City Planning Announces “Walkshop” Walking Tours Along Cross Bronx Expressway

The Cross-Bronx Expressway. Image Credit: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office.

On August 22, 2023, the Department of City Planning announced a series of “walkshops” along the Cross Bronx Expressway to discuss the city’s ongoing efforts to address negative impacts of the expressway on the health of local residents. The tours will be in collaboration with the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and both the city and state Departments of Transportation. Members of the public will have the opportunity to see existing conditions of the expressway and contribute to finding solutions for better health outcomes for their communities.

The tours will take place on Saturdays at 10 AM in September and October and will be conducted with members of city agencies, elected officials, and community organizers. Each tour will examine a different part of the expressway. The first tour on September 9 will start at Bridge Playground and go to where the expressway meets Jerome Avenue, examining the west Bronx neighborhoods of Morris Heights, Highbridge, and Mt. Eden.

On September 23, the tour will start at Prospect Playground and finish at Webster Avenue. The tour will walk over a covered portion and walk under and elevated portion of the expressway. The tour will explore the central Bronx neighborhoods of Crotona and Claremont.

On October 7, the tour will start at High J. Grant Circle and finish at Devoe Avenue. The tour will walk near Noble Playground and the Bronx River intersection, and explore the east Bronx neighborhoods of Parkchester and Unionport.

On October 14, the Department of City Planning will host three simultaneous events, including a bicycle tour starting near Bridge Playground, a Spanish-language tour starting near East 174th Street and Webster Avenue, and an event for people with limited mobility at Prospect Playground.

To RSVP for any of these events, click here.

The walking tours are a latest step in the city’s efforts to work with community members on how to improve the Cross Bronx Expressway. In December 2022, the city announced the start of a community-driven study to improve the Cross Bronx Expressway. Constructed in the 1950s and 60s, the expressway cut through neighborhoods across the Bronx, disrupting communities, displacing residents, and creating noise and air pollution that have had serious ongoing health impacts to local residents. Residents who live along the Cross Bronx Expressway experience higher rates of asthma and other conditions including diabetes and high blood pressure. City and state agencies recieved a $2 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct this community-driven study to improve health outcomes for local residents along the expressway. For CityLand‘s prior coverage, click here. This past spring, city agencies held community engagement events to help identify issues.

Dan Garodnick, Department of City Planning Director and Chair of the City Planning Commission stated, “For too long, the Cross Bronx Expressway has been a destructive divider of communities. These walkshops will give New Yorkers an opportunity to witness and speak to the on-the-ground conditions and harmful impacts the Cross Bronx Expressway has on those who live and work nearby. I encourage everyone to join us for these tours and get involved in planning for a healthier, cleaner, and safer future for the Bronx.”

U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres stated, “For decades, people in the Bronx have been suffering from elevated levels of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions because of the intentional decision to divide our community with the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway. Now, as we work collectively to reimagine the future of the expressway and reconnect our community, the public has a unique opportunity to look at current conditions up close and in person. I encourage all New Yorkers to participate in an upcoming walkshop to see for themselves the determinantal ways in which the expressway uniquely affects our community and join us in being part of the solution as we work to address this public health and environmental injustice.”

By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the Editor of CityLand and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)



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