The Hutchinson River Parkway Transportation Corridor Study was undertaken by the New York City Department of City Planning Bronx Borough Office and Transportation Division. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the transportation needs along and surrounding the Hutchinson River Parkway corridor with the goal of improving existing conditions and developing longer-term recommendations for improvements as the area continues to grow.
The New York City Department of City Planning - Bronx Borough Office and Transportation Division – received a grant for a transportation study of the Hutchinson River Parkway Corridor beginning in the spring of 2013.
The corridor study area lies roughly along the Hutchinson River Parkway/ New England Thruway between Baychester Avenue/ Pelham Parkway and Ferry Point Park.
This area is a growing regional employment center and serves as an economic engine for the Bronx. Current and planned developments in the area include more than one million square feet of office space; more than 700,000 square feet of planned regional retail and a proposed commuter rail station.
While the economic development is beneficial for the area, the additional auto-based trips have created traffic circulation and wayfinding problems in the street network, much of which includes lower density residential neighborhoods. Access to and from the highway is also becoming more congested, and safety issues are a concern.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the transportation needs along and surrounding the Hutchinson River Parkway corridor with the goal of improving existing conditions and developing longer-term recommendations for improvements as the area continues to grow.
The study had the following objectives:
- To examine and assess existing traffic conditions and street network within the corridor study area;
- To identify opportunities to accommodate new and existing uses;
- To improve connectivity and traffic circulation along selected corridors surrounding the Hutchinson River Parkway;
- To improve access and connectivity for pedestrians and bicyclists, including to the Hutchinson River Greenway and Pelham Parkway Greenway;
- To support connections to transit;
- To enhance transportation safety within the study area for all users.
A project kickoff meeting took place at the office of Bronx Community Board 10 on April 29th, 2013 to present the transportation study to members of the steering committee. The role of the steering committee was to provide overall leadership and guidance for prioritizing needs and developing a long term plan for the corridor. Its members are comprised of stakeholders of the communities that surround the Hutchinson River Parkway in the Bronx.
The stakeholders include:
- Community Board 10
- Community Board 11
- Bronx Borough President’s Office
- City Councilman James Vacca
- New York State Senator Jeffrey D. Klein
- NYCEDC (NYC Economic Development Corporation)
- NYCDOT Bronx Borough Commissioner, Traffic Planning and Freight Divisions
- NYSDOT (NY State Department of Transportation)
- NYCDPR (NYC Department of Parks and Recreation)
- MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority – Metro-North and NYC Transit Operations)
- SOBRO (South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation)
- Westchester Square BID, Bronx Chamber of Commerce
- Northeast Bronx Association
- Morris Park Medical/Educational Institutions – Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Calvary Hospital; Jacobi Medical Center, Bronx Psychiatric Center, Montefiore
- Hutchinson Metro Center, Simone Development
- Pelham Bay Taxpayers
- Friends of Ferry Point Park
- Country Club Civic Association
The following main improvements have been recommended in this study, several of which are long-term recommendations:
North of East Tremont Avenue
- Provide additional access points into the Hutchinson Metro Center and improve internal traffic circulation.
- Explore in the northern part of the study area other options for vehicular traffic from the Hutchinson Metro Center to access Pelham Parkway.
- Provide an east-west connection over the rail line, as part of the proposed Morris Park Metro-North Station, which meets the needs of all pedestrians.
- Extend Bassett Avenue further north to Pelham Parkway to become another option for northbound traffic heading towards Pelham Parkway.
South of East Tremont Avenue
- Improve Brush Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard intersection operation which include expanding the northbound approach, making signal timing adjustments, and relocating a bus stop on Brush Avenue.
- Explore other access points over Westchester Creek to alleviate congestion at the Bruckner Interchange.
- Do a feasibility analysis of a new access point for trucks into the Pepsi Distribution site from the Hutchinson River Parkway southbound service road (an alternate route)
- Resolve outstanding issues with the operation and maintenance of the “Ring Road”, leading to overall better traffic operations for this part of the Bronx.
- Have an alternate bicycle route on the Hutchinson River Parkway southbound service road besides Brush Avenue, which would also connect to Ferry Point Park
In addition, shorter term, safety improvements and easily implementable recommendations related to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles were developed for 11 specific locations in the study area. They include treatments such as signal timing modifications, intersection striping, geometry reconfiguration, and signage.
In response to the requests and concerns of the community and steering committee members, who have been involved throughout the process, we have met with the relevant government agencies to discuss the long-term recommendations that fall under their jurisdictions to determine the feasibility of the proposals. Based on these discussions, it was determined that a more comprehensive and detailed transportation analysis of the study area was necessary for two long-term recommendations presented in this study: improving access to the Hutch Metro Center, and improving access and mobility at the approach of the Bruckner Interchange and along Brush Avenue.
The comprehensive transportation planning study for these improvements is to be done with the involvement of many different agencies and the community boards, including New York City Department of Transportation, New York State Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Police Department, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Community Boards 10 and 11 and local elected officials.
Download the executive summary.
Download the full report (35 mb).