Melissa and Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo Call for Better Use of the Harlem River Rail Yard

Melissa and Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo wrote to the Commissioner of the State Department of Transportation urging a re-evaluation of the Harlem River Rail Yard, which is slated to host the new FreshDirect site and more than 2,000 daily truck trips through the neighborhood. But the effects of the already-existing truck traffic are immense.

The cumulative effect of such facilities on air quality in the South Bronx, where we have an asthma epidemic, is staggering. Asthma hospitalizations in the South Bronx are five times the national average; asthma deaths are three times the national average; and it is estimated that one in every five children in the South Bronx has asthma.

The surrounding area has already been rezoned for commercial and residential uses and Harlem River Yards no longer has a positive impact on the neighborhood.

Therefore, we request that the Department of Transportation audit the lease for this property, consider declaring an event of default, and explore the State’s remedies in the event of such default. We also request that the Department of Transportation place a moratorium on all new development at Harlem River Yards, including with respect to FreshDirect’s proposed development, until a thorough review of the current uses of the land and the cumulative effects of such uses on the residents of the South Bronx can be done, taking full account of the socio-economic makeup of the neighborhood and the disproportionate impact on the poorest congressional district in the country.

Read the full letter.

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4 thoughts on “Melissa and Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo Call for Better Use of the Harlem River Rail Yard

  1. Reblogged this on Amychal's Blog and commented:
    Mott Haven, Port Morris and Meleose has REAL elected representation and support. Thanks for your support and vision for and brighter future for our community, NYC Councilmembers Melissa Mark-Viverito and Maria Del Carmen Arroyo. Thanks again

  2. Many thanks to both Councilwomen Arroyo and Mark-Viverito. They have come through as real defenders of the health and development of their South Bronx community. The proposed Fresh Direct move is an affront not only to all South Bronx residents, plagued by decades of asthma, pollution, stink and noise, but to all NYC residents. Blocking our waterfront in the South Bronx -as FreshDirect wants to do- is blocking the waterfront of all New Yorkers. FreshDirect never intended to move to NJ. Tolls and traffic would have made it costly. They can and should stay in Long Island City, they can and should pay their workers a living wage, and they can and should change their manners. I am not against them running a successful business, but we don’t want to subsidize that venture with public monies and we specially don’t want their trucks and waste blocking our waterfront. South Bronx is fighting back, and the support of our elected officials make us stronger! Thanks so much Melissa and Maria del Carmen!

  3. Pingback: Safe Streets Rally in the South Bronx this Saturday | Melissa Mark-Viverito

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