Two desperately needed traffic light and crosswalk installations on Pelham Parkway have finally been completed.
According to the NYC Department of Transportation, the roadway amenities have officially been completed for the previous unofficial crossings on Pelham Parkway North and South in attempts to improve pedestrian safety.
The construction for the improvements began this past summer, after DOT approved the installations in November 2014 for the westbound side of the parkway between Pearsall and Throop avenues and the eastbound side near Narragansett Avenue.
However, the project was delayed for months as a result of the harsh winter weather, according to DOT.
The two traffic lights and crosswalks were not the only safety enhancements that DOT added to the area.
Pedestrian ramps and the removal of the guardrail on the eastbound side were also completed, which should help those who use the eastbound Bx12 stop on Pelham Parkway South near Narragansett Avenue.
As of early October, the traffic lights were officially activated, according to DOT.
“These enhancements were implemented to improve access and increase safety along the parkway,” said a DOT spokesperson.
Previously, the unofficial walkway on the eastbound side of the parkway led to a guardrail that prevented pedestrian crossing of the parkway.
The guardrail has been partially removed so that a crossing can now be achieved.
“Even though I was upset it took so long, I am very happy that the traffic lights and crosswalks have been installed,” said Pelham Parkway resident Frank Vignali, who fought alongside Community Board 11 and the Morris Park Community Association to make sure this project was completed.
“The DOT really went a step above, not just with the lights, but also by installing the pavement platforms for wheelchair accessibility and parents pushing strollers and carts. However, it would have been nice if this were completed quicker and the community didn’t have to fight so hard to get this done.”
“Before the installation of the crosswalks and traffic lights on Pelham Parkway, there was no safe way to cross the road and cars would routinely travel well above the speed limit – posing a real threat to passersby,” said Senator Jeff Klein.