Speeding motorists enjoy roadway without controls

Councilman James Vacca has asked the city to consider installing a speed deterrent on the Cross Bronx Expressway Extension, often used as a short-cut alternative to E. Tremont Avenue. Photo by Victor Chu

Peter Spoto of Spoto’s Restaurant on E. Tremont Avenue thinks there should be some sort of speed deterrent on the Cross Bronx Expressway Extension. On Sunday, July 26, a motorist swerved to the side of the extension and hit a parked vehicle.

The motorist knocked the parked vehicle some 50 feet, Spoto said. There was no one inside the parked vehicle; its owners were at Spoto’s for lunch. Spoto’s is located on the corner of E. Tremont and Sampson avenue. Fortunately, the motorist wasn’t harmed.

The pile-up revealed the dangerous nature of the service road, Spoto said. Motorists switch to the extension to avoid stoplights on E. Tremont. The extension and E. Tremont meet south of Dewey Avenue. The extension has no stoplights or stop signs from Dewey to Pennyfield avenue.

“You have people racing up and down the service road constantly,” Spoto said. “If there had been anybody in the [parked] car, in the back seat, they would have been dead.”

The accident occurred in the early afternoon. Apparently, the motorist was attempting to put on a seatbelt or was looking for a missing item, Spoto said. Although there haven’t been a series of accidents on the extension that Spoto remembers, he thinks the city should install speed humps or a caution light.

“It’s a long stretch of road and I don’t see cops there,” Spoto said.

Vacca has asked the Department of Transportation to perform a speed study on the extension between E. Tremont Avenue and Pennyfield Avenue. Vacca and Spoto are particularly worried about the section of the extension that curves – roughly from Sampson to Throgs Neck Boulevard. The 45th Precinct didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“You have people taking the curve at 70 miles per hour,” Spoto said.

Spoto lives in Morris Park but has operated the Throggs Neck eatery for 21 years. He offers valet parking to customers because parking on E. Tremont is in short supply; Spoto often puts customers’ vehicles on the extension, a block away.

“As a businessman, I’m concerned for my customers,” he said. “Obviously, their safety comes first. I want to make sure no one gets hurt.”

Carmine Fardella of Rino’s Italian Restaurant, up the block from Spoto’s on E. Tremont, has not observed speeding on the extension. Wang of Wang Sun Restaurant, a few doors down from Spoto’s on E. Tremont, has.

“They drive fast,” said Wang, who withheld his first name.

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