Friday, September 4, 2009

Traffic Snarl at Woodlawn Metro-North Station (UPDATED)

We received the following email from Woodlawn resident, Sean. We wanted to post it for all of you Woodlawn residents to take a look at, and we invite you to use the comments section of the post to kvetch about the situation and, hopefully, communicate with one another to form a plan to voice your concerns to officials.
Good morning. I am a big fan of your blog and I'm writing you in hopes that you can bring light to a potentially dangerous situation brewing at the Woodlawn Metro North Station. As you are probably aware, there is a traffic circle in front of the station, in addition to the entrance and exit ramps to the BRP. Last year the city, and their infinite wisdom, decided to redo the circle with new sidewalks and plantings. However, they decided to route the pedestrian traffic away from their normal route, and into the center of the circle. Of course, no one uses this.

When they finished the recontruction, they placed a one way sign on the circle, routing traffic out of the Woodlawn parking lot. However, by this logic there is no way to "legally" get into the lot, unless you're coming off of the BRP. All of us just assumed that this sign was wrong, and continued to pull into the lot from Webster, go around the circle, and pull into the lot. This morning the Metro North Police were waiting at the entrance of the lot, issuing citations to anyone who pulled into the lot from Webster. He had a line of cars, about 15 deep, backed up around the circle and back out onto Webster - blocking any traffic from going down Webster, getting onto the BRP southbound, or into the lot. Everyone, drivers and pedestrians alike, were trying to explain to him that the sign is wrong and should be taken down. He was belligerent and was arguing with anyone who tried to speak with him, including the off-duty NYPD Lt.

Why have they waited a year to start enforcing this? Why cant they see that if the one way sign stands, there is no way to get into the lot? By the grace of God, I found a spot on Webster this morning, but what happens when I need to use the lot tomorrow morning?
So what do you think Woodlawners? Has anyone else noticed this issue?

Update from Sean:
I just wanted to give you an update on the Woodlawn Parking Lot.
I emailed City Council Member Oliver Koppell about the issue. His
Chief of Staff, Annie O'Connor, got back to me straight away. Within
a day, Councilman Koppell was on the scene for a first hand look. He
then called News 12 to come out, and they ran a story about it last

He also called the Riverdale Press, and in turn they called me about
my thoughts of the situation. I also spoke with Amy Romer from LAZ
parking. She contacted the DOT to investigate as well.

In short, Councilman Koppell issued a press release yesterday and the
incorrect signs are going to be removed by the DOT. He also wants
anyone who may have receieved a ticket to contact his office, so he
can have the ticket voided.

Also, Candice Giove Associate Editor at the Bronx Press/Riverdale
Review asked anyone who got a tocket to call her at (718) 543-5200 x.
110. Thanks for your attention to this matter. Isn't it so
refreshing to see City Hall on OUR side for once?

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