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NY: Gun Hill Road to Be Redesigned to Speed up Commutes and Improve Safety

Published: May 17, 2023
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 20: People walk near digital billboards displaying 'We Love NYC' following the campaign launch event in Times Square on March 20, 2023 in New York City. The new citywide initiative, which is a spin off of Milton Glaser’s iconic 1977 'I Love NY' slogan and logo, was created to mobilize New Yorkers to be involved in civic engagement projects and celebrate New York City. The campaign was launched exactly three years after New York City shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

On May 17, New York City Mayor Eric Adams and the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner, Ydanis Rodriguez, announced the start of construction on the Gun Hill Road Bus Priority and Safety project in the Bronx. The project aims to deliver faster and more reliable service for an estimated 40,000 daily bus riders and improve the safety along the Vision Zero Priority Corridor. 

More than 20 intersections will be redesigned under the project that will “expand pedestrian safety, shorten crossings and calm traffic along what is one of the most dangerous stretches in the borough,” according to a press release on the matter.

The Gun Hill Road Bus Priority and Safety project is one of the largest transit projects launched by the Adam’s administration which builds on previous successful work that improved the lives of 400,000 daily bus riders with faster and more reliable service.  

“Bronxites deserve safer streets and faster commutes, and that’s exactly what our administration is delivering with the Gun Hill Road Bus Priority and Safety project,” said Mayor Adams. “The data is clear: This is one of the most dangerous streets in the Bronx, and these improvements will reverse the course we are on. With this project, we are following the data to deliver a safer, more prosperous, more equitable New York City.”

“Part of ‘Getting Stuff Done’ means getting stuff moving. It is our responsibility to make sure New Yorkers can get around the city quickly, safely, and on time,” said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. “Our partnership with the MTA on the bus routes benefits millions of New Yorkers each and every day. The Gun Hill Road Bus project is a massive win for the Bronx community. Thank you, DOT, for keeping New York City moving.”

Rodriguez said that the redesign of the route will make it safer and more efficient, speeding up commutes for 40,000 New Yorkers.

“Through the Adams administration’s commitment to equity, Gun Hill Road is an example of one of many great, lifesaving projects we are delivering this year to ensure Bronxites have access to reliable transit and safe streets. We thank the MTA for their partnership, and we will be closely monitoring traffic during the construction along the corridor,” he added. 


Saving lives

The City is seeking to address a dangerous corridor that features a per-mile rate of deaths and serious injuries within the top 10 percent of corridors in the Bronx borough.

“On average, roughly five people are injured every week in crashes on Gun Hill Road,” the City says.

Part of the redesign will involve adding painted or concrete curb extensions at 25 intersections that the City says will discourage speeding, improve visibility between drivers and pedestrians, and help prevent dangerous wide-angle turns.

The DOT has been working with community partners to develop a unique approach to the corridor which aims to ensure businesses can receive deliveries without blocking bus lanes. 

“The design features new loading zones and metered parking as well as 3.1 miles of offset (next to the parking lane), center-running, and curbside bus lanes — which will be enforced with both DOT’s stationary and MTA’s bus-mounted cameras,” the City says. 

Bus-mounted cameras will be employed to enforce traffic laws along the corridor, fining violators $50 for a first offense, with escalating fines up to $250 for a driver who receives more than four violations in a 12-month period. 

The implementation

The project is the result of dozens of meetings held with community members. 

The work will begin on May 17 between Webster Avenue and Bainbridge Avenue, with work on the remainder of the corridor to follow shortly after. 

During the implementation, a travel lane in each direction along the corridor will be maintained and the City says that the most disruption will be experienced between the Bronx River Parkway and Bainbridge Avenue from now through June. 

Drivers are encouraged to seek alternative routes during construction. Subsequent construction is expected to be much less disruptive and will continue out to early fall. 

“This transformative redesign of Gun Hill Road’s transportation infrastructure marks a milestone in our ongoing efforts to address long-standing concerns and create a safer, more accessible, and efficient transportation network for Bronxites along one of the most dangerous corridors in the borough,” said New York State Senator Jamaal Bailey. “The Gun Hill Road Bus Priority and Safety project will not only deliver faster and more reliable service for 40,000 daily bus riders, but create safer streets by expanding pedestrian safety measures, shortening crossings, and implementing new traffic calming measures. I want to thank Mayor Eric Adams, Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, and the Department of Transportation for prioritizing this project and their commitment to engaging with the community throughout the planning process.”

“Like all New Yorkers, Gun Hill Road bus riders deserve fast and reliable public transit service,” said Jolyse Race, senior organizer, Riders Alliance. “Four miles of new camera-enforced bus lanes will go a long way to speed up bus service for 40,000 Bronxites each day. Riders applaud the work of the Adams administration, DOT, and MTA to make faster buses a reality on Gun Hill Road and help deliver on the mayor’s promise to us.”