Pair of DOT Projects Promise Safer Walking and Biking in South Bronx Nabes
Safer streets and new bike lanes are slated for the neighborhoods of Hunts Point and Longwood in the South Bronx. The improvements will make it safer to walk to stores on Southern Boulevard and add new bike connections leading to Barretto Point Park.
Crames Square, a complicated five-point intersection on Southern Boulevard near the Hunts Point Avenue subway station, has an alarming history of crashes that injure pedestrians. Between 2004 and 2008, 17 pedestrians were injured there, according to the state DMV. One block away, 21 pedestrians were injured where Hunts Point Avenue crosses Bruckner Boulevard, a mega-wide highway service road. A DOT safety project [PDF] calls for building new pedestrian refuges and extending existing ones at both locations.
In Hunts Point, a separate DOT project [PDF] will add pedestrian refuges and painted bike lanes to Randall and Leggett Avenues, linking up with another new bike lane on Tiffany Avenue that will lead to the waterfront park at Barretto Point.
Last week, NYCDOT presented both projects to the transportation committee of Bronx Community Board 2, where they got a favorable reception, according to district manager John Robert. "It’s ridiculously wide," he said of the pedestrian crossings at Crames Square. "We know it’s unsafe."
The new Hunts Point bike lanes will serve a route that used to be covered by an MTA shuttle bus terminating at Barretto Point Park. They should debut this spring, Robert said, before the park’s floating pool opens in June. "The timing is perfect," he added, "because now the kids who used to go to the park won’t be able to take the bus, but they can bike."