Tall grass an unsightly mess

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto stands in part of a traffic cloverleaf at I-95 and Erskine Place. Benedetto is trying to have all tall grass near the I-95 and Pelham Parkway area cut down, but many different city and state government agencies have to work together to accomplish the task.

Grass four to five feet tall at the Bruckner Expressway-Pelham Parkway cloverleaf has presented serious problems for drivers for many years.

The New York Thruway Authority recently cleared some of the area, but much of it continues to grow unchecked.

The land falls under the jurisdiction of several different city and state agencies, so coordinating a clean-up effort at the cloverleaves leading on and off the expressway and Pelham parkway is complicated.

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto reached out to the city Department of Transportation and the New York State Thruway Authority to clear the eyesore that gives travelers a bad impression of the borough.

“People who are not from the Bronx ride by, see the overgrown grass, and reinforce stereotypical pictures of our borough,” Benedetto said. “Those who live here don’t want to see the mess either.”

The New York State Thruway Authority agreed to a one-time cleanup next to a southbound entrance coming from Erskine Place onto I-95.

On Tuesday, August 11 the agency sent a work crew that promptly cleared the area of any overgrowth.

“New York State Thruway Authority maintenance forces did mow grass along I-95 in the area in question,” said Thruway Authority spokesman Dick Bennett. “While the initial mowing was in a section under the Authority’s jurisdiction, an Authority employee noticed some tall grass outside of the Authority’s jurisdiction. Given how tall the grass was, the employee thought it might pose a safety concern and requested his supervisor’s permission to mow that area also. Upon receiving approval, the employee mowed near the Erskine Place ramp even though it was not under the Authority’s jurisdiction.”

Benedetto said that it must be made clear which agency is responsible for the upkeep of the various areas adjacent to the interchange.

“There are overlapping jurisdictions, and city and state agencies are disputing who is responsible for clearing what areas,” Benedetto stated. “Meanwhile much of this eyesore remains.”

City DOT did not comment as of press time.

Benedetto said he is planning a meeting with city and state DOT, as well as with the New York State Thruway Authority to designate which portions of the cloverleaf fall under the various agencies.

More from Around NYC