The Rehabilitation of Mosholu Parkway, Part 1

anthony_rivieccioFrom The Desk of the NWBxDems
“The Revitalization of Mosholu Parkway”
by  Anthony Rivieccio

I have lived in The North Bronx for over 36 years. There are several reasons why I have stayed this long.

Living near Mosholu Parkway is one of those reasons. Mosholu Parkway is a tree lined roadway that takes drivers from The Bronx River Parkway to The Henry Hudson Parkway.

As a 14 year old living in the South Bronx, I used to cherish the drive along the Mosholu Parkway with my parents while seated in the back seat and enjoying the scenic trees as we drove towards The New York Botanical Garden. I remember my father telling me that Mosholu Parkway was “the gateway” to The Garden.

When my mother moved into Bedford Park and, let’s say, I rediscovered my childhood. As an adult, I moved into the Mosholu area in 1991 and have been here since.

640px-Mosholu_Parkway_in_the_BronxWhile it is a federal, state & city designated highway, thousands of pedestrians have used it to take leisurely walks and to enjoy the grassy wonderland. The east/west roadway is divided into two sections, a six-lane highway flanked by two service roads  (North and South) and twelve cross streets.

Back in 2009, the Four Bronx Institutions Alliance (FBIA), a group comprised of Montefiore Medical Center, Fordham University, The New York Botanical Garden and The Bronx Zoo, presented to  then-Mayor Bloomberg a “Mosholu Parkway Revitalization Plan.”

Back then, residents learned that the FBIA plan essentially only took care of the main roads and not the local service roads.  The plan, initially estimated at $25 million, did not receive funding to get off the ground.

Mosholu1Last month, representatives from the FBIA institutions met with Community Board 7 , again.  Eight years later, they presented an updated plan. At the presentation, which again covered only the “Main Roads,” FBIA reps stressed that this is just “the start of a plan.” They also indicated that with the cost of inflation since 2009 the new cost will balloon to $50 million.

Unlike the FBIA reps, residents have long called for rehabbing the drainage system, resodding and replanting foliage on greenways, rehabilitating cross paths and pedestrian walks, repairing and replacing benches, sidewalks and curbs, and fixing service roads.

Committee Board 7 Parks Committee Chair Barbara Stronzer moved and  Community Board 7 members approved  the following motion:

“The Parks’ Committee recommends that the board send a letter to Council Members [Andrew] Cohen and [Ritchie]Torres requesting their support for the rehabilitation of Mosholu Parkway”.

But many questions remain:

What is the community laundry list for Mosholu Parkway? When will there be a community meeting?

How much will the FBIA Mosholu Parkway upgrade plan finally cost?

Are there any conflicts of interest in this transaction?

Is the proposed Webster Ave redevelopment plan, which is supported by the FBIA institutions, tied into this plan?

Can the City Council lead the way?

Will U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer help provide federal funds to help pay for the plan? Who should really pay for this upgrade? And shouldn’t the FBIA institutions make a financial investment in the project since the upgrade will benefit them?

Mosholu Parkway has been the jewel in the crown to generations of Bronxites since the 1930s. The parkway unites residents and The Four Bronx Institutions. Is there be a way for the FBIA, the City Council and Community Board 7 to appease everyone?

Next Week: the community response.

Anthony Rivieccio is a long-time northwest Bronx resident and business owner. And past president of the 204th St/Bainbridge Ave Merchant Association, Committee of 100 Democrats, former member of Community Board 7, and Founder of both the North Bronx Thinktank and the Northwest Bronx Democrats.

 Anthony has written columns for The Norwood News, The Riverdale Press, The Bronx News, Parkchester News, The Bronx Times and The Bronx Chronicle.


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