The situation concerning a walkway on Pelham Parkway that is generating major inconveniences for pedestrians, has turned a new corner.
According to a NYC Department of Transportation spokesperson, a proposed project including a traffic light, crosswalk and a barrier modifiction is being planned for installation where the dirt walkway meets Pelham Parkway South, between Tenbroeck and Narragansett avenues.
The problem was reviewed by the DOT and the community was notified on Wednesday, November 19.
Having a traffic light and crosswalk where Pelham Parkway South meets the walkway would provide a safer scenario for pedestrians as well as easier access to the Bx12 bus stop.
Currently, the deceiving dirt walkway directly leads pedestrians into a hurdle – a guard rail separating the parkway from the service road, forcing pedestrians to climb, hop, jump and even roll over the railing to avoid being hit by a car.
The walkway is still used by many Pelham Parkway residents and pedestrians who live and work in the area. There have been instances of mothers pushing baby strollers who are forced to lift the stroller over the barrier.
In a neighborhood that includes Jacobi Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, many doctors, nurses and students still rely on the walkway to cross Pelham Parkway, even with its shortcomings.
The traffic light and crosswalk, which is expected to be installed in March 2015, should correct the situation by eliminating the portion of the barrier that separates the parkway and the walkway, connecting the isolated dirt path to a much needed paved crosswalk.
“It looks like Pelham Parkway is going to get it,” said Pelham Parkway resident Frank Vignali, referring to the traffic light.
“After continuous talks and discussion regarding a stop sign or a traffic light for the walkway, we (Pelham Parkway residents) are hopeful that the proposed traffic light is set in stone and that the project can move forward.”
As winter approaches, concern is only growing for pedestrians who use the walkway on a regular basis, who wonder how much longer they will have to rely on the isolated, inconvenient path.
“It is important that this topic be properly discussed and continuously talked about,” said Vignali. “It’s crucial that the residents and the DOT stay on top of this situation and it’s potential improvements before it is forgotten about again.”