Riverdale, Bronx NYC 2015/2016 Streetscape Plan
Riverdale Streetscape Report

The North Riverdale Merchant and Business Association is pleased to present its Riverdale Streetscape Report. This report reflects the goals and principles of New York State's Smart Growth Law and New York City's Vision Zero Program. Smart Growth is an urban planning term that refers to encouraging reinvestment in existing community and business centers, improving safe and walkable neighborhoods and fostering environmental sustainability. Vision Zero is a program to eliminate pedestrian fatalities in the City and improve overall safety for traffic. The Association embraces the goals of both. They are reflected in this Report and the Association looks forward to working with community partners and New York City to implement its goals and recommendations.

Background: The Association was formed in 2012 to organize businesses, property owners and residents on Riverdale Avenue, Mosholu Avenue and Broadway. All three roads share similar problems - speeding traffic, unsafe pedestrian conditions, higher than average accident rates, deteriorating public infrastructure, lack of greenery and too many empty storefronts. The Association set out of combat these problems and in 2015 won a $100,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. The grant covered the costs of retaining expert traffic planning and landscape consultant VHB P.C. Working with VHB, the Association assembled a community advisory group, studied the successes of other municipalities and developed three dozen ideas for traffic safety, beautification and business generation. The Association and VHB issued a draft report in 2016 and met with about 30 community groups and individuals to solicit feedback. That feedback resulted in major changes to the initial draft and are reflected in this Report.

Report: The Report is divided into three sections:

  • Fourteen (14) ideas for traffic, parking and pedestrian improvements that New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) should study and implement immediately. The improvements include ADA-accessible crosswalks, new crosswalks and carefully delineated vehicle and parking lanes.
  • Twenty-three (23) ideas for beautification ranging from enhanced tree pits to improved signage. These ideas are outside the jurisdiction of DOT and will require the Association to fundraise and work with other city agencies. The Association will implement some ideas immediately—like improving tree pits and installing welcome signage. Other ideas will take years to implement.
  • Five (5) ideas for study and implementation by the DOT. The Association does not take a position on these ideas at this time but asks DOT to study them as soon as possible. The DOT is the ultimate decision-maker on traffic safety improvements in consultation with the community board and community.

In addition to these three sections, the report includes eight exhibits. Included in the Report are Exhibit A (Existing Conditions Report); Exhibit B (Summary of Public Comments and Responses); Exhibit C (Long Term Ideas); and Exhibit D (Supporters of the Report). Exhibits E, F, G and H are provided below.

Implementation: The Association will continue to solicit ideas for improvements and issue an updated report in the future. The Association has submitted the report to the DOT and asked for immediate action on traffic improvements. And the Association is working with its Riverdale Beautification Committee and local elected officials to raise money for beautification of Riverdale Avenue and Mosholu Avenue.

Broadway: An early draft of the report addressed traffic safety improvements to Broadway. DOT later undertook its own planning effort for Broadway and issued a plan for traffic, safety and beautification. The Association strongly supports this plan and is pleased to see some of its ideas included. This Report no longer addresses Broadway but the Association strongly supports DOT and its plans for Broadway. The Association also strongly supports the Van Cortlandt Park 2034 Master Plan, which promises to further transform the Park into a first-class amenity for the community.

Support and Contact: To support these efforts, please join the Association by contacting northriverdalemerchants@gmail.com . All residents, institutions, businesses and property owners are welcome to join. The membership form is also provided here.

The Association strongly thanks everyone that has been involved in this planning process including supporters listed in this report, elected officials, fellow community organizations like KRVC and all those that submitted comments. Riverdale deserves a safe and inviting main street. The Association is committed to working with its neighbors to achieve this.

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