New Yorkers on foot and bike fend for themselves during Bronx construction

Cyclists and pedestrians in the Bronx know all too well that the heavily-traveled Pelham Parkway malls desperately need repairs. Unfortunately, the malls’ commuters and recreational travelers will have to endure up to two years of dangerous detours to get them.

People trying to access the malls east of White Plains Road will find that the north and south sections have both been fenced off. The New York City Parks Department, which manages the landscaping and bike paths surrounding the parkway, began construction last month to improve the paths. Unfortunately, the department has failed to provide any marked detours or alternative routes, leaving cyclists and pedestrians to find their own way.

New hazards for cyclists and pedestrians

Without the structure and protection of vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians are some of the most vulnerable people on the road. That makes safe paths like the Pelham Parkway malls particularly important. 

A spokesperson for the parks department told Streetsblog NYC that the construction is intended to provide a safe recreational space for cyclists and pedestrians. However, the department seems to have forgotten about those same people when planning the project.

As construction begins, bikers and walkers are left without a safe place to travel. For now, would-be mall users must find alternate routes without the help of temporary lanes or marked detours. Construction is scheduled to last until March of 2018.

Some people have responded to the construction by walking in the roadbeds, which is particularly dangerous as high-speed traffic is turning on and off of the Bronx River Parkway . Others are taking to the surrounding streets, forced to contend with heavier traffic. MTA route Bx12 continues to run east-west on Pelham Parkway.

If you rely on the malls to get around, we encourage you to allow yourself extra travel time, avoid dangerous construction zones and wear a helmet to protect yourself.

How are you getting around the construction? Share your detours in the comments.