SEE IT: Cop-Motorist Mayhem on Fordham Road in the Bronx
What a citizen video tells us about traffic on a notoriously dangerous street.
What a mess! And we’re not only talking about the cop-perp mayhem, either.
Check out this viral video that surfaced on Twitter Thursday showing a wild police chase on Fordham Road in the Bronx – footage that highlights the dangerous conditions and general unlivability of one of the borough’s crucial transit thruways.
The video shows a melee among motorists and cops on the infamously bollixed street, which advocates have argued for years should be a car-free busway. The video, shot by a passerby and posted by WABC-Radio reporter Lidia Curanaj, shows officers emerging from a dark-colored car and giving chase to the driver of a lime-green sports car, who tries to evade them by going the wrong way down the street, ramming other cars and driving on the sidewalk to extricate himself from wall-to-wall traffic. Another officer in plain clothes, who arrives on a Citi Bike (um, what’s up with THAT?!), drew a gun as he joined in the chase. The footage ends before we see whether the cops apprehended the marauder.
“Yo, they wildin’ out here!” exclaimed the unidentified man who shot the two-minute video, as the driver of the green sports car attempted to get away by bashing the cars of other motorists and pulling onto the sidewalk in front of an Old Navy. “Holy shit!…What? You’re fuckin’ kidding me!”
— Lidia Curanaj (@LidiaNews) August 5, 2021
Besides showing the driver’s mad rampage, the video illustrates what are typical — and horrendous and unsafe — traffic conditions on an important street. True, a police chase of a perp isn’t an everyday occurrence, but the insane gridlock is.
Fordham Road, an arterial, is one of the most poorly designed roads in New York City, with other streets and avenues dumping into its six lanes from both sides at a confusing concatenations of angles. The incident happened west of Webster Avenue and Fordham Plaza at Marion Avenue, at the heart of the Fordham shopping district, the city’s third-largest, where more than 300 stores attract more than 80,000 pedestrians, most arriving by transit, daily.
The Bx12 local and SBS routes on Fordham Road, which run between Inwood in the Manhattan and Pelham Park in the East Bronx, carried 13.7 million passengers in 2018 — making it the Bronx’s busiest bus line and the second-most-used in the city. Attempts to tame traffic on the street by painting a dedicated bus lane have failed; motorists and micromobility users routinely invade the lane — as the video shows. Buses along the route crawl at an average speed of 5.4 miles per hour during peak hours — 2.5 miles per hour below the city average.
In fact, transit advocates rallied at Fordham Plaza on Wednesday in order to urge Mayor de Blasio to fulfill his promises on Bronx bus routes. The de Blasio administration has been promising changes since taking office in 2014. Recently, the Department of Transportation said it is considering a busway on Fordham Road but is awaiting “community consensus” before moving forward.
Fordham Road also is a death trap, with crashes claiming the lives of four pedestrians and one motorist and injuring 1,726 in the five years from July 2016 through July 2021, according to crashmapper.org. The Fordham corridor had 4,866 crashes during that period, an average of almost three a day.
(In fact, the cops didn’t get the driver of the green car — who, they say, struck seven vehicles and caused 11 minor injuries among those motorists — and they’re asking for help from the public. Call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-8477 or submit tips at NYPDCrimestoppers.com or on Twitter @NYPDTips. There have been no arrests and the investigation of the incident, which happened on Wednesday at about 5:05 p.m., remains ongoing.)
This article has been updated to reflect information from the NYPD.