Mosholu Parkway or Coney Island?

Anthony profileFrom The Desk of NWBxDems
Mosholu Parkway or Coney Island?
by Anthony Rivieccio

During the Spring of 2015, Councilman Andrew Cohen announced a town hall meeting that was sponsored by two community organizations: Friends of Mosholu Parkland (FOMP) and the Bedford Mosholu Community Association (BMCA). The purpose of the meeting was to see what the residents and business communities of Bedford Park and Norwood would like on Mosholu Parkway.

Montefiore Hospital, The Botanical Garden, Fordham University, and the Bronx Zoo, along with many north Bronx elected officials, supposedly secured city, state, and federal monies for Mosholu Parkway projects.

So what do these four institutions want?

parkway12At a recent community board meeting, they have proposed to build up the main roads and eliminate one lane on each side to turn it into open green space. Those changed would create 33% more open space, in turn, resulting in less driving space.

Now, what did some of the residents originally say earlier in the year?

Residents strongly indicated a need for fixing the side streets on Mosholu Parkway along with other projects like: reseeding the grass, repairing damaged pillars, and replacing broken benches.

So, what did the people that came to the town hall meeting vote for? What would the old and new citizens of Bedford Park and Norwood want today? For the future?

Coney Island, without the water, it seems!

Community Board 7 Parks Chair and BMCA President, Barbara Stronzer, read the results of the town hall meeting in a shocked state.

“We have to relook at doing this again,” said Stronzer at the meeting, “this listing can not be correct.”

Even FOMP President Elizabeth Quaranta was a bit surprised when she said, “Yeah, I do not see the things I requested on the list either.”

According to the town hall results, citizens are requesting that Mosholu Parkway spaces, from Webster Avenue to Van Cortlandt Avenue, have the following:

  • Active Design Playgrounds throughout each site of Mosholu Parkway
  • Install fencing to give apartment buildings on the parkway more privacy
  • Designated dog runs in The Gully
  • A picnic/Multi use area
  • A dog park, including guardrails, to have separate places, one for humans and one for animals
  • Car ramp connections along parkway

The biggest request from Van Cortlandt Avenue to Jerome Avenue was for installing more lights on the parkway.

It has been no secret in the northwest Bronx neighborhood that while BMCA would like to take a more conservative approach, FOMP has been advocating for of a more progressive approach by advocating for more guardrails, and more street lights on Mosholu Parkway, on a recent news 12 report.

The town hall listings do have some other interesting results, however.

From Webster Avenue to Van Cortlandt Avenue:

  • Fix catch basins on Bainbridge Avenue to prevent flooding
  • Better Mosholu Parkway signage
  • Formalize natural trails
  • Create a historical plaque on Mosholu Parkway
  • Create paved pathways

Sadly, wonderful items like:

  • Fix missing sidewalks on Van Cortlandt Avenue near M.S. 80
  • Reseed middle sections on parkway
  • Replace and fix slates and steel tube fencing
  • New paving on walkways
  • Reinforcement of no barbecuing

All of these items were on the LAST PAGE of the report and filed under the “Miscellaneous” section.

As of today, Mosholu Parkway is a federal, state, and city designated highway and roadway.

From my own experiences, when I first found the northwest Bronx 40 years ago, Mosholu Parkway was commonly known as, “The Gateway to the Botanical Garden”, and I vividly remember Mosholu Parkway as clean and spotless.

If this June 2015 report, straight from the Community Board 7 Parks Committee is accurate, I hope the Garden has an animal, doggy poo, and garbage policy.

They’re going to need it!

Anthony Rivieccio is a long-time northwest Bronx resident and business owner.  And past president of the 204th Street/Bainbridge Aveenue 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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