Pelham Parkway project faces community opposition

A planned multimillion-dollar renovation of Pelham Parkway is closer to becoming a reality as the city seeks public input, but the project has critics.

Community Board 11 has been asking for the project for almost 30 years, but board members disapprove of renderings. The current plans call for the loss of an unnamed street that connects the service road to the parkway. The board wants the road to remain.

The community board and the Department of Design and Construction hosted a public hearing at the New York Institute for Special Education on Pelham Parkway Wednesday on the issue.

The Parks Department, which says it owns the road, would like to take it over. But Community Board 11 says the road has been a city road for more than a hundred years.

Several community members voiced their opinions about the road, with no one wanting to shut it down.

"The city should just make it a marked roadway, make the drainage on-par with what the roadways are," says community activist Raphael Schweizer. "That's what they're doing with this project. They're bettering the drainage. They are bettering the lighting, the safety and utilization of the parkway. The city should not be allowed to take away this roadway that so many people use."

The project also calls for new sewers, water mains, larger catch basins, street construction and new guardrails for the westbound main road and Pelham Parkway north.

Officials say they don't plan to cut down many trees in the process, and 27 parking spots will be lost.

The board says they don't see any compromise in sight with the Parks Department.

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