Traffic sign lighting up in Morris Park

This stop street will soon be replaced with a traffic light, the first for this street in Morris Park.

As a traffic signal rises in Pelham Bay, another is set for Morris Park.

In a few months, crews with the city Department of Transportation will hoist a brand new traffic light at the intersection of Bronxdale and Matthews avenues, home to a mix of apartment complexes and two-story row houses.

For now, the only help drivers get coming from Matthews Avenue is a stop sign, where motorists often edge into Bronxdale with sheer caution.

Matthews Avenue residents trying to cross now have to carefully double-time it across Bronxdale Ave.

The streets stand just feet from the F&J Pine restaurant, where parking valets there have to watch their backs for incoming cars speeding both ways along Bronxdale Avenue.

News of the forthcoming traffic light came as a relief to longtime F&J Pine staffer Liz Castro, who’s seen several crashes just feet from the busy eatery.

“There’s been quite a few accidents in this area,” said Castro, who remembered a smashup last year when a car slammed into a two-family home.

“The car went right through it,” recalled Castro.

Navigating the seemingly quiet intersection has placed a burden for local drivers for years, according to complaints logged by the office of Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who serves as chair of the council transportation committee.

He personally inspected the intersection and found it slowly turning into “a speed zone.”

“It’s necessary to add an additional traffic light,” said Vacca, hoping vehicles will now “slow down.”

But Al D’Angelo, head of the Morris Park Civic Association, argued the street is fine just the way it is.

“It’s not a major thoroughfare,” said D’Angelo. “Driving through there has always had sparse traffic.”

“Drivers will have to slow down, giving valets a chance to pull out and park the car.”

As usual, the city DOT performed a study on the intersection, where a team assessed the four-way street, later concluding a need for a light.

News of the light comes just as the DOT recently installed four traffic lights at the intersection of Middletown Road and Mayflower Avenue following complaints to Vacca’s office.

Work on the Morris Park lights is expected to be finished by late January.

Reach reporter David Cruz at 718-742-3383.

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at or by phone at (718) 742-3383

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