The New York City Department of City Planning - Bronx Borough Office and Transportation Division – received a grant for a transportation study of the Hutchinson River Parkway Corridor beginning in the spring of 2013.
The corridor study area lies roughly along the Hutchinson River Parkway/ New England Thruway between Baychester Avenue/ Pelham Parkway and Ferry Point Park.
This area is a growing regional employment center and serves as an economic engine for the Bronx. Current and planned developments in the area include more than one million square feet of office space; more than 700,000 square feet of planned regional retail and a proposed commuter rail station.
While the economic development is beneficial for the area, the additional auto-based trips have created traffic circulation and wayfinding problems in the street network, much of which includes lower density residential neighborhoods. Access to and from the highway is also becoming more congested, and safety issues are a concern.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the transportation needs along and surrounding the Hutchinson River Parkway corridor with the goal of improving existing conditions and developing longer-term recommendations for improvements as the area continues to grow.
The study had the following objectives:
A project kickoff meeting took place at the office of Bronx Community Board 10 on April 29th, 2013 to present the transportation study to members of the steering committee. The role of the steering committee was to provide overall leadership and guidance for prioritizing needs and developing a long term plan for the corridor. Its members are comprised of stakeholders of the communities that surround the Hutchinson River Parkway in the Bronx.
The stakeholders include:
The following main improvements have been recommended in this study, several of which are long-term recommendations:
North of East Tremont Avenue
South of East Tremont Avenue
In addition, shorter term, safety improvements and easily implementable recommendations related to pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles were developed for 11 specific locations in the study area. They include treatments such as signal timing modifications, intersection striping, geometry reconfiguration, and signage.
In response to the requests and concerns of the community and steering committee members, who have been involved throughout the process, we have met with the relevant government agencies to discuss the long-term recommendations that fall under their jurisdictions to determine the feasibility of the proposals. Based on these discussions, it was determined that a more comprehensive and detailed transportation analysis of the study area was necessary for two long-term recommendations presented in this study: improving access to the Hutch Metro Center, and improving access and mobility at the approach of the Bruckner Interchange and along Brush Avenue.
The comprehensive transportation planning study for these improvements is to be done with the involvement of many different agencies and the community boards, including New York City Department of Transportation, New York State Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, New York City Police Department, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, New York City Department of Environmental Protection, Community Boards 10 and 11 and local elected officials.