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If you feel subways and buses are crowded now more than ever—it’s not just your imagination.

For the first time in New York City history, the population has hit above 8.5 million people according to US Census estimates issued for last year—and The Bronx is leading not just the city in terms of growth but also the  State of New York.

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Just 3 weeks ago Welcome2TheBronx predicted that we would get even closer in 2016 and now we’re just 16,257 residents away from our historic high of 1,471,701 in 1970.

Considering that thousands of new apartments—mostly “affordable”—will open up this year, it’s probably a safe bet that we will surpass the historic marker for our borough by 2017.

As the affordability crisis worsens, more people will continue to be pushed out from Manhattan and other boroughs and The Bronx will continue to absorb those residents.

According to New York City Department of planning, The Bronx came in second in growth (after Brooklyn) between 2010 and 2015 with a 5.1% increase (70,300 persons). “The robust pace of growth in the post-2010 period has not been seen since the 1920s. However, the most recent 2014-2015 estimates point to a relatively lower growth rate as compared to 2010-2014.”

“The robust pace of growth in the post-2010 period has not been seen since the 1920s. However, the most recent 2014-2015 estimates point to a relatively lower growth rate as compared to 2010-2014.” added NYC Department of Planning.

Another interesting statistic is that 43.2% of the population of New York State resides within the 5 boroughs of New York City, an increase from 42.2% from the 2010 census.

Anyone who rides the subways and mass transit can anecdotally report that there definitely has been an increase in population in our borough. The MTA needs to increase service along the 2,4,5, and 6 lines which are some of the most congested in our borough not to mention severely overcrowded bus lines.

Our infrastructure is strained beyond capacity now that our population is almost the same as it was in 1970 but the difference then was that we had the Third Avenue El and now we’re one subway line short.

We can’t continue to build and build without addressing our transit needs and increasing capacity. Now more than ever, the Second Avenue line needs to be extended into The Bronx and even the TriBoro RX connecting The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens directly without having to go through Manhattan is needed.

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