The Pelham Bay Taxpayers & Civic Association was re-born, re-organized, and re-vitalized after St. Paul Avenue was reversed without the knowledge or input of the homeowners and the taxpaying residents of the Pelham Bay community. Furthermore, this reversal was done without an impact study. An impact study would have shown, that requiring every single vehicle to drive past Continental, St. Paul, and Colonial avenues, three consecutive streets, all going in the same direction- would cause dangerous problems. Forcing 100% of all the traffic from Pelham Parkway and the Hutchinson River Parkway to make a right turn onto Burr avenue, a busy tandem bus route, was done without foresight. To avoid the daily traffic congestion at Pelham Bay Station, vehicles take the new shortcut and make a right turn on E. 196th Street to get home after a long day’s work. The impact study would have shown that E. 196th Street is a two way narrow street which has seen many close encounters. St. Paul Avenue was a one way street straight to Westchester Avenue, completely avoiding Pelham Bay Station.
Pelham Bay Station is a traffic nightmare. Trucks, cars, cabs all park at the no parking lane, forcing all the traffic to maneuver around the parked cars and avoid getting hit by the huge tandem buses. Cars parked alongside Pelham Bay Station dropping off or picking up family and friends. The impact study would have shown that all the traffic coming off of Burr Avenue and I-95 and all headed in different directions, either toward Westchester Avenue or Bruckner Boulevard would cause a serious dangerous problem trying to cross the street. A traffic light was installed which did not help the pedestrians as they run for their lives trying to get across the street.
The impact study would have recognized this dangerous traffic congestion and St. Paul Avenue would never have been reversed. However, the impact study was never done because of lack of funds. The reversal of St. Paul Avenue was never attempted while Lady of Mercy Hospital was in operation. This was because the hospital had doctors, employees coming and going in different shifts, ambulances needing quick access to the hospital in life and death emergencies, daily deliveries of food, linens and families visiting their loved ones.
The NYC Dept of Homeless ignored all the rules and regulations and illegally moved in 38 homeless families into a newly built building at 1564 St. Peters Avenue in the Westchester Square, Zerega Avenue community at a cost to the strapped taxpayers of $2,700 a month per apartment. They are doing this across the city. Every large, vacant building is a target for the Department of Homeless and other social programs. This can happen here and everywhere.
It is time for the taxpayers to ask Andrew Cuomo for an investigation of why the city is paying $2,700 per apartment, way above the market value in the surrounding community. People are paying for mortgages higher than the lower value of their home and going into foreclosure. How can the city downsize our police force, fire dept. close 85 of our senior centers, reduce visiting nurse services for the elderly and at the same time pay way above the market price for greedy builders stuck with vacant apartments. We do not blame the homeless, we question how our taxes are being squandered. Who is the economic genius negotiating with these hungry builders?