The Bronx has only four neighborhood loading zones in three neighborhoods. That number would nearly double if the city’s transportation department proposal to add two such zones in Marble Hill is approved. They would be the first in the northwest Bronx.
The city’s neighborhood loading zone program aims to enhance safety and reduce double parking, particularly on congested corridors and narrow streets. The Bronx has the least number of such loading zones.
The city’s transportation department has chosen West 225th Street between Adrian Avenue and Jacobus Place and Marble Hill Avenue between West 225 and Fort Charles Place as the loading zones because of the increase in double-parking there.
During a Community Board 7 meeting last spring, the agency proposed a similar improvement to Gun Hill Road along with lane reductions to its streets. At the time, these locations for the zones were among 142 throughout the city. There are plans for even more throughout the five boroughs, according to officials.
“This isn’t just for businesses, this is also for any sort of pick-up and drop-off service and the local UPS truck, FedEx truck,” said Darisa Cruz the senior planner at the transportation departments Bronx borough commissioner’s office. “It’s a place for them to load to try to mitigate a lot of the double parking.”
The safe haven for neighborhood deliveries and safe pick up and drop offs will remove two parking spaces in each location.
The proposal does not sit well with Marble Hill resident Chris Calhoun.
Calhoun said the location on West 225th between Adrian Ave and Jacobus Place is a mistake. Parking in this location is a premium. Like other locations in the northwest Bronx, he assured it couldn’t lose any more spaces.
“Hydrants are blocked, people are parked in crosswalks,” Calhoun said. “I mean, there’s no place to go anymore (when parking overnight).”
However, the loading zone will only be in effect during daytime hours. Night parking will be restored. The predicted signage regulation will be no parking Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Calhoun also pointed out the Marble Hill locations already have a no-parking zone for a church. However, the church on 160 W. 225th St. no longer exists.
“The whole building (church) was torn down. You got a clear shot of the Promenade apartments now and that’s where they want to put this loading zone.”
Jodie Colon, a Friends of Spuyten Duyvil co-founder, claimed that the purchased property will be used for a future church.
However, according to zoning and land use maps, this specific land is owned by a trust. The land is for one- and two-family dwellings.
Yet, data shows there are no current construction contracts for the lot.
Deb Travis, former CB8 traffic and transportation committee chair, suggested that parking should be restored if the church is no longer active.
The transportation department will look into the no parking zone signs before implementing the new ones.
The loading zone proposal came in under local law 2021/168, which was approved in 2021 by the city council and was adopted as a city charter rule after the mayor at the time rejected it.
It requires the transportation department for the first three years to report the progress of its implementation of loading zones city-wide, Cruz said.
“The locations were selected based on what we found (were) double parking violation concerns,” Cruz said.
“We also looked at street density, crash data, we looked at street geometry. But we are looking to see if the community has any feedback on any locations.”
The law requires the agency to create a methodology and criteria to determine where loading zones should be placed to ensure safety and reduce traffic congestion.
Vittorio Bugatti suggested West 230th and Broadway going toward Riverdale Avenue as a location to be chosen for the program.
He claimed there are multiple mail trucks that regularly double park while delivering packages.
“We’ve had this problem for a while and it creates back-up particularly if you’re coming off of the Deegan (Expressway),” he said.
There have been eight crashes within these two vicinities in the past five years, with 10 injuries, according to crashmapper.org.