Residents of Morris Park and Pelham Parkway have long been plagued with the congestion and inescapable traffic created by Pelham Parkway, but Community Board 11 hopes to fix some of that soon with new traffic controls.
Many years ago CB11 reversed the traffic on one block of Tomlinson Avenue, between Pelham Parkway South and Lydig Avenue, essentially making this 16-resident area a private street.
“As soon as the change was done, problems began on Pelham Parkway South and Williamsbridge Road,” said district manager of CB11, John Fratta, “and as traffic increased problems continued to get progressively worse.”
Several years ago a motion was passed by CB11 to change the direction of traffic on the block from flowing northerly to southerly, as the rest of Tomlinson goes.
Residents of the block resisted this, calling on elected officials to stop the alteration.
The action was blocked, and area residents were called upon to suggest alternatives to help correct the bottleneck traffic caused by the private block.
“About 4 or 5 years ago we met with residents on the block and they came up with suggestions to alleviate the problem on Pelham Parkway,” said Fratta, “and we told them we would do everything possible.”
A turn only lane was added on Pelham Parkway South to feed into Williamsbridge Road. When this did not improve the problem, parking was removed from the curb to build a second turn lane, which also did not have the desired effect.
“We have tried everything we could to come up with, but unfortunately it hasn’t alleviated the congestion,” stated Fratta. “We want to correct the mistake we made, but we don’t want that to have any impact on Tomlinson.”
Other members of CB11, such as Pat Quaranta, expressed concerns that drivers will use the block to avoid traffic lights along Williamsbridge Road, making it hazardous for residents and children of the area.
To address this CB11 passed a motion to reverse the flow of traffic on Tomlinson contingent with the addition of two traffic lights, one at Tomlinson and Lydig avenue and another at Tomlinson and Rheinlander avenues.
“Morris Park has opposed this change in the past, but at this point I understand they will soon be redoing Pelham Parkway and drivers will need access to other streets,” said Al D’Angelo, president of the Morris Park Community Association. “We have to do what’s best for the community. I don’t think the affected residents will be happy about it, but again we will take everything they say under advisement.”