Tomlinson residents continue the fight to save their private block and peaceful way of life.
In a desperate effort to alter the fate of Tomlinson Avenue, residents are bulking up their 160-signature petition, collecting evidence and appealing to their elected officials.
At a Pelham Parkway South Neighborhood Association meeting on Thursday, June 18, 35-year resident Louise Buffone addressed Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. for help in preventing the reversal of the flow of traffic between Pelham Parkway South and Lydig Avenue.
“We are in the process of speaking with George Torres from the Mayor’s office as well,” said Buffone. “We are trying to set up a meeting with us, Community Board 11, the elected officials, the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Transportation.”
Additionally, Senator Jeff Klein remains in contact with the residents, continuing to support their wishes, having sent letter in February to DOT opposing the decision to reverse the traffic flow.
Residents of the block were angry when the community board voted on three separate occasions in favor of reversing the traffic from northerly to southerly, in an attempt to break the bottleneck traffic that occurs along the Pelham Parkway South service road every day.
To refute the current traffic claims, Vincent Lanza filmed the heavily-used intersection of Pelham Parkway South and Williamsbridge Road in the morning, around noon, and during rush hour. Lanza also filmed all the locations he believed would be negatively affected by the change, including the areas around Loreto Park, Bronx House, and schools and daycares in the region.
“They say they want to alleviate traffic, but all the people down Tomlinson would suffer,” said Lanza, eight-year Tomlinson resident. “They say the current traffic flow was done as a favor, but this wasn’t a favor. This was someone with some power who saw a need and got it done.”
The purpose of the proposed meeting would be to present the evidence they have collected and discuss an alternative, adding a slip in the parkway, connecting the service road to the main strip.
According to John Fratta, district manager of CB11, the board has had multiple meetings on the matter and in the past has submitted a request for the slip, which was always denied.
“We met more times on this issue than any other issue before our board. We even voted three times, which we never did before. As far as we are concerned, this is over,” said Fratta. “Our concern is for the whole community.”