As over 100 people attended the CB 8 T&T meeting to voice their opposition or support to the DOT Broadway Corridor proposal to reduce the width of Broadway between West 246th Street and the city line from its current 70 foot width to a new 50 foot width with the installation of an 8 or 9 foot wide protected bike lane on the park side northbound roadway. Also the installation of Bus Boarding Bulbs where the current bus stops are since according to the proposal 9 different bus routes use the Broadway Corridor, so the right lane would be used to board buses..
Resident after resident spoke on the DOT proposal, and almost everyone was against it. There were some speakers who were in favor of the DOT proposed Bike lane and bus bulbs where the width of the lanes on Broadway would be narrowed even more than the recent narrowing of the lanes on Broadway a few years ago. The key concept of the DOT proposal was the number of twelve pedestrian fatalities on Broadway during the period of 2010 - 2014. This was countered by CB 8 member Laura Spalter who checked with the local 50th Precinct as to what the police reports said. Ms. Spalter said that seven were due to pedestrian jaywalking, one was a skateboarding accident, one was at the Henry Hudson Parkway entrance/exit ramp, and three lacked any details on the police reports.
The DOT proposal said on one page that speeding occurred most on non peak hours, but on another page showed that the Northbound Nighttime hours had the lowest average speed by vehicles. There were two new traffic lights installed after the last death at one of the lights just after installation and before the lights were working. Mr. Padernacht asked if a speeding survey was taken after the lights were working since the figures on the DOT proposal were from 2015. DOT Bronx Commissioner Nivardo Lopez said that it would take one year before a survey could be done.
After reading comments from Deputy Inspector O'Toole the commanding officer of the 50th Precinct which included having the bikers travel through the park instead of on Broadway, more installation of lights, and an island in the middle of Broadway where pedestrians could stop and wait for the other side of traffic to clear before crossing. Mr. Padernacht then presented the following resolution to the cheers of residents on and near Broadway, and an astonished look and comment by Councilman Andrew Cohen who helped the DOT on this proposal.
Traffic and Transportation Committee
Bronx Community Board No. 8
5676 Riverdale Avenue
Bronx, New York 10471
Dated: May 25, 2017.
WHEREAS, Broadway between West 242nd Street and the City Line (“Broadway Corridor”) is a wide street, comprised of at least two northbound lanes and two southbound lanes, with parking on each side; and
WHEREAS, the New York City Department of Transportation (“DOT”) has presented a plan for safety improvements from West 242nd Street to the City Line; and
WHEREAS, DOT cites speeding as an issue along the corridor and states speeding is especially prevalent during off peak hours; and
WHEREAS, DOT cites a number of accidents between 2010 and 2014 on the Broadway Corridor;
WHEREAS, DOT recognizes Broadway as an important bus route for 9 NYC Transit lines, some of which connect to the subway lines; and
WHEREAS, Broadway is also known as U.S. Route 9, a designated truck route; and
WHEREAS, Broadway is the western boundary of Van Cortlandt Park; and
WHEREAS, DOT installed two signalized crossings (traffic lights) on Broadway and West 246th Street and at Broadway at the Tortoise and Hare Statue Park entrance in November 2016; and
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony from the public that speeding has been greatly reduced on the Broadway Corridor since the installation of these new traffic lights; and
WHEREAS, DOT has stated that it cannot study the effects of these new traffic lights for at least one year from the date of their installation;
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony from the public that lack of parking is an issue on the Broadway Corridor; and
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony from the public that they would like DOT to study the possibility of angle parking along Van Cortlandt Park; and
WHEREAS, DOT proposed the addition of parking spots along the Broadway Corridor which could be installed regardless of the plan being implemented; and
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony from the public that double parking is an issue on the Broadway Corridor; and
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony that the wide 13’ parking lane permits the flow of traffic around double parked vehicles; and
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony from the public that if the DOT plan was implemented, which would narrow the traffic lanes, double parking would stop the flow of traffic on Broadway Corridor; and
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony from the public that, Van Cortlandt Park, as a renowned cross country and track destination, attracts schools from across the country to sporting events and that during these events, large buses double park along the Broadway Corridor on both sides of the street; and
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony from the public that if the DOT plan was implemented, which would narrow the traffic lanes, double parking of these buses at the sporting events would stop the flow of traffic on Broadway Corridor; and
WHEREAS, DOT proposes that the curbside bus stops on the northbound side of the Broadway corridor will be eliminated and replaced with bus bulbs thereby forcing buses to stop in a moving traffic lane to pick up and drop off passengers; and
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony from the public that if the DOT plan was implemented, the new bus stops would stop the flow of traffic on Broadway Corridor; and
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony that similar changes as those proposed have been implemented in Manhattan and have caused devastating congestion;
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony that the proposed protected bike lane may be dangerous to pedestrians entering and exiting the park, especially individuals with baby carriages which enter the bike lane first; and
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony that the proposed protected bike lane may be dangerous to motorists exiting their vehicle, particularly with packages, carriages and children on the Northbound lane because of the narrowed lane with oncoming traffic and the bike lane on the other side of the vehicle; and
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony that the proposed plan may be dangerous to motorists exiting their vehicle, particularly with packages, carriages and children in the Southbound lane, being reduced to an 8’ width, with oncoming width; and
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony that the public would prefer bike lanes in the park and not in the street;
WHEREAS, the narrowing of lanes coupled with double-parked vehicles and buses stopping in traffic lanes will create congestion and gridlock on the Broadway Corridor;
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony that if the plan was implemented, the congestion and gridlock will cause vehicles to use alternate streets in North Riverdale such as Post Road, Fieldston Road and Riverdale Avenue;
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony that if the plan was implemented, the congestion and gridlock will cause emergency vehicles to be hindered in their vital functions; and
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony from the public that the Broadway Corridor has been made dangerous by the failure of DOT to maintain the striping of key crosswalks and intersections; and
WHEREAS, the Committee heard testimony that the businesses on West 242nd street and Broadway rely on the use of the service lane on West 242nd Street and that the proposed plan will hurt their businesses.
BE IT RESOLVED that the Committee does not approve the DOT plan as presented but finds that certain elements of the plan may be beneficial; and
BE IT RESOLVED that the Committee appreciates the efforts of Council Member Cohen for bringing safety issues of the Broadway Corridor to the forefront of community discussion; and
BE IT RESOLVED that the Committee recommends the restriping of the intersection at Broadway and Mosholu Avenue so as to narrow the intersection for pedestrian safety; and
BE IT RESOLVED that the Committee recommends that DOT install the additional parking spots identified along the Broadway Corridor; and
BE IT RESOLVED that the Committee recommends that DOT study the possibility of angled parking along Van Cortlandt Park; and
BE IT RESOLVED that the Committee recommends that DOT initiate a study to analyze the effects of the two new traffic lights on Broadway Corridor promptly after the one year period; and
BE IT RESOLVED that should the DOT study of the traffic lights reflect additional measures needed, that DOT reconfigure the timing of the traffic lights in order to slow traffic further; and
BE IT RESOLVED that the Committee recommends additional traffic lights on the Broadway Corridor; and
BE IT RESOLVED that the committee recommends aggressive enforcement of double parked vehicles on the Broadway Corridor;
BE IT RESOLVED that, at the Broadway exit from the southbound Henry Hudson Parkway, DOT study the elimination of the northbound lane on to Broadway, where two pedestrians have been injured, thereby directing all exiting cars to the existing lane controlled by a traffic light, as recommended in the Van Cortlandt Park Master Plan approved by Community Board #8.
BE IT RESOLVED, that DOT conduct a separate and distinct study of the area between Manhattan College Parkway and West 242nd Street in order to analyze the entire activity of this important transportation and commercial Hub;
BE IT RESOLVED that DOT move the bus stop on the west side of Broadway between Manhattan College Parkway and West 242nd Street from its current spot to a new location further north to alleviate some of the issues at this Hub;
BE IT RESOLVED that DOT consider the possibility of a traffic circle at Broadway and Manhattan College Parkway to alleviate some of the issues at the Hub; and
BE IT RESOLVED that DOT investigate the installation of unprotected, designated bike lanes on the northbound and southbound side of Broadway.
BE IT RESOLVED DOT initiate a study of alternatives for bike lanes along the Broadway Corridor, including the installation of unprotected, designated bike lanes on the northbound and southbound side of Broadway, in and out of the park, and present this study to this committee in a separate and distinct proposal from the safety plan presented herein.
In Favor: Sylvia Alexander; Margaret Donato; Myra Joyce (Community Committee Member); Joseph O’Brien; Dan Padernacht; Georgia Santiago
Opposed: Eric Bell
Abstain: Daniella Fuchs
Councilman Andrew Cohen (right) a major role player in the DOT Broadway Corridor Bike Lane Proposal is completely beside himself as the resolution is being read. Councilman Cohen wanted to know why he as a board member did not receive a copy of the resolution. The answer by CB 8 Board Chair who was chairing the T & T Committee (since its former chair became the new district manager, and there was no Vice-Chair) answers Councilman Cohen by saying that the resolution was for committee members, and the board will vote on it at the June 11th full board meeting.