Riverdale streets: Like the surface of the moon

By MIAWLING LAM

Community members have slammed the city for neglecting the pothole-ridden streets of Riverdale, arguing local roads resemble a patchwork normally seen in third-world countries.

CB8 land use chairman Charles Moerdler urged residents at last Tuesday’s general board meeting to kick up a stink about the area’s pockmarked pavements.

He said locals needed to remind officials “these are the streets of The Bronx, not of Bangladesh or any other place.

“These streets are in terrible shape,” Moerdler said, adding that West 254th Street toward the Riverdale Metro-North station was particularly horrendous.

“You’ll get a flat tire once a day from the potholes. I’m not exaggerating. The reason I make the point to you is the following: They’re not paying attention because they’re not getting yelled at.

“We have to get them [to listen]. I jocularly refer to them as the Department of Bicycle Transportation only because if we were to advocate for a bicycle lane, then you’ll have the whole job done in 24 hours.”

Moerdler said the high proportion of privately owned streets in Riverdale also compounded the issue. City crews do not repair the privately owned streets of Fieldston, even though all motorists drive on them.

Potholes form when snow and rain seep into cracks in the road, then expand as temperatures drop and water freezes. Chunks of asphalt are then dislodged when vehicles drive over the spot.

Last year’s particularly harsh winter and near-record snowfall meant hundreds of potholes formed on many of the neighborhood’s streets. Many still remain filled potholes.

CB8 board member Michael Heller said although the board submitted a lengthy list of resurfacing requests, city crews repaired a total of only eight lane miles across the entire board last year. This was comparable to the length of roads repaved in other community boards in the city.

“It’s just the entire resurfacing program is a tiny fraction of what’s necessary, so every year the streets get worse and inferior,” he said. “The city’s resurfacing program is a farce. That’s the basic problem.”

As of press time, the Department of Transportation did not respond to repeated calls and emails.

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