For Immediate Release
April 30, 2021
Melissa Grace, Joe Marvilli – firstname.lastname@example.org (212) 720-3471
DCP Publishes Open House Webpage to Advance Planning Around Four Promised Bronx Metro-North Stations
Innovative digital engagement increases opportunities for the public to plan for the Hunts Point, Parkchester/Van Nest, Morris Park and Co-op City communities
For Spanish speakers, please see this Univision story on the new webpage and stations.
NEW YORK – Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Marisa Lago today announced the launch of an innovative new public engagement webpage – including explanatory videos, interactive engagement tools and planning recommendations – for New Yorkers to continue to plan for four new Metro-North stations coming to the East Bronx, to Hunts Point, Parkchester/Van Nest, Morris Park and Co-op City. The train stations will directly connect the four Bronx communities to Penn Station, and many points north for the first time in a century. Through thoughtful planning, the City plans to build on this service to bring jobs, create new homes and strengthen neighborhoods to help the City and the Bronx rebound from COVID and flourish in the future.
“Our new interactive Bronx Metro-North webpage is the result of outside-the-box work to increase public engagement and input into important planning projects. We know our best planning happens when it’s done side-by-side with New Yorkers, so please, share your ideas and collaborate with us on a path to a brighter, more transit-accessible future for these four neighborhoods,” said DCP Director Marisa Lago.
“I applaud DCP for taking this step to ensure Bronxites voices are heard through this digital platform. In the past, these meetings would be held in-person with a small window of time for public comment but this Open House Webpage around the Bronx Metro-North stations allows Bronxites the ability to view this transformative project from the comfort and safety of their homes with a larger window of time,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “For nearly ten years now, I have been beating the drum on direct access to Penn Station from The Bronx, which is becoming a reality. I am encouraging all Bronxites to participate in this new public engagement webpage because this form of transportation will be beneficial to us all.”
“As we plan for the future, it’s important that we offer tools for New Yorkers to share their input for projects across the city,” said NYC Economic Development Corporation Acting President Rachel Loeb. “By creating a new engagement webpage for the Bronx Metro-North, we can plan thoughtfully with the community to bring transit access and create jobs for Bronx residents. We are excited to collaborate with DCP and community members on an inclusive planning process.”
The webpage being announced today is the latest step in a planning and public engagement process. The open house materials are available in English and Spanish. Public input received through the digital open house outreach will inform the planning process for the new stations and be discussed at upcoming remote public meetings, with question-and-answer sessions, scheduled for this spring. These meetings will be accessible by phone and online – and followed by additional outreach. Details for all upcoming meetings will be posted on the Metro-North webpage as well as NYC Engage as they are set.
Since 2018, DCP has worked closely with the MTA, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., the NYC Department of Transportation, the NYC Economic Development Corporation and other stakeholders to engage local community members on planning improvements for the station areas. The study will look at necessary investments for safe access to the four stations, local schools, parks and more. In addition, Parkchester/Van Nest and Morris Park offer unique opportunities to grow affordable housing and jobs through land use changes. Open house materials and feedback opportunities for Hunts Point and Co-op City will follow this summer.
Building on early prototypes for interactive public participation – particularly the successful Plan Gowanus online engagement platform, the Bronx Metro-North webpage provides an easy-to-follow path through initial concepts and ideas for how to best invest in and support growing communities around the coming stations. With videos, images of existing conditions alongside renderings of what could exist in the future, and more, members of the public are encouraged to have their say about current conditions and offer ideas for improving conditions on their blocks and across their communities.
The new stations are set to open after completion of the Penn Station Access project in the coming years, which will provide Metro-North riders with a direct route into Penn Station, significantly reducing commute times to and from the East Bronx for the first time in more than a century.
“We thank DCP for understanding the importance of communication and community participation. The Bronx Chamber of Commerce is excited about the project that will bring jobs, businesses, housing, and most importantly ease of transportation to Penn Station or Northbound which has never been an option. The interactive digital platform is a creative and powerful tool allowing true engagement in a project that will change the landscape of our great borough,” said Lisa Sorin, President of the Bronx Chamber of Commerce.
“The NYC Department of City Planning’s new public engagement webpage is an exciting resource offering important information and improved access for community engagement about their plans for four new Metro North stations in the East Bronx. As we heal and recover from COVID-19, we look forward to engaging and collaborating with our community — and partners in local organizations and city government — to plan for our borough’s future; a future with improved access to vibrant economic activity and world class scientific research and healthcare,” said Rick Chandler, Senior Vice President, Strategic Development, Montefiore Health System.
“We applaud DCP for taking another step towards increasing public engagement in the transformative project of Bronx Metro-North access. This new interactive digital platform will provide an easily accessible way for our communities to envision the integration of this innovative project with our existing infrastructure, and the opportunity to add our voices towards seeing this project becoming a reality on the ground,” said Dr. Camelia Tepelus, Executive Director of the Morris Park Business Improvement District. “The Morris Park BID is proud to support this innovative public engagement process that will lead to better transit access not only connecting the Bronx to Penn Station, but also ensuring improved regional integration of the Bronx with the job markets in Westchester and Connecticut.”
DCP aims to release a final plan for these four station areas by the end of this year.