March 24, 2023
Contact: (212) 839-4850, firstname.lastname@example.org
New York City and State Kicking off Public Meetings to Reimagine the Cross Bronx Expressway and Reconnect Communities Throughout Bronx Corridor
Adams Administration and partners seize a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reconnect communities along the expressway from the Harlem River to the Hutchinson River Parkway
Study will develop a community vision to minimize the harm the Cross Bronx has caused to families and communities along the expressway
NEW YORK – New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, New York City Department of City Planning (NYC DCP) Commissioner Dan Garodnick, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan and New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez announced the launch of the community engagement process that will inform the administration's effort to tackle long-standing issues with the Cross Bronx Expressway.
The public engagement efforts will begin this month with five events scheduled between now and April 10th. With federal funds, the Adams Administration and our partners in state government are taking advantage of a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fund this much-needed work on the Cross Bronx Expressway. This spring, the City and State will also host two rounds of issue identification workshops.
"Thanks to the investment by the US DOT and the partnership between the City and our State sister agencies, neighborhoods in the Bronx have an opportunity to set a vision for the Cross-Bronx Expressway that can reconnect communities that were long divided," said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. "The Adams Administration prioritizes equity and righting environmental injustices and I look forward to hearing from our community partners and New Yorkers as we make this a reality."
"The Cross-Bronx Expressway Study presents a critical opportunity to right the wrongs of the past and create more just and healthy neighborhoods through changing the infrastructure that literally divides us," said Deputy Mayor for Economic & Workforce Development Maria Torres-Springer. "We look forward to hearing from as many voices as possible and working together to lay the groundwork for a more connected future."
"It's time we prioritize environmental justice and address the harms that 20th century highways have caused communities, largely communities of color, across our city," said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "Together, with the support of Mayor Adams, we are seizing a pivotal opportunity to reconnect communities that have been divided by this highway."
"Governor Kathy Hochul is leading the nation in prioritizing and investing in infrastructure projects across the State of New York that reconnect communities, and this historic study to reimagine the Cross Bronx Expressway is yet another example of how New York State is fulfilling the Governor's vision to address the planning mistakes of the past and fundamentally look to bring communities together," said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. "That is why it is imperative that the community, especially residents of the Bronx, play a leading role in helping craft a plan for the future of this bustling corridor. I encourage all interested parties to attend one of the workshops and share their views. This cannot be done without you."
"Together with Bronx communities, Mayor Adams, and partners throughout government, we are crafting a holistic vision for the Cross Bronx Expressway corridor to envision a cleaner, healthier borough and remedy mistakes of the past," said Edith Hsu-Chen, Executive Director of the Department of City Planning. "Stakeholders from across the borough and city have an opportunity to share how they've been affected by the Cross Bronx and what they would like to see built in the years to come."
"Keeping New Yorkers healthy means creating connected communities and ahealthy environment," said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. "Hearing from the community about how highways and other infrastructure have impacted them can help us map pathways to healthier neighborhoods."
"The Cross Bronx Expressway is perhaps the best example of how the highway decisions of the past harmed low-income Americans and people of color," said New York City Chief Climate Officer and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Rohit T. Aggarwala. "Now we have the opportunity to ensure environmental justice by reimagining it with Federal funds and community input."
"The Cross-Bronx Expressway, or the largest parking lot in the country, has burdened and impacted the health of communities around it for decades," said Kizzy Charles-Guzman, Executive Director of the Mayor's Office of Climate and Environmental Justice. "This important engagement phase signals a community-driven approach to addressing health disparities in environmental justice neighborhoods - and it was the perseverance and passion of advocates led to this RAISE grant in the first place. We speak for ourselves."
The public engagement will help inform the landmark study that was launched in December to reimagine the Cross-Bronx Expressway. The community-driven effort will aim to redress negative impacts of the highway on surrounding communities while promoting residents' health and well-being. The study is being funded by a $2 million U.S. Department of Transportation Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant that was submitted by the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP), and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH).
Community engagement will include in-person and remote public workshops beginning in March as well as a public survey, pop-up outreach in neighborhoods along the entire Cross Bronx Expressway corridor, meetings with community stakeholder groups, and updated online resources. The processes are designed to invite a wide range of voices to work towards projects that improve communities while prioritizing technical and fiscal feasibility.
Initial Outreach Schedule
These open houses will launch this process and provide an opportunity for public input, questions, and comments. Spanish language interpretation will be provided.
Thursday, March 30 from 6 pm to 8 pm
Monday, April 10 from 6 pm to 8 pm
Register at bit.ly/CrossBronxEvents
Saturday, April 1 from 11 am to 2 pm
Bronx River Art Center, 1087 East Tremont Avenue, The Bronx, NY 10460
Monday, April 3 from 6 pm to 9 pm
Davidson Community Center, 2038 Davidson Avenue, The Bronx, NY 10453
Tuesday, April 4 from 5 pm to 8 pm
PS 106 Parkchester Elementary School (Cafeteria), 1514 Olmstead Avenue, The Bronx, NY 10462
To request accessibility accommodations or translation services, please contact the NYC DOT Bronx Borough Commissioner's Office at 212-748-6680 or email at CrossBronx@planning.nyc.gov at least three business days before the event.
Visit nyc.gov/crossbronx for more information.
"It is long overdue that the City and State of New York rectify the original sin of Robert Moses—the Cross Bronx Expressway," said Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-15). "The Cross Bronx Expressway Study must emerge as a leader nationally for communities and cities across the country to re-examine the impacts of highways. The cries of residents detesting the deleterious impacts of the Cross Bronx Expressway on their health and wellbeing have fallen on deaf ears for far too long. This study is the first of many necessary steps to address environmental injustice and community neglect. I look forward to partnering with all the stakeholders and advocacy groups to move this project forward as it will take ongoing coordination between community members and all levels of government."
"For far too long, community leaders in the Bronx have been calling for justice to address the environmental racism rooted in the Cross Bronx Expressway," said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “With these federal funds, Bronxites have the opportunity to rectify the decades-old injustices that have negatively impacted the health of communities that live near the Cross Bronx Expressway.”
"Built over 50 years ago, the Cross Bronx Expressway is one of the greatest examples of environmental racism in our city," said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. "It has divided communities and has contributed to poor health outcomes for our residents in our Borough. I want to thank the NYC Department of Transportation, in partnership with the Department of City Planning, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the NY State Department of Transportation, for coordinating these efforts to get public input on how to reimagine the Cross Bronx Expressway and undo years of systemic injustice."
"Community input is essential to effective governance. I applaud New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, New York City Department of City Planning (NYC DCP) Commissioner Dan Garodnick, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Ashwin Vasan, and New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez for taking these measures into consideration when reimagining the Cross Bronx Expressway," said State Senator Luis Sepúlveda. "I look forward to having these important discussions in the 32nd Senatorial District."
"It's essential to have a strong, community-focused approach, especially since this project directly impacts thousands of Bronxites. Robert Moses' legacy left the Bronx with heavy traffic, noise, and pollution, resulting in numerous health issues," said City Council Member Marjorie Velázquez. "It is overdue that we address the ramifications of Moses' work and the environmental injustices infiltrating our communities. I look forward to our communities being an active part of this study and to hopefully see real change."
"Regional Plan Association supports NYC DOT and its planning partners in leading important discussions about reimagining the Cross Bronx Expressway. Developing creative solutions to restore the community fabric and address the consequences of harmful public infrastructure is imperative and will serve as a model for other communities across the nation," said Tiffany-Ann Taylor, Vice President for Transportation, Regional Plan Association. "We underscore the need for a unified and community driven vision, to better understand how these changes to the Expressway will impact the region and prioritize the public health needs of future generations of Bronx residents."
"These open houses are the first step toward long-awaited racial and spacial justice for Bronxites," said Jackson Chabot, Director of Advocacy and Organizing at Open Plans. "New York's legacy of car dominance has been causing physical, mental, and social harm to this community for far too long. We're glad to see DOT begin the process, with community input, of restoring this much-needed safe and enriching public space."