The Day-to-Day Pains of Over-Development

With so many new buildings being approved on the west side of Yonkers, residents’ complaints on over-development tend to revolve on the construction. But, even after these massive towers are complete, many will face new inconveniences in their daily lives.

man sitting in covered bus shelter
credit: Philip Armstrong

I recently met a 74 year-old Vietnam veteran waiting for the bus on South Broadway. He sat on the bench with the crutches he needs to get around. However, this covered bus stop may soon be gone.

This site on 632-636 S. Broadway has been approved for a new 160-unit tower called, The Parker. This is at the north end of Van Cortlandt Park and Caryl Ave., bordering the Bronx. Macquesten Development LLC has this and other projects presently underway throughout the city. This 16-story tower is 30% higher than the current city ordinance allows. But this is not the only exception to our rules.

The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) reviews–and usually grants–these exceptions, called “variances.” The Parker has a variance for its height and also to house only 60% of the parking spaces normally required. But, the lack of parking won’t affect my new friend as he takes the bus anyway.

What will affect him is that this covered bus shelter will soon be removed. Because of this new development, the current bus stop will be moved a half a block away. The new stop will be on a sidewalk less than half as wide. This is too small for a covered shelter. So, my friend and others like him may suffer daily to accommodate the insatiable need to over-develop our city.

When we think about these new developments we often look up and think about the affect on our skyline. The 16, and even over forty-story buildings that will soon block our view of the Hudson river. But, we shouldn’t only look up to the sky and out to the horizon on what we are losing. Just look right here down on the street, and the little things we will be losing everyday.

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