The ‘Main Street’ of the Bronx is restored
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The Grand Concourse in the Bronx is undergoing an $18 million renovation, one of the largest complete streets projects in the US — and perhaps the one that directly affects the most people. Much of the renovation, from 161st Street to 171st Street, is complete. The project includes new landscaping, lighting, wider medians, bicycle lanes, a plaza redo, and major infrastructure improvements.
The Grand Concourse is a boulevard, about five miles long, designed and built in the 1890s through the first decade of the 1900s. It includes primary traffic lanes bounded by tree-lined medians and slower-moving local lanes. Four rows of trees, wide sidewalks, and on-street parking line the thoroughfare. The part of the street undergoing reconstruction is about 1 mile long, from Yankee Stadium (one block away), extending north.
The Concourse is bounded by neighborhoods that are still fairly poor and mostly Hispanic. Although the South Bronx went through severe decline in the late 1960s and 1970s, few buildings were abandoned on the Concourse, which is still lined with residential and mixed-use buildings, six floors and taller. The thoroughfare looks much the same as it did a half-century early.
Since plummeting in population in the late Sixties and Seventies, the Bronx