The completion of a Department of City Planning study of the Hutchinson River Parkway has many in the community contemplating their next moves to make progress on alleviating traffic congestion.
The 140-plus page report includes recommendations for a traffic corridor spanning the Hutchinson River Parkway from the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge to Co-op City: a roughly four-mile route along the highway and ancillary streets.
The findings addressed traffic and public transportation in areas north of East Tremont Avenue (focusing on the Hutch Metro Center area, proposed Metro North station and Westchester Square) and south of the avenue, where the study looked at accessing the Bruckner Interchange and Brush Avenue.
A DCP spokesman said that the agency believes that it achieved its goals.
“We have some quick, easily implementable recommendations,” stated the DCP spokesman. “Each concern brought to us by the community was analyzed as part of the process and some required long-term recommendations or additional study.”
Some activists with the East Bronx Traffic Coalition, a consortium of civic groups, indicated that the report was a good first step.
“The hope of the EBTC is that since the plan is now in writing, we can approach our elected officials and see if we can nail down funding for some of the recommendations,” said member John Marano.
The EBTC is concerned about mitigating traffic from a growing number of developments coming online.
“Finding funds for any project is always a challenge, but we believe that the community, elected officials, and all the other stakeholders can collaborate to find ways to implement these capital improvements,” the spokesman stated. “We are committed to being a part of that process.”
The DCP spokesman said that the agency provides an overview of the roads in an area, and then it is up to either the state or city Departments of Transportation to study the engineering details.
Among the recommendations are:
• providing additional access to the Hutch Metro Center
• exploring other access points over Westchester Creek to alleviate congestion at the Bruckner Interchange
• exploring the northern part of the study area to find another way for vehicular traffic from Hutch Metro to reach Pelham Parkway.
• improving the Bruckner Boulevard and Brush Avenue interchange by expanding the northbound approach, making signal timing adjustments and moving a bus stop.
• extending Bassett Avenue to Pelham Parkway
• providing an east-west connection over a rail line as part of the proposed Morris Park Metro North station.
• resolving ongoing issues as to the maintenance of the ‘ring road’ through Ferry Point Park.
One of the members of EBTC, John Doyle, said that the report added little new information, but he did give the agency complements for the idea of extending Bassett Avenue. He said at a Community Board 10 Municipal Services Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 9 that he felt more could have come out of the study.
“Many of the coalition members told DCP to ‘go back to the drawing board’ last year, as their report was short on solutions to our problems,” said Doyle. “This report and the solutions written are nearly identical to the presentations shown at that time.”
He added that the traffic problems troubling the community have been years in the making, and will require a substantial amount of investment in both the Hutch and I- 95.
“It is definitely not going to be fixed by new directional signals,” he added.
The East Bronx Traffic Coalition is inviting all interested in the issues of traffic to a public forum at Providence Rest, 3304 Waterbury Avenue, on Tuesday, June 23 from 7 to 9 p.m.
To learn more about DCP’s Hutchinson River Parkway Transportation Corridor Study, which had been ongoing since early 2013, visit:www.nyc.gov/
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