Bronx CB 4 Wants the Grand Concourse to Work for Walking, Biking, Transit

Bronx Community Board 4 has endorsed a proposal to make the Grand Concourse a complete street.

Traffic collisions have injured more than 1,000 people, and killed 13, on the Concourse in the last four years, according to city data. The Transportation Alternatives “Complete the Concourse” campaign calls on the city to install protected bike lanes, dedicated bus lanes, and improvements to crosswalks and sidewalks along the entire street.

The TA campaign has the backing of City Council members Vanessa Gibson, Fernando Cabrera, Ritchie Torres, Rafael Salamanca, and Andrew Cohen. Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito has urged DOT to study protected bike lanes for the southernmost segment of the Concourse, which she represents, but has not endorsed the whole Complete the Concourse campaign.

The CB 4 resolution, approved last night, supports protected bike lanes, dedicated bus lanes, and pedestrian islands, according to TA Bronx Organizer Erwin Figueroa. CB 4 covers the Concourse between the Cross-Bronx Expressway and E. 149th Street, which includes nearly all of the blocks that currently have no bike lanes at all.

Much of CB 4’s two-mile segment of the Concourse is represented by Mark-Viverito. Gibson, Cabrera, Torres, and Salamanca also represent pieces of the Concourse within CB 4.

“We’ve pretty much enlisted the support of all the elected officials along the Concourse, so the next step is the community boards,” Figueroa told Streetsblog.

Three other community boards represent neighborhoods that the Concourse runs through. TA expects a CB 7 committee vote in December, and plans to make presentations to CB 5 and CB 1 in the next couple of months, Figueroa said.

The Grand Concourse is one the de Blasio administration’s designated “Vision Zero Great Streets” projects and is slated for capital improvements and safety upgrades.

But while DOT has shown designs for safer bike lanes on some segments of the Concourse, the agency has not committed to making it a complete street with protected bike lanes and bus lanes from end to end.

In addition, the city’s capital construction process, overseen by the Department of Design and Construction, is extremely slow and threatens to drag out any improvements to the Concourse over several years — unless the mayor personally applies pressure to speed things up.

You can add your name to the TA Grand Concourse campaign here.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Streetsblog will resume publishing Monday.