In an effort to tackle any negative perceptions of the Cross Bronx Expressway and promote residents’ health and well being, the city planning department has announced several public walking tours along the highway.
DCP director Dan Garodnick announced the “walkshops” on Tuesday, Aug. 22. He was joined by the city’s transportation and health and mental hygiene departments as well as the state transportation department and several electeds.
“For too long, the Cross Bronx Expressway has been a destructive divider of communities,” Garodnick said. “These walkshops will give New Yorkers an opportunity to witness and speak to the on-the-ground conditions and harmful impacts the Cross Bronx Expressway has on those who live and work nearby.”
U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres encouraged New York residents to participate.
“For decades, people in the Bronx have been suffering from elevated levels of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions because of the intentional decision to divide our community with the construction of the Cross Bronx Expressway,” Torres said in a news release. “Now, as we work collectively to reimagine the future of the expressway and reconnect our community, the public has a unique opportunity to look at current conditions up close and in person.”
State Sen. Robert Jackson said the tours offer the opportunity to foster unity “among fragmented communities.” U.S. Rep. Adriano Espaillat said they present an opportunity to reimagine the future of the expressway.
“As we work to reconnect communities that have been divided and create a healthier Bronx, these ‘walkshops’ are an amazing opportunity for Bronxites to share their vision for the future of the Cross Bronx while spending time in their neighborhoods and connecting with others,” Espaillat said in a release.
The “walkshops” are scheduled for September and October in several Bronx neighborhoods.
State Sen. Gustavo Rivera has joined the long list of people who have shared their disapproval over the Adams administration’s proposal to bring a temporary 34,000-seat cricket stadium at Van Cortlandt Park.
The proposed venue would result in parts of the park being closed for up to six months in construction alone. In addition, environmental activists have shared concerns about the impact the construction and venue could have on local wildlife, such as the sensitive birding area.
“While I understand the appeal of bringing a major sporting event to our borough and the economic impact it could potentially have on our surrounding community,” Rivera said in a statement, “authorities in charge of executing this ambitious project had a responsibility to engage all stakeholders, including the local community board, in its planning and execution in order to identify solutions to the project’s most disruptive aspects.”
Because of the logistical hurdles associated with the project, Rivera says he cannot in good faith support it. He is far from alone in his disapproval, as 29 groups and 144 individuals signed an open letter sharing their concerns on Aug. 19. Councilman Eric Dinowitz and Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz have also spoken out against the project.