q44-SBS, which runs on the avenue. A bike lane is also expected to be implemented on the northbound side of the street.
In addition, ‘No Standing Anytime’ signs will be installed on the northbound side of Brush Avenue, to deter food and drink vendors from setting up shop and further worsening the traffic issue.
It is unknown how many parking spaces will be eliminated to make room for the additional lanes.
The industrial strip is home to Home Depot, Cablevision, Pespi, Grocery Haulers, Caterpillar and UPS, along with new Throggs Neck Shopping Center.
“When you know you are traveling through Brush Avenue, especially during morning and evening rush hours, you always have to plan accordingly,” said JoAnn Sohmers, president of the Ferry Point Civic Association, who said that she sometimes sets aside an extra hour in her commute to prepare for the traffic on Brush Avenue. “This has been an issue for years and I’m pleased that something is being done about it.”
Sohmers added that she hopes there will be a solution for pedestrian as well. Most of Brush Avenue lacks sidewalks.
“It is impossible to get out of Brush Avenue – especially during rush hour, when cars, trucks and buses are all traveling in the same direction,” said Tom Accomando, acting chairman for the Municipal Services Committee and Community Board 10 member, who also said that he frequently uses Ring Road, an isolated road which runs southbound, under the Whitesone Bridge through Ferry Point Park, to avoid the traffic congestion.
“It would have been nice to have these changes and improvements completed before the holidays, but I am thrilled that a plan is in place to address this long-pressing traffic issue,” Accomando said. “With this plan, it will be easier to access the bridges and the Cross Bronx Expressway.”
The project stems from the Community Board 10’s 2015 budget requests, after a Brush Avenue plan was submitted to the DOT, before the plan was approved, Accomando said.
“What concerns me most with these changes is the left turns,” said Dotti Poggi, a member of the Ferry Point Community Advocates. “Unless wide safety zones are implemented, trucks will almost always be forced to merge into another lane or even oncoming traffic to make a turn, which would cause more traffic congestion and safety hazards.”
DOT expects to begin the construction in the spring, to avoid the harsh winter weather conditions.