Advocates Call for Safer Streets, Better Transit Along All of Richmond Terrace

Advocates in Staten Island want safer infrastructure and better transit along the western portion of Richmond Terrace, pictured here at the intersection with Simonson Avenue where a drunk off-duty NYPD officer killed a pedestrian in 2013. Photo: Google Maps
A drunk off-duty NYPD officer killed a pedestrian on Richmond Terrace at the intersection with Simonson Avenue in 2013. Photo: Google Maps

As development transforms the eastern neighborhoods along Staten Island’s North Shore, advocates want to ensure the city doesn’t overlook the transit and street safety needs of the western neighborhoods.

In November, the de Blasio administration launched a multi-agency effort to study transportation and traffic safety on the North Shore, but so far the project has been limited to areas east of Port Richmond Avenue, which tend to be more affluent than the neighborhoods to the west. Now Transportation Alternatives, the Elm Park Civic Association, Island Voice, and Do Me A Faber are calling on the city to expand the project.

Richmond Terrace stretches the length of the North Shore, but the city’s study does not touch on the western 2.7 miles. The western part of the street is a “speedway,” TA says, where more than 30 percent of motorists exceed the speed limit [PDF]. Since 2010, drivers have killed three pedestrians on this section of Richmond Terrace.

Transportation Alternatives says that the lower-income, transit-poor residents of "western Richmond Terrace" are being excluded from the city's efforts to make North Shore streets safer and more efficient for bikes and transit. Image: TransAlt
The residents of western Richmond Terrace tend to be poorer and ride transit more than residents to the east. Image: TransAlt

Western Richmond Terrace also serves lower-income residents who rely on transit more than the residents to the east, according to TA. Despite being served by just two east-west bus routes, one of which only runs for three hours on weekdays, 31 percent of western Richmond Terrace residents rely on the bus for daily transportation, compared to 25 percent on the eastern portion of the corridor.

The bike commute rate is also twice as high along the western portion of Richmond Terrace,
despite a complete absence of bike infrastructure.

The coalition is calling on the city to deliver better transit and safer biking and walking conditions along the length of the entire street.

TA’s Staten Island committee will rally with the organizations at the corner of Richmond Terrace and Port Richmond Avenue this evening at 6:30 p.m.

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