Bronx Residents Don’t Want to Wait Four Years for DOT to Deliver a Safer Grand Concourse

DOT has no plan to quickly redesign the street with low-cost materials, so Bronxites will have to live with dangerous conditions until at least 2022.

Implementation of raised bike lanes on the Grand Concourse won't get underway until 2019, with at least three years of construction to follow. Image: DOT
Implementation of raised bike lanes on the Grand Concourse won't get underway until 2019, with at least three years of construction to follow. Image: DOT

DOT plans to build raised bike lanes along the medians on the Grand Concourse, but construction between 175th Street and Fordham Road won’t wrap up until 2022 at the earliest. That timetable doesn’t sit well with the Bronx residents who came out to Bronx Community Board 5 last night to demand faster action.

“We can’t wait four years to have this done,” said Amril Hamer, who co-chairs the Transportation Alternatives Bronx volunteer committee. “Think about your family members who travel on the Concourse. We need them safe.”

Monica Martinez told board members that her children are old enough to walk to school on their own, but she’s worried about them crossing the Grand Concourse. “My husband bikes to work,” she added. “I want him to come back to us, safe.”

The view looking north from the Grand Concourse's central roadway at E Tremont Avenue. Image via Google Street View
The view looking north from the Grand Concourse’s central roadway at E Tremont Avenue. Image via Google Street View

Kevin Daloia, the other TransAlt Bronx committee leader, urged the community board to pressure DOT to implement the project first with low-cost materials, like the agency has done on Queens Boulevard and other streets. “Four years is a long time, and the Grand Concourse is a very dangerous street,” he said. “There’s a lot of things that DOT can do now, before that construction — it doesn’t cost a lot of money or take a lot of time — that would make that road safer.”

Seven other people spoke in support of the project.

DOT presented plans earlier this month for phase four of its Grand Concourse reconstruction project, between 175th Street to Fordham Road, to a supportive CB 5 municipal services committee, but public attendance was sparse. The agency plans to return in February, said committee chair Nero Graham.

The CB 5 municipal services committee meets on Tuesday, February 6, at 6 p.m. at Davidson Community Center, 2038 Davison Avenue.

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