On January 23, 2023, NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez joined MTA President Richard Davey, elected officials and transportation advocates to celebrate the completion of transit improvements around the Pelham Bay Park station in the Bronx. The Pelham Bay Park station is the terminal stop for the 6 train in the northeast Bronx. Outside the station, commuters can transfer to the Bx12 Select Bus, and five other transit lines. The area serves as an important transfer point for residents in Co-Op City, City Island, and Pelham Bay. The bus routes around the station served 64,000 riders prior to the pandemic.
The improvements include an expansion of the sidewalk at the new eastbound Bx12 Select Bus stop on the south side of Westchester Avenue and a new bus lane along Wilkinson Avenue. Previously, Co-Op City-bound Bx12 buses needed to do a loop around the station to eventually head eastward, but the new arrangement of the area eliminates the loop and saves on travel time. In addition, moving the eastbound stop provides more clarity for travelers, as previously both the eastbound and westbound stops were on the same side of the street, confusing travelers. The Select Bus fare machines have also been relocated for the eastbound stop.
Additionally, new crosswalks were installed on Westchester and Burr Avenues, and new stop signs were installed on Westchester Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard North. The changes also benefit westbound traffic flow on Westchester Avenue approaching Burr Avenue.
DOT Commissioner Rodriguez stated, “When we all look at and judge the impact of bus projects, we sometimes mistakenly put the quantity of miles over quality of the project itself. DOT’s work at Pelham Bay Park, done in conjunction with our partners at the MTA, may be only one-tenth of a mile, but the impact for thousands of riders will be gigantic. Easing bus-subway transfers like this makes bus riding faster and more seamless — one of the ways that we can and will deliver on the equity improvements that Mayor Adams has charged us to deliver for the everyday New Yorkers who rely on buses.”
Council Member Marjorie Velazquez, who represents Pelham Bay, stated, “Pelham Bay Park Station serves thousands of customers each day, and by enhancing travel operations, we are saving time for everyone. The station has been long-overdue for enhancements and sidewalk repairs, and it’s time that we deliver for our community. My hope is that with these improvements, we will see increased ridership and safer commuting.”
Renae Reynolds, Executive Director of Tri-State Transportation, stated, “This project is a perfect example of how we can reimagine existing streetspace, at low cost, for more space-efficient uses and improved quality of life. With just paint and curbs, this bus-only lane saves significant time for thousands of riders on the busiest bus route in the Bronx, and the new crosswalks, wider sidewalks, and medians improve safety and accessibility for people visiting both the station and the park. We hope to continue to see equitable and environmentally friendly projects like this, which also protect our city’s most vulnerable users.”
By: Veronica Rose (Veronica is the CityLaw fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2018.)