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Bronx's Sheridan Expressway at Crossroads?

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Sheridan at crossroads: Local advocates want expressway closed, but DOT warns of traffic snafus

BY Daniel Beekman NY Daily News

 

Tuesday, July 20th 2010

 

 

The Sheridan Expressway could become a road to nowhere.

 

Local advocates want to see the stubby expressway razed to make way for parks and housing, while Sheridan supporters say the spur is needed for truck traffic.

 

But with no funded proposal for development where it now stands, the expressway would be a white elephant if closed to traffic, according to state officials.

 

Closing it would also push traffic onto local roads, the Transportation Department warned at a community meeting last week.

 

Members of the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance labeled the state's Hunts Point access study flawed - and a ruse.

 

They want the agency to weigh the benefits of possible development versus traffic issues.

 

"When you look at only traffic impacts, there's only one answer," conceded Joan Byron of the Pratt Center for Community Development. "But we want a study that balances traffic impacts with other benefits."

 

Closure advocates also argued no one will fund development proposals while the spur stands.

 

Commissioned by mid-century master builder Robert Moses, the highway links the Cross Bronx Expressway to Bruckner Blvd. near Hunts Point.

 

A Transportation Department report found closing it would send thousands more vehicles down local roads, including trucks headed to the Hunts Point Terminal Market.

 

The traffic headache and backlash from Hunts Point businesses could persuade the agency to keep the mile-long spur.

 

The Transportation Department now studying three Sheridan options:

 

Close the expressway and add new ramps from the Bruckner to Hunts Point.

Keep the Sheridan, add the ramps and build a better Sheridan-Bruckner interchange.

Keep the Sheridan and build nothing.

The agency will next review how each option could affect the environment, and will issue a final decision in 2012.

 

Alliance advocates argue the Sheridan should be bulldozed to open 28 acres on the Bronx River for housing and a greenway.

 

"Our neighborhood is landlocked between three highways," said Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice's Julien Terrell.

 

Truckers and businesses depend on the spur, said Josephine Infante, executive director of the Hunts Point Economic Development Corp. The proposed ramps would not fully compensate.

 

Jaime Rivera of the environmental group For a Better Bronx says the Alliance greenway plan makes sense.

 

But his dad is a truck driver, and Rivera said he knows a Sheridan teardown would cause backups on the Major Deegan Expressway.

 

"The truck drivers and Hunts Point would go bananas," he said."

 

 

 

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/bronx/2010/07/20/2010-07-20_untitled__b20road.html#ixzz0uEvhlQWh

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