At last Community Boards
have somewhat of a budget, although we can always use more. Thanks are
once again in order to the City Council in particular to council member,
Gail Brewer, the Bronx Delegation and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz
Jr., who staunchly supported this budget issue.
Although some of the projects
proposed for 2011 have been delayed i.e., The Fordham Plaza Project,
Med-Alliance, the re-construction of the Southern-Boulevard/Bronx River Parkway,
others are expected to proceed as planned, i.e., BRAC (the Bronx River Art
Center) which will be host to a four-story State of the Arts Facility providing
arts/culture to Bronxites and Phipps Houses affordable Housing Project with 66
apartment units and commercial ground space. St. Barnabas Hospital’s parking lot
is scheduled to open August 2012 with 600 parking spaces and the renovation of
the 180th Street elevated train station by the MTA is currently underway.
Now that the East/Tremont/Third Avenue re-zoning is in place we anticipate
developers to come knocking. Already there are projects that have been approved
by the board, i.e., Urban Signature will develop ten residential buildings in
the Crotona Park East/West Farms communities; this project is shared with
Community Board #3. The portion for Community Board #6 are two residential
buildings with approximately 392 apartment units, 99 parking spaces and 3,925
square feet of retail floor area.
NYCHA will renovate all of the
apartments in the West Farms Square Housing Complex which consist of six
The Department of Transportation
is proposing a pilot parking technology project in the Arthur Avenue/Belmont
area. Sensors will be embedded in pavement and will detect available parking.
However, like all inner-city communities in the United States, our district has
its share of social ills (incidents of gang violence, robberies and illegal
drugs, etc.) but they are far outweighed by the community’s many positive
attributes that include many successful schools, a regional trauma center
located at St. Barnabas Hospital, strong civic, homeowners and tenant
associations, viable commercial strips such as the Arthur Avenue/187th Street
corridor (the Little Italy of the Bronx), and a strong and committed network of
social service providers that work to raise the quality-of-life for those in our
district who are less fortunate.
Some of our district’s more
pressing needs (broken down by municipal agency) are:
NEW YORK POLICE DEPARTMENT
Bronx Community Board #6’s support of its local police precinct (the 48th) is
second to none. We want our police officers to be well equipped, well trained
and totally prepared for the challenges and risks of the 21st Century and
1. Having said that, we urge the department to redouble its efforts to ensure
that the 48th Police Precinct is equipped with all of the tools – bulletproof
vests, computers, telephones, etc., - that it needs to protect, and communicate
with, the citizens of our district.
2. In a similar vein, we ask
that the department pay greater attention to the 48th Police Precinct’s
vehicles. The vehicles, particularly the squad cars, appear to require a more
frequently maintenance schedule, including repairs.
3. Bronx Community Board #6 also
asks that our district’s allocation of police officers be increased in order
that we may continue to enjoy and maintain the significant reduction in crime
that we have experienced in recent months.
4. Similarly, the community
board asks that our district’s allocation of school crossing guards be increased
in order that we may continue to enjoy and maintain the significant reduction in
crime that we have experienced in recent months.
Lastly, there are three policy, non-budgetary, issues that we urge the Police
Department to implement in fiscal year 2011.
1. To further improve police and
community relations, we ask that the Department mandate the local precinct
commanders to once again convene precinct management team meetings (PMT) with
their respective community board’s district manager and the president of their
precinct’s community council. These meetings provide for the useful exchange of
important information that assists both the precinct commanders and the
community board to better serve their mutual constituencies.
2. Additionally, we further ask
that Bronx Community Board #6 be kept informed of any illegal activities (i.e.,
public drinking, gambling, etc.) that occur at fairs, block parties and other
street events that are held in its district. This information, which is not
normally provided to the board unless specifically asked, would prove extremely
helpful to us as we decide which activities should continue to receive our
support and recommendations for approval. The Community Board has implemented a
policy of no events on; Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day and Halloween as well
as not hosting more than three events in one day.
3. It is also necessary to
closely continue monitoring all bars and nightclubs therefore insuring that they
are up to code i.e., all required licenses, no selling to minors and no nuisance
NYPD SCHOOL SAFETY
We ask that the New York Police Department’s School Safety Division designate
the central Crotona and West Farms sections of our district as a school drug
free zone. The boundaries of the zone would be: Southern Boulevard/Crotona
Parkway to the west; East 180th Street/Bronx Park South to the north; Morris
Park Avenue to the east, and the Cross Bronx Expressway to the south. At a
minimum, the proposed school drug free zone contains three (3) day care centers,
four (4) public and/or private elementary and intermediate schools, and several
youth after-school programs. Youth will be able to travel more freely to and
from these facilities as word spreads that persons arrested in the zone for the
sale or possession of illegal drugs are subject to stiffer criminal penalties.
As well as honing in on the prostitution that exists surrounding the
HOUSING PRESERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT
Bronx Community Board #6 is fortunate that most of its vacant city owned land is
now undergoing development for housing or other worthwhile development projects
and that we have no vacant city-owned land that is not already in the pipeline
for development. Nonetheless, we urge the Department of Housing Preservation and
Development to encourage all housing developers to, as much as possible,
incorporate “green roofs” into their future project designs.
Furthermore, in order to ensure that Community Board #6 receives the ultimate
benefits from new housing projects developed within its district, the Community
Board has adopted a policy of requesting letters of assurances from all housing
developers who appear before the board requesting its support. We ask that the
developers provide written assurances that they will attempt to hire locally,
purchase equipment and services from local vendors and promote our district’s
economy as much as possible. Due to a number of fires at illegally converted
apartments, we insist that HPD keep us updated of all mayor’s SRO Task Force
DEPARTMENT OF PARKS AND RECREATION
Bronx Community Board #6’s foremost concern for the Department of Parks and
Recreation is for the safety of our constituents as they visit and utilize our
district’s numerous parks and plays areas. Therefore, we encourage the hiring
and deployment of additional Parks Enforcement personnel to patrol and monitor
conditions in all of our parks. We also ask that the department work closely
with the 48th Police Precinct in order to reduce criminal activities in and
around our parks, such as, but not limited to; gang, prostitution and drug
activity at Vidalia Park and River Park (where two youths drowned July 2010); as
well as insure that all parks close at dusk further safeguarding our
neighborhoods and advise the Community Board of all park activities, i.e.,
baseball, basketball, soccer games etc.
DEPARTMENT OF CITYWIDE ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES
Bronx Community Board #6 asks that the Department of Citywide Administrative
Services support our request to move from our current office space on the
seventh floor of the City-owned Bergen Building (rooms 709 and 712) to the
privately owned office building located at One Fordham Plaza.
The Community Board has
literally outgrown its current offices. We have no room to conduct on-site
committee meetings. There is insufficient space to store our growing number of
files, books and historical documents. We would be much better served if we
could consolidate our operations in once large office containing ample space for
meetings, files and equipment storage, and further growth.
Our current location also serves
as a danger to Community Board #6’s employee safety. We are currently the only
tenants on the seventh floor therefore leaving us susceptible to countless
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
The Department of Transportation recently installed cameras. As well as improved
traffic signals at the intersection of Fordham Road/Webster Avenue and Third
The Community Board will monitor
these locations to insure no other measures are needed.