The population and economy of the Bronx is growing faster than the rest of New York City, and will receive another boost when four new Metro-North stations open in 2022 in the East Bronx (at Hunts Point, Parkchester, Morris Park, and Co-op City). Annexed to the city 20 years after the West Bronx, the East Bronx is much less dense than the rest of the borough. With the exception of the lower-income and more industrial areas to the South, the East Bronx is home to residents with a wide range of incomes. Many residents depend on the #5 and #6 subway lines to get to work in Manhattan, while others rely on local and express buses, or take their car.
The new Metro-North stations will dramatically improve the commute to Midtown Manhattan, especially for the residents of Co-op City heading to the Far West Side. Those stations and the Triboro Line proposed in the Fourth Regional Plan would also give East Bronx residents easier access to Queens, Brooklyn, and Connecticut.
The fourth plan recommends creating more safe streets that prioritize pedestrians, bicycles, buses, and goods movement over private automobiles, which would reduce traffic and make it easier for people to reach the new transit services. The plan also recommends transforming the Sheridan Expressway, one of the Bronx’s many highways, into an urban boulevard with fewer lanes, additional crosswalks, traffic signals, and trees to better serve the community. A highway interchange at Oak Point instead of Edgewater Road would better connect the surrounding communities to the Hunts Point market and waterfront.
As East Bronx neighborhoods gain better transportation access, it will be essential to both preserve and build new affordable housing for a range of household incomes and protect residents from displacement. Community-driven planning processes would help neighborhoods navigate future planning efforts to allow the creation of more homes, either in new buildings or by allowing more units within existing buildings.
The fourth plan outlines ways to create more parks and green infrastructure in the East Bronx, which would reduce the urban heat island effect, mitigate flooding, clean the air, enable easier access to the Long Island Sound, and protect waterfront communities from sea-level rise and storm surge.