Winter 1999-2000, p.11

West Bronx Nabe Speaks Out Against Traffic

Too much, too fast: children negotiate around a car stopped in the crosswalk.One hundred and fifty people gathered in the auditorium of PS 279 in The West Bronx to call for more traffic calming around schools and on neighborhood streets as part of Councilmember Adolfo Carrion's Traffic Safety Summit. Residents, parents and principals lined up at the microphone to make impassioned appeals for safer streets. The panel of invited guest speakers included representatives from the four police precincts in the 14th City Council District; Ellen Cavanagh, Program Coordinator for T.A.'s Safe Routes to School Program; and The Bronx Division DOT Commissioner, James Kilkenny. At the close of the meeting, Councilmember Carrion announced that he intends to hire a consultant to work with his office and the DOT to develop a district-wide traffic calming plan.

The gathering represented a tremendous show of community interest in pedestrian safety and the impact of traffic on neighborhood quality of life. Though the mostly working class and low income council district has half the number of the average yearly fatalities per council district, traffic has emerged as a primary concern for residents in the past several years. Several community groups have taken up the issue, and residents are adamant about converting their roadways to safe and livable streets for everyone. After hearing the same complaints from residents across his district about speeding, through-traffic and dangerous crossings, Councilmember Carrion has promised to address their common concerns in a comprehensive way.

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