If you’ve ever dealt with congestion and dirtiness at the #5 IRT train station at Esplanade, you aren’t alone.
Since summertime, Community Board 11 has been pushing forward a proposal to install alternate side parking on Esplanade to ease commuter and resident headaches.
The board finally passed the motion for alternate side parking during it’s meeting on Thursday, October 25. Once the NYC Department of Sanitation installs the necessary signage, Esplanade will have alternate side parking rules in effect on Tuesdays from 9 to 10 a.m.
Unlike many other subway stations, the #5 IRT train travels into an underground tunnel underneath Pelham Parkway as it heads south to 180th Street.
To reach the track level commuters have to go down stairs from a dead-ended street.
Given the station’s unusual location in a dense residential area, Esplanade is subject to a high volume of traffic, long-term parked cars, and the inadvertent garbage and litter that comes along with that combination.
“The focus here is for cleanliness,” said Chris Kirka, community associate for CB 11. Kirka explained that like many other areas of the Bronx, cars are parked on Esplanade for long durations of time.
“This isn’t a zombie car situation though, people just park here for long periods of time,” Kirka said. “We’re constantly calling the NYPD to tow cars that stay longer than the allowed seven days,” he added.
The process to tow these cars is also quite a hassle. Both the NYPD and DSNY juggle between which city agency is obliged to remove the long term vehicles with a complex criteria to determine who can and cannot tow.
Bureaucratic back-and-forths like that contribute to areas like Esplanade becoming a litter hot spot in the borough simply due to the time taken to move the cars away from the curb to allow cleaning.
The community associate went on to explain the nature of how areas like this become so trash entrenched.
“When you have cars stay in places for long periods of time the street gets dirtier by nature, you simply can’t clean the areas you have to when a vehicle is blocking it,” Kirka added while mentioning how many residents complained about the amounts of trash left on their street, especially during the winter.
With all of that said, shouldn’t the MTA be responsible for maintenance of the station’s surrounding area?
Technically they are, within three feet from the train station building.
“That’s all they’re obligated to do and they do clean within that three feet. We just need more than that and it seems that we will be getting it,” Kirka said. “The MTA was on board with this, we cleared the project with them,” he added.
Fortunately for Kirka and Morris Park residents alike, the DSNY has also been in the community’s corner, agreeing that Esplanade was worthy of alternate side parking regulations and intend to have the signs installed as soon as possible.