Throggs Neck BID denounces planned road diet for community

TN Business Improvement District Executive Director Bobby Jaen expressed his frustration with the DOT Thursday afternoon.
Photo by Jason Cohen

Recently, the Department of Transportation (DOT) unveiled plans to implement road diets and bike lanes in Throggs Neck, which many in the community are unhappy about.

DOT is going to put bike lanes and road diets on East Tremont Avenue from Cross Bronx Expressway to Harding Avenue and on Harding Avenue from Emerson Avenue to Pennyfield Avenue.

Throggs Neck Business Improvement District Executive Director Bobby Jaen expressed his frustration with the DOT Thursday afternoon.

“Our country, where it is right now in this pandemic where a lot of peoples are suffering just to put food on the table and to turn around instead of helping us by doing projects that are going to help the neighborhood, they’re going to turn around and hurt the neighborhood,” Jaen said.

According to Jaen, the city also plans to fine anyone $195 who is double parked near the bike lanes. In this climate, where people are doing curbside pickup and running in for food, he questioned how people can not be expected to double park for a minute or two.

Jaen noted a bike lane makes sense in Manhattan where the roads are wider, but surely not here. He said that the plan will ruin the community and make things worse.

“I’m against the road diet and I’m not against the bike lanes, but they’re not appropriate here,” he said. “I’m not saying I’m not for progress, but it’s got to be smart.”

When he revealed his concerns to DOT reps, he said that they did not seem to care.

“It’s not a project that needs to be done right now,” he stressed.

He would rather see new street lights put in. In fact, about a year ago, a man was stabbed on Randall and East Tremont as he could not see the people coming towards him.

People who work on East Tremont are not in favor of the planned work either. Anna Novello, a longtime employee of Pastosa Ravioli at 3812 East Tremont, told the Bronx Times how her mom Maria Frasta was killed a year and a half ago by a reckless driver while she was walking on East Tremont.

“If they take two lanes away that’s ridiculous,” she said.

Wicked Wolf General Manager Emma Rosenberg did not know about the impending work and questioned how it could help the community. Creating less lanes and spaces for people to park, will hurt the businesses, Rosenberg said.

Right now, the restaurant is relying on curbside pickup and if this constriction takes place, she is not sure how the vendors and customers will park safely.

“I think it’s very dangerous,” she said. “Do we really need bicycle lanes right here?”

DOT is presenting these projects to the Community Board 10 Municipal Services Committee on July 22 at 7:30 p.m.