The value of real estate, it is said, is that they’re not making any more of it. But opening more properties to development is exactly what’s behind Governor Cuomo’s proposal to replace the Bronx’s Sheridan Expressway with a tree lined boulevard, pedestrian bridge, and bikeway (Governor Cuomo Announcement) The initial phase of this project will begin the week of September 23rd.
Since this is New York State and commerce comes last in New York State, the Sheridan Expressway boulevard conversion will take place before the construction of dedicated ramps to Edgewater Road from southbound Sheridan Boulevard. There will also be ramps from both directions of Bruckner Expressway. These ramps are necessary for providing direct access to the Hunts Point Market. Hunt’s Point is an economic powerhouse contributing around $2 billion annually in economic activity, with 13,000 trucks traveling through daily. Now those trucks will be forced to traverse a boulevard with less lanes, reduced speeds, more pedestrians, and cyclists. The logistical quagmire that existed before will be exacerbated with increased safety risks for all road users.
As trucks are forced onto the boulevard for the time being some things to be aware of:
- The speed limit is 25 miles per hour. It is unlikely that a vehicle will be able to go much faster than that, but it may be an adjustment to some.
- Avoid the local streets. Expect to see “Off Truck Route” ticket blitzes on local streets until the ramps are done.
- Don’t listen to the pollution lies. Anti-truck advocates love blaming trucks for pollution and various health problems but by NYC DOT’s estimates trucks only account for 10% of emissions, a bargain considering they move 90% of freight. Another study from a group called One NYC put truck emissions closer to 4%. Not to mention the fact that many Hunt’s Point fleets are at the forefront of using “green” vehicles.
If the State wants to create a boulevard in place of an expressway, this is an excellent opportunity to create real infrastructure that will benefit ALL stakeholders. Creating overnight truck parking would allow trucks to get an early start on Hunt’s Point, reducing congestion. Considering how much of this area is facilitated by out-of-state carriers, the Bruckner is a prime area to allow access to trucks with industry standard size and weight. Perhaps permitting larger trucks will encourage fewer trips into the area. This would lower congestion and such vehicles could be banned from the new boulevard to appease community concerns.
It is nice that the State is opening park and green space for the community and we sincerely hope they enjoy it (until gentrification prices out current residents). It is just ridiculous that this project is going ahead BEFORE the vital Hunt’s Point accommodations. This is the kind of short sightedness that makes New York a difficult place for businesses to thrive.