Tomlinson residents rally against reversal

Isabella Basile, 6, held up a sign in protest during a rally against the reversal of the flow of traffic on Tomlinson Avenue, between Pelham Parkway South and Lydig Avenue. Photo by Amanda Marinaccio

‘Don’t reverse, don’t make us road kill’ was the sign held by six-year-old Isabella Basile, to demonstrate her feelings during a rally against the potential reversal of Tomlinson Avenue.

On Thursday, July 9, Isabella Basile, her four-year-old brother, Anthony Basile, and their mother Dayna Basile, joined numerous other residents from Tomlinson Avenue and the surrounding area to represent in numbers how significant the reversals impact will be.

“Just about every house on our block has children,” said Dayne Basile, a 5-year resident of Tomlinson between Lydig and Neill Avenues. “I see at least three cars a month come around this corner like they are in an Indy race. I had to put metal gates around my home and my kids are not allowed to play out front without me. If they reverse this block it’s going to be atrocious.”

Following three votes by Community Board 11 to support reversal of the northerly flow of traffic to a southern direction, the residents have been speaking up, attending meetings and reaching out to elected officials, to illustrate the damage, they predict, this will have on their safety and quality of life.

“I live only a block from the school and I’m afraid to send my kids to school,” said Oresta Martinez, four-year resident of Tomlinson between Lydig and Neill. “New York traffic is bad enough as is and we have so many kids on this block.”

The petition created by the residents has grown to contain over 180 signatures, including many from business owners along Williamsbridge Road.

“We have a nursery on this block,” said Lorraine Fundaro, 40 year Tomlinson resident. “We also have a lot of senior citizens. They should be doing something for us not against us.”

According to a representative of the Department of Transportation, the reversal is expected to occur before the end of the summer, along with a speed hump on Tomlinson Avenue. Dot also agreed to conduct a traffic signal study at Pelham Parkway South and Esplanade Avenue, at the request of residents.

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