BRONX, NY — In response to indications from NYC Department of Transportation that the proposed Riverdale Avenue road diet will proceed, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz has issued the following statement:
"For years, the NYC Department of Transportation has been talking about implementing a “road diet” on Riverdale Avenue between West 254th Street and the City line. It is very disappointing that DOT appears on the verge of moving ahead this summer with this ill-advised project. I do not believe the road diet will make Riverdale Avenue safer, and in fact I believe it will make Riverdale Avenue more dangerous for pedestrians and drivers alike.
"Riverdale Avenue is a major thoroughfare connecting Yonkers with New York City. It is one of only two access points along the western part of Yonkers and the Bronx, along with Broadway. It has at least five bus routes (Bx7, Bx10, BxM1, BxM2, and BxM18) as well as Metro-North RailLink buses. There is always going to be a substantial amount of traffic volume on this corridor, no matter how many travel lanes there are.
"I have advocated for years for the installation of left turn signals for northbound traffic and West 256th Street and at West 259th Street. Those requests seem to have fallen on deaf ears, which I find extremely disappointing because I think the installation of turn signals would have much more significant impacts on traffic safety than removing one travel lane in each direction and installing a multi-directional center turn lane. There are multiple schools along this stretch of Riverdale Avenue, including PS81, which often leads to chronic double-parking behavior during school arrival and dismissal times. I am extremely concerned that reducing the number of travel lanes from two to one in each direction will result in drivers veering into the oncoming lane of traffic to go around improperly parked cars, behavior which is obviously not allowed but it happens all over the city regardless.
"In my opinion, the road diet plan is part of a cookie cutter approach from ideologues at DOT who are more concerned with getting what they want instead of actually identifying solutions that will make our roads safer.
"Hundreds of community residents turned out at meetings of Community Board 8, voicing strong opposition to this plan. Hundreds! But DOT seems to be ignoring this very real opposition, and the lack of authentic engagement with our community is an insult to all of us. I would have hoped for much better. DOT should be working for the community, not against us."