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White Plains Road redevelopment underway, bringing bike lanes and bus platforms – Bronx Times

The open roadway next to the large pillars on White Plains Road between East 226th and 241st Streets, which have served as a kind of Wild West for motorists, is currently being given a new purpose.

The street was reconstructed from Burke Avenue to East 226th Street last year, and construction is currently underway to extend the new design north.

Running under elevated subway tracks, the corridor has pillars between lanes and, which were wider than necessary, parking lanes that invite double parking and other unpredictable vehicle movements.

A graphic shows how the lanes are being redesigned. Photo courtesy of NYC DOT

The continuation of this design, designed to improve safety conditions, has been requested by the local Community Board 12 and the area has been targeted as a priority in the city’s Vision Zero initiative.

The project will bring protected bike lanes to both north and south directions, more commercial loading zones, bus boarding islands at East 228th, 236th and 239th Streets, and a new signal and pedestrian crossing at East 228th Street. Before the redesign, bus drivers had to cross in front of the ambiguous road space between the pillars and the parking lane (see photo below), but the new design introduces concrete islands for drivers to exit onto.

Pedestrians exiting the bus on White Plains Road had to cross in front of an ambiguous street space. Photo courtesy of NYC DOT

The bus boarding islands are under construction, with part of the corridor underway, according to NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) spokesman Scott Gastel. Marking is scheduled to begin later in September and there is no estimated completion date for the project yet.

Community Board 12 voted 23-0, with four abstentions, on April 28 to extend the project after the board’s Transportation and Investment Projects Committee voted April 14 by a slim 3-2 majority with members Luke Szabados, former CEO Michael , Burke and committee chairman John Isaac supported him, while members Norbert Bryan and Ted James opposed the plan.

The DOT estimates that approximately 114 parking spaces along the corridor will be lost as a result of the project.

According to the city authority, the White Plains Road corridor from East 226 Street to East 241st Street — the strip covered by the project expansion — was the scene of 325 injuries from 2015 to 2019, 76 of which involved a pedestrian. In 35% of pedestrian accidents, a vehicle failed to avoid a pedestrian crossing the road with the signal in their favor. The ambiguous open area was identified by the agency as a source of collisions, with 22% of vehicle accidents involving side wipers from vehicles entering and exiting the open area.

The safety improvements and the expansion of the bike network have proven to be priorities for CB12, an organization whose members previously had concerns about losing valuable parking spaces. Street redevelopments were not so warmly welcomed in other parts of the borough, with Community Board 8 rejecting a street diet on Riverdale Avenue and similar outrage over the now-completed street diet on Morris Park Avenue.

A DOT map of the corridor shows total injuries in yellow and serious injuries and fatalities in orange from 2015 to 2019. Map courtesy of NYC DOT

DOT road ambassadors surveyed people on White Plains Road last winter, and respondents expressed a need for bike lanes, citing e-scooter piloting in the area, the agency said. Businesses on the street have expressed a desire for more loading zones, saying double parking is a constant problem.

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