Residents of Tomlinson Avenue continue their fight to maintain the current traffic flow by reaching out to their elected officials.
Tomlinson Avenue property owners met at the Morris Park Community Association on Wednesday, November 19, to discuss and express their concerns regarding the reversal of traffic between Pelham Parkway South and Lydig Avenue. Councilman James Vacca was in attendance and listened to arguments and advised them on their next course of action.
“They are going to make us another Williamsbridge Road,” said long-time Tomlinson resident, Fran Versaci. “It’s a residential street and they are going to make it a main road.”
Residents relayed that they were not only upset by the effects this change will have on their block, such as safety of their children, but also that they were never formally informed before the original vote by Community Board 11 that passed on Thursday, October 30.
Tomlinson residents gave Vacca a petition with over 100 signatures of community members against this change, in the hopes the Department of Transportation will halt the switch.
“DOT is very hesitant to reverse one way streets without full consent and support of the community,” said Vacca. “I will write to Commissioner Constance Moran, of DOT, asking to consult the community members.”
CB11 will continue to send in their recommendation to DOT that the block be changed, amending the motion during their meeting on Thursday, November 21, to add speed humps instead of traffic lights, and a “no trucks” sign.
Tomlinson Avenue residents were encouraged by Vacca to express their concerns directly to CB11. The community board agreed to add another possible alternative for DOT to consider.
It is believed that if entrance to Pelham Parkway could be added between White Plains and Williamsbridge roads, the traffic bottleneck at Williamsbirdge Road would be alleviated, thereby negating the reason to reverse Tomlinson.
However, according to John Fratta, district manager of CB11, this request was put in years ago, but the Department of Parks would not give the required land over to DOT to add the entrance.
“We put the letter into DOT that we tried everything and the only other possible solution to avoid altering the street we see would be to add that entrance ramp,” said Fratta.
CB11 is only advisory and DOT has set no immediate changes for the block, but residents are adamant to fight this change from occurring in the future.