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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Can Kingsbridge handle increased traffic?

By Tanisia Morris
Posted
Marisol Díaz/The Riverdale Press
The Broadway Plaza Mall on Broadway near West 230th Street expects to be fully open within the next few weeks.

As stores at two new malls on Broadway begin to open for business, residents fear they will bring major traffic problems.  

“It’ll be a mess. Nobody is going to be at work on time,” said Marble Hill resident Elizabeth Grant, 65. “They’re probably going to re-route the buses.”

Broadway Plaza, a $66.5 million multi-level shopping center which will include a Sports Authority, TJ Maxx and Aldi supermarket, is just off exit 10 of the Major Deegan Expressway. Shoppers will be able to access the mall at Broadway and West 230th Street via the 1 Train and buses including the Bx9, Bx7, Bx20, Bx1, Bx10 and Bx2. There are no known plans to reroute those lines.

Outgoing Community Board 8 Transportation Committee Chairman Dan Padernacht said the use of public transportation might mitigate the effects of traffic congestion. 

But not everybody is looking forward to the influx of people and vehicles that the 130,000-square-foot mall is poised to bring to an already densely populated area. 

During public discussions about Broadway Plaza in 2012, residents expressed concerns about a loading dock on West 230th Street. 

“It was the developer’s plan that the trucks would back up into the mall on 230th Street,” said Mr. Padernacht. “In order to do that, they’re going to have to essentially block a couple of lanes. In addition, you’re going to have a greater amount of drivers coming into the area to shop on a street, which is already congested and gets backed up frequently when the buses stop on Broadway.”

According to a spokesperson for the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), Equity One, the mall’s developer, agreed to conduct a signal warrant analysis on Broadway and Verveelen Place when the development is fully built and occupied. The analysis will determine if a new traffic signal is needed. 

“Additionally, the developer will conduct a validation study of operations on Broadway and Verveelen Place once the development is fully built and occupied to study and survey the actual conditions of vehicular activity on Verveelen Place,” the spokesperson said. 

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