September 15, 2023
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City and State Name Community Partners to Reimagine the Cross Bronx and Launch Platform for New Yorkers to Identify Areas for Improvement Along the Expressway
These community partners will help lead community engagement and resident empowerment planning effort
City and state will use public feedback from new portal and survey to monitor issues and identify recommendations for improvements
New York — New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today announced the selection of a diverse group of 11 organizations to serve as Reimagine the Cross Bronx Community Partners, part of an innovative public outreach strategy to closely involve residents in the planning process alongside the Department of City Planning (DCP), the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). Partner agencies also announced a new interactive map where New Yorkers can address challenges and areas of opportunities related to the Cross Bronx Expressway. A new survey is also available to collect feedback from those who live, work, and travel along the corridor. The new map and survey enable people to provide feedback around the clock, reaching more New Yorkers and amplifying their voices.
"We’re excited to collaborate with our community partners, helping us transform the Cross Bronx Highway to better serve all New Yorkers," said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. "Our new digital tool for community engagement will expand our reach, ensuring every stakeholder has a voice in this legacy infrastructure’s future."
"I welcome all organizations selected to be community partners, which will help NYC DOT meaningfully connect with underserved communities and neighborhoods across the Bronx and advance equitable, multilingual, inclusive planning," said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "Our new web platform and survey will empower New Yorkers to join the conversation about where problems exist and opportunities to improve this long-overlooked corridor."
"The level of engagement that we are seeing on the Cross Bronx Expressway study is a clear demonstration that people impacted by the highway want a say in its future," said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. "Working with our city partners, we are listening, learning, and collecting valuable information that will be crucial as this process continues to move forward. I welcome these community partners and encourage Bronx residents to take advantage of these new tools, which will ultimately play a role in helping us reimagine the Cross Bronx Expressway."
"Community voices are the bedrock of any planning process, especially when talking about the major impact the Cross Bronx Expressway has had on surrounding neighborhoods," said Department of City Planning Director Dan Garodnick. "These 11 dedicated, local organizations will provide a cross-section of essential perspectives as we work together to find ways to reimagine this highway and create a healthier, more vibrant future for the Bronx,"
"This entire process is built on a foundation of partnership," said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. "The incredible organizations joining us will make the product and the process richer. We are all together on a road to a healthier community and we look forward to working with these groups."
Reimagine the Cross Bronx Community Partners
Partner agencies have identified 11 community organizations to serve as community partners to advise on, and enhance, the public engagement process. The community partners include groups that serve a range of underrepresented communities and specialize in multilingual engagement to ensure that communities historically left out of planning decisions can participate in this effort. Some of these organizations will also partner with other groups at the grassroots level in the area to expand outreach even further. Community partners include:
- Bridge Builders Community Partnership
- Bronx River Alliance
- Health People
- Mexican Coalition for the Empowerment of Youth and Families
- Morris Park BID and Loving the Bronx
- New Settlement
- Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice
- I Challenge Myself
- Center for Community Engaged Learning at Fordham University
New Feedback Portal and Survey
The platform lets users place a pin on a map to identify areas for improvement and add comments. Users can report areas that experience quality of life concerns, such as excessive vehicle exhaust, lack of public transportation, lack of green space, noise pollution, and inadequate lighting. The complementary survey collects data on New Yorker’s usage and travel patterns along or near the Cross Bronx. The survey will be open for responses until October 31st. Partner agencies will use this information, along with other data and considerations, to evaluate existing conditions and issues around and underneath the highway, study ways to reconnect communities divided by it, and improve public health.
"For too long the people of the Bronx have borne the brunt of the consequences of the Cross Bronx Expressway, which split neighborhoods in half and left a legacy of relentless pollution and high disease and asthma rates," said U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-15). "Today's announcement of Reimagine the Cross Bronx Community Partners is a critical step in ensuring community engagement in the processes of transforming the Cross Bronx. From elected officials to Bronx residents, everyone must be involved in the process of reimagining the Cross Bronx. Capping the Cross Bronx and reimagining a healthier transportation environment is essential for the Bronx. Thank you to the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez and the diverse group of 11 organizations to serve as Reimagine the Cross Bronx Community Partners for working towards making the Cross Bronx a safer place for all."
"I want to thank Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez and the 11 organizations serving on Reimagine the Cross Bronx Community Partners. Their input will be very vital as we dismantle this Robert Moses-era infrastructure that has been a detriment to the health and economic growth of The Bronx," said Council Member Marjorie Velázquez. "Communication and community engagement is imperative as we look toward the future, and working together in partnership, we will see great transformational change for our great borough."
"I Challenge Myself is thrilled to work with the Department of Transportation in this important initiative that engages the community in their own wellbeing," said Quentin Ball, Executive Director of I Challenge Myself. "As an organization that, through our partnership with the NYCDOT, supports youth in civic engagement, we see this work as vital to improving the overall health of the community."
"Health People is thrilled to be part of the Reimagine the Cross Bronx Community Planning Outreach," said Chris Norwood, Executive Director, Health People. "This is very much the kind of community partnership and idea generating that should occur with all city planning — and rarely does. Hopefully, we cannot just do a great job with Reimaging the Cross Bronx but be an example for a lot of other community planning!"
"Loving the Bronx and Morris Park BID are grateful for the partnership opportunities created by the "Reimagine the Cross Bronx" study," said Nilka Martell, Founder Loving the Bronx and Dr. Camelia Tepelus, Executive Director Morris Park BID. "We look forward to assist in engaging Bronx communities in necessary public health and connectivity conversations."
"We are privileged to join the 'Reimagine the Cross Bronx' initiative. Recognizing our commitment to the health and vitality of the Bronx and the importance of bringing communities together, we see the deep significance of united community action," said Dr. Julie Gafney, Assistant Vice President of Strategic Mission Initiatives and Executive Director of The Center for Community Engaged Learning at Fordham University. "This initiative exemplifies that spirit. With the announced interactive map and survey tools, we're not just transforming city planning - we're amplifying the voices that often fade into the background. The Center for Community Engaged Learning at Fordham University stands ready to join hands with our community allies, ensuring every New Yorker, especially those historically sidelined, are truly heard. Let's together reimagine the Cross Bronx, paving the way for a more harmonious community and environment."