'Your agency refuses to do anything': Bronx official calls for change for Kingsbridge D train underpass
The underpass below the Kingsbridge D train has Bronx residents taking the long way home and a local councilman demanding change.
Residents say the underpass that connects Creston Avenue to Valentine Avenue below the Kingsbridge D train subway station has turned into a dangerous obstacle course full of trash, used syringe needles and crime. On a visit to the area, News 12 saw illegal drugs, garbage and even what appeared to be human feces.
It’s an issue News 12 covered before and now City Councilman Oswald Feliz is calling out the Department of Transportation again for what he calls neglect of the area. Feliz recently wrote a scathing letter to the DOT, criticizing their slow progress on improvements in the area. The councilman wrote in part:
“Kingsbridge Underpass (D Train): For over 3 years, residents have raised concerns regarding serious quality of life issues on the Kingsbridge D Train Underpass. The illicit drug selling and use, as well as other quality of life issues, has made the underpass unwelcoming, and in some days, unwalkable. The issue is complicated, and we’ve worked with relevant agencies to resolve it – DSS, DOH, DSNY, NYPD, MTA. They have all taken steps to help resolve the challenges, except your agency. Your agency has received many ideas of simple steps that can be taken within your power, but your agency refuses to do anything.”
In an interview with News 12, Feliz said children in the neighborhood use the path every day and are forced to see used syringes or dirty needles.
For some New Yorkers, walking through the underpass poses both a danger and a health hazard. Police were present when our cameras were rolling but one woman who frequents the underpass said she was surprised to see the police.
“This is the first time that I’ve seen the police,” said Danette Irving who works in services for children with disabilities. “I would like to see more police but actually involved in the community. The cops are now just kind of [sitting] in their car, they're on their cell phone or something like that, but there’s crime going on!”
Feliz says some community members have suggested redesigning the railing along the underpass to increase visibility, and hopefully, deter crime. He says these suggestions have been rejected by the DOT.
The DOT responded in a statement to News 12 saying, “These complex challenges require a multi-agency approach and the Adams administration is marshaling its resources to deliver safe streets and welcoming public spaces in the Bronx. We are working with stakeholders at both locations and have been in extensive discussions with the Bronx Night Market about a long-term commitment.”