A good transportation network is critical for strengthening the economy and reducing pollution. Borough President Diaz Jr. is working to create new transportation options; upgrade subways, roads and bridges; and enhance public plazas. These initiatives will improve travel time in and out of The Bronx and also produce more environmentally sustainable methods of transportation.
Increasing Public Transportation
Creating New Metro North Stations
New Metro-North Railroad service between Co-Op City, Parkchester and Hunts Point in the Bronx and Penn Station is Borough President Diaz Jr.’s highest mass transportation priority. These stations, with a combined ridership base of over 250,000 Bronxites, would also afford reverse commuting opportunities to employment centers in Westchester and Lower Fairfield counties. Railroad service to Co-Op City, Parkchester and Hunts Point has been endorsed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and MTA Chair Elliot Sander in the context of PLANNYC 2030.
The Borough President's Office championed efforts to fund $94 million for the creation of the new Yankee Stadium Station, which will open in 2009 to serve Yankee fans and the surrounding community year round. The Borough President’s staff actively participated in selecting artwork pursuant to the MTA’s Arts for Transit Program in conjunction with the construction of this station.
Repairing Subway Stops
With the support of the Borough President's Office, most elevated Bronx subway station platforms and mezzanines have been rebuilt. Reconstructed subway stations are now cleaner and safer but still lack sufficient handicap access. Subterranean station reconstruction remains a top priority of the Borough President. In conjunction with this effort improvement of handicap access is needed, especially on the D line at Fordham Road and the 2, 4 and 5 lines at 149th Street/Grand Concourse.
Introducing Select Bus Service
The Borough President's Office has worked to bring Select Bus Service between West 207th Street in Manhattan and Co-Op City. This new service, begun in June 2008, provides express bus service on Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway with reduced travel time for riders.
Improving Bridges & Roads
Improving Roads, Parkways & Bridges
The Borough President's Office has guided to completion the installation of the redesigned Grand Concourse from 161st to 166th Street, originally initiated by the Bronx Borough President in the 1990’s with support from Congressman Jose Serrano. The Borough President's Office continues to seek funding to continue the new design north of 166th Street. Simultaneous to the Grand Concourse reconstruction, the Borough President’s Office initiated the transformation of Lou Gehrig Plaza on 161st Street from a parking lot into an inviting public space.
Another critical reconstruction project promoted by the Borough President is Pelham Parkway. The scope of this project includes installation of resurfaced roadways, curbs and curb cuts, and improved drainage to minimize ponding and erosion of parkland.
With the support of the Borough President's Office,, all Harlem River bridges connecting the Bronx with Manhattan are being either replaced or restored. In 2009, construction will begin on a new and dramatic cable stay bridge to replace the deteriorating old City Island Bridge. To the Borough President’s regret, the NYC Department of Transportation has delayed the construction of the E. 153rd Street Bridge between the Grand Concourse and Morris Avenue. Construction of this bridge remains an urgent priority of the Borough President and Community Board 4, to establish an east-west route for an already heavily congested section of the Bronx which is experiencing major new development.
Creating New Public Plazas
Public Plazas provide locations for people to gather and relax, and improve streetscapes. The Borough President's Office has collaborated on and funded new plazas at the Parkchester Malls, E. 149th Street (Roberto Clemente Plaza) in the Hub, Bryan Park on Fordham and Kingsbridge Roads, and University Avenue in the University Heights community. Bronx’s premier shopping district on Fordham Road, the Borough President's Office funded the local match for the BID’s first major streetscape enhancement project, the installation of decorative street lighting.
Meeting the Needs of the Future
Improving Interstate Highways
Plans are in formation to redesign and reconstruct all the major interstate highways serving the Bronx by the year 2030. These efforts seek to increase vehicular capacity, reduce congestion by eliminating traffic weaving and sharp curves, and improve access to business centers across the borough. Borough President Diaz Jr., in partnership with community groups, is overseeing these designs to ensure that benefits to Bronx neighborhoods are maximized.
Developing Light Rail Service
Light Rail Transit systems can help reduce congestion and pollution. Such systems are less expensive to construct than conventional railroads and subways. The Borough President's Office has proposed consideration of Light Rail Transit along the Cross Bronx Expressway corridor, between Manhattan and Queens.