Section of the Cross Bronx Expressway/Emily Nadal

Noise, air pollution and lack of access to parks topped the list of complaints from several dozen Bronxites in a Parkchester school on Tuesday, to discuss ways to make the Cross Bronx Expressway less of a burden for the borough. 

The residents were joined by representatives from the city’s transportation and health departments at the Bronx School of Leaders on W. Tremont Avenue, for the third in a series of public forums organized by the city. Bronxites are being asked to provide input in proposing remedies for conditions caused by the notoriously congested six-and-a-half mile highway, which extends from the Harlem River north to Westchester.Kenismael Santiago-Pagan, an urban designer who is working with the city to help identify key themes in the public meetings, said he hopes to “engage in conversations about missing connections, air quality, and health issues that affect the Bronx.” 

At the workshops, the groups are divided into six “issue” stations, tables at which residents and agency representatives discuss the problems and potential solutions. 

Attendees pored over glossy photographs and high resolution maps, pointing out dangerous and problematic points in the vicinity of the highway. 

“I came to this info session to find out what’s going to happen with the Cross Bronx expressway,” said resident Lugi Santana, who sat at the Air Quality table. “We need more public transportation and more green spaces. The neighborhood is separated by this highway, and we need to see how it can be united.” 

Residents were asked to draw out their routes to work and school, using stickers and markers to pinpoint the worst problem areas. Daniel Roberts, a Hunts Point resident who learned about the workshop on Facebook and saw it as an opportunity to help his community, said essential infrastructure is missing.

“There needs to be better lighting,” said Roberts. “It’s a giant highway and when I am walking across, it is very dark.”

“The pedestrian walkways on the Cross Bronx Expressway are filled with trash,” added Christopher Almonte, whose bedroom overlooks the six-lane highway. “I always worry that it will fall on the road and cause accidents.” 

Almonte continued over to table #2, named Getting Around, where residents and transportation department staff discussed other transportation needs. 

“There is no connection between east and west in the Bronx, ” Almonte said, adding that discriminatory planning practices have caused that. “I can be in Manhattan in 30 minutes but I cannot go east to west in the Bronx easily.”  

One idea that has been floated to lessen the effects of the expressway has included capping it and covering it with green spaces.

The last of the Cross Bronx revisioning workshops will take place next Tuesday, June 26, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Public School 106 or online July 12th. To RSVP for in-person workshops visit or call the NYC DOT Bronx Borough Commissioner’s Office at 212-748-6680. 

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