Road redesign along Sheridan aims to improve safety and access

picture of bike lanes and roadway on Sheridan Boulevard
A redesign along Sheridan Boulevard is meant to improve safety and access to the connector.
Photo courtesy NYC DOT

On Wednesday, the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) unveiled changes along Sheridan Boulevard to improve safety and local access to the road.

The project is part of the $1.7 billion Hunts Points Access Improvement Project, a state effort that aims to improve access between the Hunts Point Peninsula and the Sheridan and Bruckner expressways, combatting a lack of access to the economic engine of The Hunts Point Terminal and reducing congestion that has riddled South Bronx residents with unhealthy environmental harms.

While the former Sheridan Expressway was physically transformed into a boulevard in 2019 — and the street sign even reads Sheridan Boulevard — the road still needs to undergo a formal renaming process, according to DOT.

“Opening up the Sheridan to local streets will help alleviate all of the existing traffic and congestion that Bronxites have been experiencing at the Whitlock exit,” said Councilmember Rafael Salamanca Jr. “This opening we are celebrating is of course all part of the $1.7 billion set aside for the conversion of the Hunts Point Expressway to the Hunts Point Boulevard. And while this is a great first start towards addressing the transportation issues that have long plagued the South Bronx, more work needs to be done, and I look forward to continued work with DOT and with (DOT) Commissioner Ydanis (Rodriguez) to accomplish just that.”

Prior to this redesign, vehicles traveling east from East 173rd Street could not access the Sheridan roadway and vehicles traveling north on Edgewater Road (a Sheridan service road) could not get to Crotona Park East by way of East 172nd Street.

But the new setup opens up barriers between West Farms Road and Sheridan Boulevard, connecting a six-block stretch that spans to Southern Boulevard. A new left turn at Edgewater Road allows vehicles to cross Sheridan Boulevard to access East 172nd Street, and a new right turn at East 173rd Street allows vehicles to cross West Farms Road to access the Sheridan. A traffic signal was installed at 172nd Street on West Farms Road to allow vehicles turning from Edgewater Road to go by.

Following a traffic analysis of East 172nd and 173rd streets between Southern Boulevard and the Sheridan, DOT decided to convert the two numbered streets from two-way to one-way in this corridor as part of the project.

photo on left shows a narrow two way street with a car driving around a double parked vehicle and on the right a photo shows a road redesign with one driving lane and a bike lane
Between Sheridan and Southern boulevards, East 172 and 173 streets have been converted from two-way to one-way with bike lanes. Photos courtesy NYC DOT

This conversion also brought bike lanes to 172rd and 173rd streets, adding 0.6 miles to the borough’s bike network. The effort connects Crotona Park East to existing bike lanes at Starlight Park, Starlight Bridge Park and along Bronx River Avenue.

“It’s so important that we proactively dismantle car-dominance in communities like this one,” said Jackson Chabot, director of advocacy and organizing at Open Plans, a non-profit advocacy group. “Bronxites have been saddled with harmful, isolating car infrastructure for decades, and it precludes the access to safe, sustainable, affordable transportation options that they’re entitled to. Kudos to DOT for prioritizing these street improvements that will keep everyone safer, happier, and healthier.”

Rear-ending, right-angle crashes due to vehicles not stopping at stop signs and collisions when cars exit parking spots are common in the project area on East 172 and 173 streets between Sheridan and Southern boulevards, according to DOT. Four bicyclists, 11 pedestrians and 99 motor vehicle occupants were injured in the area from 2016-2020, and nine more motor vehicle occupants were severely injured.

This project is the latest in a string of changes around the Sheridan.

In October 2022, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced the completion of three new ramps meant to improve access to Edgewater Road, including a ramp from the eastbound Bruckner Expressway and a two-way ramp from Sheridan Boulevard. As part of this effort, Edgewater Road was resurfaced and new traffic signals were installed at Senaca and Garrison avenues.

The following month, Hochul announced the completion of a new entrance ramp to the Cross Bronx Expressway from the Sheridan to improve safety and traffic flow, as well as the rehabilitation of four bridges along the Cross Bronx.

Planned by the notorious Robert Moses in the 1940s and constructed in the early 1960s, the Sheridan Expressway connects the Bruckner Expressway in Hunts Point to the south and the Cross Bronx Expressway in West Farms to the north. Efforts to improve access to the Sheridan go back years, with a 2013 Bloomberg-era study pointing out that the state DOT flagged the need for safety and traffic flow improvements around the roadway as early as 1980.

Reach Aliya Schneider at or (718) 260-4597. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes