State legislators are planning for increased traffic in the northwest Bronx when the Kingsbridge Armory is redeveloped in the coming years.
Senator Gustavo Rivera recently announced that $1 million was allocated in the state budget, passed this April, in order to conduct an accessibility and capacity study at the Kingsbridge Road and Jerome Avenue subway station in anticipation of the Kingsbridge National Ice Center. The #4 station is adjacent to the Kingsbridge Armory.
The purpose of the study is to determine how the Kingsbridge National Ice Center will impact the ridership at the station, said Rivera, in anticipation of the increased traffic the development will bring.
The study, to be conducted by the MTA, will also assess the cost of building a direct access point between the station and the ice center, and a component of the study will explore the feasibility of updating the station to make it compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“The million dollars will access whether any of these things are possible, and what needs the subway station will have when the Kingsbridge National Ice Center opens,” said Rivera.
The plan is to make sure the station remains functional in the coming years, and to explore what improvements can be made in conjunction with the impending construction at the armory.
“The Kingsbridge National Ice Center will be an important economic engine in our community and this study will give us the knowledge we need to work towards alleviating any strain that may be caused by the increased traffic that will be brought to the station because of the development,” said Rivera.
On top of the increased traffic expected to come by mass transportation, concerns have been raised at Community Board 7 about the additional car traffic that the ice center will bring into an already congested neighborhood.
Other issues that the community has been working to address include the already increasing rents for commercial businesses surrounding the armory.
Rivera acknowledged the concerns that the ice center will impact small businesses and possibly housing in the neighborhood.
“I believe these are all challenges that are real,” said Rivera.
But he said the developers have committed to doing the project in a way that includes the community through a Community Benefits Agreement, and he feels the development will be a boon for the area in the long run.