Two Fort Independence Intersections in Bronx Unsafe, Parents Say

30 Sep

By Jordan Moss

Crossing Guards control traffic around the city in key places where kids are headed to, and from, school. Stop signs and traffic lights are at many corners, but there is nothing like either at a very wide section of Fort Independence Street where Giles Place leads to Kingsbridge Terrace.

Heading to Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, Yalitza Perez and her 2-year-old daughter (upper left) begin their cross of Fort Independence Street where there are no crossing guards, crosswalks, stop signs, or traffic lights. (Photo: Jordan Moss)

Heading to Kingsbridge Heights Community Center, Yalitza Perez and her 2-year-old daughter (upper left) begin their cross of Fort Independence Street where there are no crossing guards, crosswalks, stop signs, or traffic lights. (Photo: Jordan Moss)

About a block west of this intersection is a three-way intersection — where Fort Independence Street, curves north as it meets up with Heath Avenue. DOT did make this intersection clearer last year. But there are no places for walkers to cross at this intersection either.

There are also no crosswalks at this complicated intersection of two wide, curvy streets: Fort Independence Street and Heath Avenue. (Photo: Jordan Moss)

There are also no crosswalks at this complicated intersection of two wide, curvy streets: Fort Independence Street and Heath Avenue. (Photo: Jordan Moss)

Each of the three parents I spoke to yesterday morning, even as they rushed to drop their children off at school on Kingsbridge Terrace, strongly said that something needs to be done.

With her 10-year-old daughter, Anna Prince crossed from the corner of Giles Place and Fort Independence after looking both ways several times.

“It’s very hard,” she said. “I always think about there being a light or a crossing person.”

Soon after Prince, Yalitza Perez crossed, headed to the Kingsbridge Heights Community Center to drop off her 2-year-old daughter.

“It is so dangerous to cross there,” Perez told Bronx Matters, adding how critical “a crosswalk, a light, or anything,” is to make it a safe crossing.

Headed to PS 360, a couple of blocks past the community center, Patricia Rodriguez crossed the same intersection with her three fourth-grade children (two are twins). She feels the same way as Perez and Prince, and added, “There are some parents that let kids walk for themselves so it’s not safe at all.”

The city’s Department of Transportation did not respond to questions about the Kingsbridge Terrace-Giles intersection, but did about the lack of a crossing area where Fort Independence Street connects with Heath Avenue.

“DOT has not received a formal complaint regarding the Fort Independence Street and Heath Avenue three-way intersection. We resurfaced and reinstalled roadway markings during the Summer of 2013 at the location,” a DOT spokesman said. “The intersection is not stop-controlled. DOT will continue monitoring the location for safety improvements and work with the local community board with the concerns it may have.”

Ed. note: If you have any concerns or suggestions about the intersections on Fort Independence Street, please comment on this post. Thanks!

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3 Responses to “Two Fort Independence Intersections in Bronx Unsafe, Parents Say”

  1. cgd September 30, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

    If DOT says they haven’t received a formal complaint about the intersection, perhaps it’s incumbent on someone to call 311 to formally make the complaint? Also if DOT says they will work with the local community board, perhaps one of the parents you interviewed can bring this to the attention of someone at their local community board? I know DOT is working on implementing their Vision Zero plan…and this area seems ripe for change. Great story Jordan!

  2. Nova Calise May 28, 2015 at 12:47 pm #

    YES ! I concur with this complaint ! I wrote a formal complaint to DOT about this in October 2014. They sent someone to survey the area sometime in December, and there were devices setup to log the amount of traffic and speeds. There has been no resolution since then. I just sent a follow up email to DOT as well as an email to the Bronx Commissioner. I also plan to start a petition.

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