Taffic agents requested to unblock intersection

The Bronx Park East Community Association is calling for a traffic agent at the intersection of Boston Road and Thwaites Place, where they say there is chronic congestion and aggressive driving during the morning rush hour.
Photo courtesy of Raphael Schweizer

A local community group is calling for traffic agents at the intersection of Boston Road and Thwaites Place.

The intersection is a chronic problem spot in the morning rush hour, said Bronx Park East Community Association chairman Raphael Schweizer.

Between the hours of 7 and 9 a.m., drivers on Boston Road consistently block the intersection when the light changes to red, preventing locals from turning off of Thwaites Place, said Schweizer.

The severe congestion leads to aggressive driving at the site, as people try to rush towards the nearby Bronx River Parkway entrances, said Schweizer.

“It causes absolute madness,” he said. “It’s dangerous for drivers, and it’s dangerous for pedestrians.”

Local resident Marcia Lewis said some days it can take up to 40 minutes to get through the intersection, with traffic backing up southbound Barker Avenue and Bronx Park East for blocks.

“You can’t get out of this neighborhood,” said Lewis.

She has concerns that the congestion is so severe, emergency vehicles wouldn’t be able to get through when they need to.

“That’s my biggest fear,” said Lewis.

The stand-still traffic also leads to smaller problems like a constant stream of honking, which Schweizer said is a quality of life issue in its own right.

The NYC Department of Transportation is aware of community concerns regarding traffic at the intersection, a spokesman from the agency said, and they have made signal timing changes to curtail the issue.

But Schweizer said there have not been any significant improvements to the congestion.

“It’s not a signal issue,” he said.

Because the problem is caused by drivers ‘blocking the box,’ BPECA wants to see enforcement of the violations.

“It’s something that should be heavily fined,” said Schweizer.

The placement of traffic enforcement agents is done by the NYPD, who did not respond to request for comment.

There are currently traffic agents a block south at Pelham Parkway most mornings, but Schweizer said the benefits of that monitoring does not extend to Thwaites Place. He feels a traffic enforcement agent is necessary to improve the flow of the intersection and relieve congestion.

“We need a human being there to direct traffic,” said Schweizer. “As far as BPECA is concerned, there is no other viable solution”

Reach Reporter Jaime Williams at 718-260-4591. E-mail her at jwilliams@cnglocal.com.

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