MP road diet rally: safety facts don’t support DOT analysis
BRONX TIMES REPORTER, A BTR PRIL 5-11, 2019 81
From page 1
Also the roadway is heavily used
by emergency vehicles destined for Jacobi
Medical Center and Montefi ore
Gjonaj said the plan, which was opposed
by Community Board 11 and
would reduce the number of travel lanes
along the busy roadway in each direction
from two to one while adding a vehicle
turning lane and bicycle lanes,
would be another nail in the coffi n of the
200 small businesses in the area.
Bronx Chamber of Commerce’s
president, Lisa Sorin, said that after a
year of meeting with local businesses,
the chamber concluded that implementing
a ‘road diet’ would be harmful
to the Morris Park small business
Business owner Robert Ferrito of
Councilman Mark Gjonaj, in announcing a petition in opposition to a proposed road diet for
Morris Park Avenue, speaks before an assembled group at a rally on Monday, April 1.
Schneps Media / Patrick Rocchio
RMF Electric, said that based on the
Vision Zero initiatives he has seen implemented
around the city, he believes
the proposal would back up traffi c by
“I think it will add more congestion
to the commercial corridor,” said Ferrito.
Additionally, Al D’Angelo, MPCA
president believes that traffi c will spill
onto the residential side streets as motorists
try to avoid the Morris Park
Avenue bottleneck, creating unsafe
conditions for area youngsters and disturbing
the relative calm of those treelined
He pointed out that other than
Gjonaj, it doesn’t appear that city offi
cials, including Mayor de Blasio, appear
to be listening to the will of the
community on the issue.
Staggering the avenue’s many traffi
c lights would dramatically slow
down traffi c on Morris Park Avenue,
he offered as another option to the
road diet plan.
A 2-mile stretch of Morris Park Avenue
from Eastchester Road to East
180th Street is included in theDOT’s
road diet plan.
Recent data collected by the city
agency indicated that injury-related
accidents have decreased on the main
Morris Park Avenue, which is now
safer for pedestrians then previously
studies indicated, should be delisted
as a Vision Zero priority corridor, said
While the latest facts support
Gjonaj’s sentiment, a DOT spokesperson
said there is still a speeding problem
on Morris Park Avenue.
“There have been a number of high
profi le fatalities and/or crashes on the
corridor in the last few years – including
a motorcyclist fatality at Morris
Park Avenue and Van Buren Street in
August 2018 and an incident in April
2018 where a vehicle drove into a restaurant
and injured three people,”
stated the spokesperson.
“This plan will help save lives,” she
pointed out, while defending the DOT’s
push to make the road diet a reality.
Lisa Sorin (c), Bronx Chamber of Commerce CEO, speaks against the proposal for a ‘road
diet’ on Morris Park Avenue. Schneps Media / Patrick Rocchio
Parks (c) on the steps of City Hall protesting the jail with Borough President Diaz (2nd from r).
Schneps Media/Alex Mitchell
Opponents send scathing
Mott Haven jail letter
From page 1 the determination of what will happen
Parks and her legal squad also
made note that this ‘citywide’ prison
push omits the placement of a jail facility
on Staten Island as well.
She, along with Diego Beekman,
had aimed to acquire the tow pound
from NYC to create a super-block
of affordable housing that included
community amenities such as a putting
a super-market within what
studies found to be a food desert.
“The Diego Beekman development
plan for the NYPD tow pound site
should be evaluated as an alternative
development scenario, whereas the
other sites may not have such a community
development plan,” the letter
“It is even more appropriate to provide
its The Bronx jail’s own environmental
review since it has a different
purpose: it not only includes the
jail but hundreds of units of affordable
housing, which should require
HPD to be named an involved or interested
agency,” it had continued.
The letter also stated that building
this jail should be contingent not
only on the involvement of HPD but
to the Vernon C. Bain jail barge
in Hunts Point as well.
“While there is a theoretical common
purpose/goal for the four sites,
there is no actual timeline for closing
facilities on Rikers Island or a determination
on the future of the Vernon
C. Bain Center,” it stated.
Parks also went after the city for
bundling its statistics and fi ndings
for the four projects as one rather
than being broken up borough by
Calling that a “signifi cant risk,”
the letter then stated “for members
of the public interested in impacts in
the Bronx, for instance, they may be
confused fi nding impacts disclosed
for another project in another borough.”
Of course, it also called out the
fact that 320 Concord Avenue is miles
away from the Bronx Hall of Justice
on East 161st Street while building a
facility adjacent to said complex is
another viable option, which Bronx
elected offi cials Borough President
Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Congressman
Jose E. Serrano both support.
“Further, this site causes impacts
by direct displacement (the removal
of the NYC Police Department tow
pound), the environmental impacts
of which are not studied,” the letter
stated as well.
Parks and her team at Diego
Beekman are considering a lawsuit
against the city based on what the
letter called “a fl awed environmental
review” along with the effects the
prison will have on Mott Haven and
the entire borough of the Bronx.