Pedestrians, residents, and cyclists in the Pelham Garden section of the Bronx will have safer streets this summer as a result of a new NYCDOT design. After two senior citizens were killed in traffic incidents and three people suffered serious injuries, the DOT conducted a study of busy sections of Allerton Ave. and Eastchester Road in the East Bronx.
The study concluded that 55% of vehicles were speeding along this mixed residential and light commercial stretch. According to a TSTC analysis, people aged 65 years and older comprised 28.6% of Bronx pedestrians killed from 2005-2007, though they made up only 9.9% of the population. Those 75 years and older accounted for 4.7% of the total population, but 15.9% of pedestrian fatalities.
The new design for Allerton cuts down on traffic lanes to accommodate a new bike lane in each direction, and includes a new 10 foot center median with left turn bays and pedestrian refuge islands. Existing parking spaces and bus stops will remain intact. On Eastchester, sidewalk extensions will shorten crossing distance. These measures will both reduce speeding and maintain a smooth traffic flow, according to NYCDOT.
The addition of bike lanes and pedestrian improvements is welcome news for this dense area, which is close to the 2 and 5 subway lines, the Bx12 Select Bus Service, and attractions such as the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Gardens, and institutions like Fordham University. 61.6% of Bronx households do not own cars, more than any downstate county outside of Manhattan.