The plan by the MTA and city Department of Transportation would close off the eastbound lane of the tunnel, which runs along E. 161st Street from Sheridan Avenue to Gerard Avenue, heading toward Hunts Point to all vehicles except buses.
Buses and cars would both still be free to use the westbound lane of the tunnel heading toward Manhattan, and cars headed towards Hunts Point would still be able to travel in that direction using the road above the tunnel.
The stretch of E. 161st Street by Yankee Stadium and the Bronx courthouses is infamous for traffic problems including congestion and double parking, and the DOT and MTA maintain that the plan for the tunnel, combined with the pending launch of the Bx6 Select Bus Service, would help improve conditions on the busy road.
The Bx6 Select Bus Service, which would eliminate some local bus stops and aim to increase the speed of the route, should be ready to launch by this summer, while the changes to the tunnel will be implemented this spring, according to the DOT.
Bronx Community Board 4 member John Howard Algarin said that while he appreciated any attempt to improve traffic conditions along E. 161st Street, he was skeptical that the plan to close off part of the tunnel to all traffic except buses would be an improvement, maintaining that it would make things much harder for private vehicle owners.
"I look forward to any creative idea that will fix the situation, and we definitely want paying bus patrons to be able to fluidly get from point a to point b," he said, "but there has to be some sort of other compromise."