New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Bronx Borough Commissioner Constance Moran, Councilmember Maria del Carmen Arroyo and Neighborhood SHOPP Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Laureano today unveiled several pedestrian safety improvements at the intersection of Jackson Avenue and Westchester Avenue in the Morrisania section of The Bronx. DOT began the work on this project earlier this year in this area, which saw a total of 20 injuries from 2008-2012. This is the same location where DOT announced its Vision Zero safety plans for the borough.
“Vision Zero aims to improve street safety—especially on streets that were not designed with pedestrians in mind,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “With the installation of this pedestrian island and other safety enhancements here at Jackson Avenue and Westchester Avenue, we are making street and pedestrian improvements to this South Bronx neighborhood that are long overdue.”
“When our children and seniors cross busy streets, their safety is a concern,” said Senator Ruben Diaz. “I am grateful to Bronx Borough Commissioner Constance Moran for her ongoing efforts to help keep our streets safe by installing pedestrian islands at Jackson and Westchester Avenues, and I look forward to working with her on future initiatives to make our community safer.”
“This new pedestrian plaza is a much needed welcoming space,” said City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “In addition to providing an added safety measure, this is a place where the community and visitors alike can relax and enjoy. I want to commend the New York City Department of Transportation for working with the community and listening to concerns and feedback from local New Yorkers by adding this improvement for the neighborhood.”
“The New York City Department of Transportation’s investments in the Bronx are instrumental for the safety and efficiency of our roads,” said Congressman Jose Serrano. “This island will help make it easier and safer for pedestrians to cross a high traffic area and walk the borough. I thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Polly Trottenberg for choosing once again to invest in the development and safety of the Bronx,”
“The pedestrian safety improvements at this intersection have become reality thanks to the Department of Transportations’ engagement with our community, in particular, our senior citizens who were very involved in creating awareness of the danger the intersection posed to their safety,” said Councilmember Maria del Carmen Arroyo. “This project is a great example of what is possible when work together to improve our community.”
“These improvements will ensure the safety of Neighborhood SHOPP Leon Senior Center participants and other older adults in this community,” said Neighborhood SHOPP Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Laureano. “The response to our seniors concerns by the DOT is greatly appreciated.”
The improvements include the construction of a new concrete pedestrian island with greenery on the south side of Westchester Avenue. The island provides improved accessibility for people with disabilities as well as a safe waiting area for commuters waiting for the BX4 and BX4A buses. Other improvements in the area include shorter pedestrian crossings, simplified signal timing and refurbished markings. The improvements shorten pedestrian crossings, enhance visibility for all road users, calm traffic, and create an ADA compliant pedestrian safety island that allows those with disabilities to safely board buses.
This project was first requested by the Neighborhood SHOPP Leon Senior Center in 2013 and is located in an area heavily populated by seniors and children. DOT presented the local community board with a proposal in January, 2015, and construction for the project began April 2015.