Despite opposition from Bronx Community Board 8, New York City Department of Transportation is ignoring the board and will proceed with a redesign of Broadway from 242nd Street to the city limits at the Westchester County border and will include two-way protected bike lanes.

Currently, pedestrians have to cross a 70 foot wide Broadway making it a dangerous trek to get to and from Van Cortlandt Park across a road where many drive above the speed limit.

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The new redesign will reduce the crossing to 50 feet by adding a north/south protected bike lane hugging the park along the current parking spaces which will then be shifted west to separate the lanes from traffic.

There will be no reduction of traffic lane which will remain a 4 lane roadway with two lanes of traffic going north or south.

Even if we weren’t biking all the time, we still cannot fathom why a community board would be against shortening the distance pedestrians have to cross in order to make a more safer thoroughfare.

According to Streetsblog:

In a letter sent last week, DOT Bronx Borough Commissioner Nivardo Lopez informed CB 8 Chair Rosemary Ginty that the danger of Broadway’s current wide, high-speed layout makes the redesign imperative [PDF].

“After full consideration of your resolution, feedback received through our outreach process, and our engineering analysis, we have determined that the proposed safety improvement project is the best way to address all the safety issues along the corridor,” Lopez wrote.

Above: Broadway as it currently is configured from 242nd Street to the Westchester/Yonkers line; Below, a safer, redesigned Broadway with protected bike lanes./Image via DOT

Broadway north of 242nd Street feels like a highway, and people have to cross it to get to the park, which is one of the city’s largest. DOT clocked about 80 percent of drivers exceeding the speed limit on this part of Broadway. Lives are at stake: From 2010 to 2014, 12 people — including 10 pedestrians — were killed or severely injured in crashes on Broadway between 242nd Street and the Westchester County border.

There’s no arguing that this is a good thing for everyone. We must share our roads and make our city a safer one for all.

 

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