Community advocate: Pelham Parkway is losing green spaces

With the subway up above and traffic down below, the corner of White Plains Road and Pelham Parkway is in a busy commercial zone, but Roxanne Delgado, founder of Friends of Pelham Parkway, says it should still have green spaces.

News 12 Staff

Feb 15, 2022, 12:52 AM

Updated 823 days ago

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A community advocate says Pelham Parkway is losing space for trees and flowers.
With the subway up above and traffic down below, the corner of White Plains Road and Pelham Parkway is in a busy commercial zone, but Roxanne Delgado, founder of Friends of Pelham Parkway, says it should still have green spaces.
"It uplifts the community. Many people walk through here. When they see this corridor clean and bright, full of nature, it helps their positivity," Delgado says.
She says the chance for that greenery is disappearing. Two of the tree beds on Pelham Parkway have been temporarily filled in during a years-long department of design and construction project.
"Once the city takes away something, you’re not going to get it back," Delgado says.
In an email from the Community Construction Liaison to Delgado, they cited accumulated trash build-up in the empty tree beds as the main reason to get rid of the pits. This is something that Delgado is all too familiar with. She says she’s seen tons of trash there and has even reached out to Dunkin' Donuts, who’s responsible for the area.
"It’s sad but it’s not surprising because it’s been an ongoing issue with Dunkin’ Donuts. Unfortunately, Dunkin' Donuts is not a good neighbor," Delgado says.
The owner of the Dunkin’ franchise location, however, told News 12 over the phone that he deeply cares about the community and that he even offered to buy flowers for Delgado to plant back in 2020. He said the real problem comes from homeless people ripping through the trash that he puts out in bags to be collected.
Delgado says she’s also confused because the city told her that leaving the tree pit empty is a liability. But just a block away on Cruger Avenue, a tree pit there has nothing planted in it but is allowed to stay empty.
The city Parks Department told News 12 that the two tree pits on Pelham Parkway cannot be replanted because one is too close to the corner and the other has a fire hydrant in it. It says it will continue to inspect the site to see if any more planting can be done nearby.
The New York City Department of Design and Construction let News 12 know that it will be following the Parks Department’s guidance and cover the area with cement.
The DDC also pointed out that it has seen a net gain of 255 trees in the area since the start of the project.
Delgado says regardless that she’ll keep standing up for her community.
"I’m going to continue fighting for the future of this Pelham Parkway," she says.


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