Peds, Cyclists Fend for Themselves While Parks Department Fixes Bronx Paths
The Parks Department is making much-needed repairs to the Pelham Parkway malls, but the city has failed to provide good detours for walking and biking paths that are now blocked, creating hazards for pedestrians and cyclists.
The Bronx Times reports that both the north and south sections of the malls are closed off east of White Plains Road, where some people now walk in the roadbed.
The construction project is slated to take at least two years. While the work will improve conditions on paths that were falling apart, it looks like the Parks Department has failed to consider how people walking and biking will get around in the meantime.
Rehabilitating the Pelham Parkway malls, which run east-west from Bronx Park to Stillwell Avenue, has been a priority of Bronx Community Board 11 for many years. The current $1.35 million capital project, between Boston Road and Wallace Avenue, is the first of three phases of reconstruction expected to cost around $8 million.
“The intent for this project is to reconstruct the Malls providing a safe, attractive recreational space for pedestrians, cyclists and runners,” a Parks Department spokesperson told Streetsblog.
Construction began last month and is slated to finish in March 2018. Barebones information on the project is on the department’s website, and “signs are clearly posted to inform the public of this closure,” according to the Parks spokesperson.
Signs marking the closure don’t seem to be enough, though. Joe Menta of the Pelham Parkway Preservation Alliance told the Bronx Times that people are walking in the roadbeds next to the malls, where many drivers are coming or going from the high-speed Bronx River Parkway. Without a clearly delineated construction detour, there’s also one less decent option for east-west cycling in the central Bronx.
West of Boston Road, a greenway segment is also getting reconstructed in Bronx Park. As with the Pelham Parkway malls, the project will rebuild a crumbling path, but there is no detour provided. Reader Robert Wright sent in the photo below and said he could find no signs directing cyclists to an alternate route.
According to the Parks Department website, this project, which will also add a new segment in the Bronx River Greenway, is slated to wrap up in February.