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Bronx’s Grand Concourse Will Be Pedestrian Friendly After A $164M Renovation

The City is already working on the second phase of a five-part improvement program for Grand Concourse, from East 161st St. to East 198th St.

By Nagidmy Marquez June 1, 2017
East Fordham Road and the Grand Concourse in the 1940s. Credit: amNewYork

Get ready to enjoy a nice walk all the way through Grand Concourse. This past Thursday, City officials confirmed that the legendary Bronx street will see more pedestrian-friendly projects. It has been named a Vision Zero priority corridor because of how many crashes have happened on it in the past. The once called “Boulevard of Dreams” will continue its transformation.

According to the Daily News, the Grand Concourse —for some, the Champs Élysées of Manhattan—will be even greater. The City is already working on the second phase of a five-part improvement program. The de Blasio Administration has committed to making the DOT design changesa permanent part of a $164 million capital plan investment currently being undertaken by the Department of Design and Construction (DDC). The goal: to reconstruct and beautify this important Bronx boulevard for a total of 3.5 miles from East 161st Street to East 198th Street. What does this mean? Well, more places to see, bigger crosswalks and lots lots of trees—hopefully.

Related: Over $3 Billion Was Invested In Bronx Development Projects Last Year

It is not a secret that for years Grand Concourse in the Bronx has been an overwhelming pedestrian and bicycle environment. Thus, the need to continue improving and making this five-mile-long city street a safe and enjoyable experience. This requires local and city programs that can provide New Yorkers with the necessary tools to fully experience the wonders of this famed Bronx thoroughfare.

A very important initiative that has made Grand Concourse a more pedestrian friendly area —it’s not quite to its full potential yet— has been the implementation of the “Vision Zero” safe streets program in New York City. The Daily news reports, this June will mark more than two years without any street deaths — down from an all-time high of 15 deaths in 1992.

Credit: Sara Krulwich/The New York Times

Related: A Huge Development Complex Will Transform The South Bronx Waterfront

In 2015, the Department of Transportation (DOT) began a major street redesign that shortened pedestrian crossings, added more pedestrian refuges, and calmed traffic in Grand Concourse. In addition, the DOT also lowered the street’s speed limit to 25 MPH and installed speed cameras in school zones. These changes have successfully reduced speeding within school zones by 70 percent.

DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said the safety fixes made as part of the city’s Vision Zero safe streets program caused a 40% drop in crashes and no fatalities along Grand Concourse in at least two years.

The future of Grand Concourse looks promising with the five phases of this program that is sponsored by the city of New York.

Nagidmy Marquez

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nagidmy Marquez

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nagidmy Marquez

Nagidmy is a global communications strategist with more than 15 years of experience in the creation, curation and implementation of strategic content and integrated communications practices. She has worked across different regions and cultures of the world including: United States, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East. She is a Mafalda and Don Quixote lover.

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