The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Deputy Bronx Borough Commissioner Nivardo Lopez was joined today by Council Member Vanessa Gibson and Bronx Community Board 4 to announce the completion of major safety improvements along West Mt Eden Avenue, between Jerome Avenue and Macombs Road in the Mount Eden neighborhood of the Bronx.
“It never makes sense to have pedestrians walk in the street, but until these changes, hundreds of people did that every day along West Mt Eden,” said Deputy Borough Commissioner Lopez. “The Vision Zero improvements we are announcing today not only look terrific, they will make a real difference as these Bronxites will now have a safe and accessible route to their destination.”
DOT made the approximately $95,000 safety improvements after community concerns were raised about the safety of pedestrians along the two blocks of West Mt Eden Avenue. As a result of community consultation and a DOT study, the street was converted from a two-way into a one-way westbound thoroughfare, while a new concrete sidewalk – compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – was added on the north side of West Mt Eden Avenue between Inwood Ave and Macombs Rd. NYC DOT also installed two enhanced high-visibility crosswalks at the Inwood Avenue intersection.
“When pedestrians are forced to walk in the street, the safety of everyone on the road is compromised” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson. “I thank the Department of Transportation for recognizing the need to make major safety and traffic improvements to West Mt Eden and I look forward to a safer community for residents, pedestrians, bike riders, and drivers.”
NYC DOT had received multiple requests for changes on the north side of West Mt Eden Avenue. Previously, the sidewalk had terminated at Inwood Avenue, resulting in pedestrians either needing to cross the street or walk in the street until they reached Macombs Road - which as many as 1,100 people were recorded doing on an average weekday between 7am to 7 pm. Much of the pedestrian traffic on the street comes to or from the Mt Eden Ave station on the 4 train at Jerome Avenue – the entrance of which, like the new sidewalk, is on the north side of West Mt Eden Avenue. Known as a “pedestrian desire line,” pedestrians can be clearly seen walking in the street in a 2014 image on Google Street View.
In 2013, DOT released its Jerome Avenue Transportation Study, which noted the dangers of the congested street as well as the challenges of adding a sidewalk to a narrow 32’ two-way street that abuts a retaining wall on the Cross Bronx Expressway. The study recommended most of the changes that were implemented this year, including the conversion of West Mt Eden from a two-way to a one-way street westbound to reduce traffic at the congested intersection of Jerome Avenue. The conversion provided the space for the new ADA sidewalk, simplified neighborhood circulation, reduced congestion and provided enhanced safety at the intersection of West Mt Eden and Jerome Ave. The conversion also eliminated the right turn from Inwood Ave onto West Mt Eden which had been difficult for motorists due to the limited visibility of eastbound traffic.
“Making it safer for the community to walk in the Mount Eden section of the Bronx will improve the well-being of our children and our families,” said Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner. “Adding additional improvements and accessibility along West Mt Eden Avenue, between Jerome Avenue and Macombs Road in our community, will include new sidewalks and enhanced high-visibility crosswalks for increased protection for so many Bronxites that walk to get to their destination. I thank Mayor de Blasio, New York City Department of Transportation Deputy Bronx Borough Commissioner Nivardo Lopez and Council Member Vanessa Gibson for their help in adding more safety options for our community residents from all walks of life.”
“This is an extremely important route for pedestrians. These changes will provide a safe route which will have a positive impact on area residents’ quality of life” said Paul Philps, District Manager of Bronx Community Board 4.
Earlier this year, Mayor de Blasio announced several new Vision Zero initiatives for 2016. In addition to an increased $115 million investment in street redesign and traffic-calming measures on key thoroughfares citywide, he announced the expansion of the bike-route network, a pilot project to reduce left-turn collisions, targeted NYPD enforcement, increased use of speed-enforcement cameras, and more intensive safety education in collaboration with the Department of Education in elementary and middle schools
For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/visionzero.
West Mt Eden Avenue: Before
West Mt Eden Avenue: After