Queens – In commemoration of the Earth Day, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, Democratic primary candidate for New York City Comptroller, has announced that if she is elected as the NY Comptroller, she will push the city to cap a portion of the Cross-Bronx Expressway and create a park on top, which studies have shown would save money, lives, and combat environmental racism.
“For too long, Bronxites have suffered from higher rates of chronic diseases because of the toxic fumes and unhealthy air quality that cars and trucks leave behind on the ring of highways that surround the borough, but studies have shown that capping the Cross-Bronx Expressway, and covering the highway with open, green spaces is a common sense way to reverse this damage," Caruso-Cabrera said of the proposed project which has the support of and is led by many in the Bronx including Rep. Ritchie Torres, Assembly Member Karines Reyes, and Councilman Oswald Feliz, as well as numerous community groups.
"The truck-filled Cross-Bronx cuts through neighborhoods with some of the worst air pollution and highest rates of diabetes, obesity, and asthma in the city. It is the embodiment of what we mean when we talk about environmental racism in this city," said Caruso-Cabrera.
Caruso-Cabrera further noted that that a deck park on top of the Cross-Bronx Expressway is a cost-effective way to reduce air pollution, reduce pedestrian accidents, and create more opportunities for exercise – improving the health and overall quality of life for the one-and-a-half million New Yorkers who live in the Bronx.
"From a cost-benefit perspective, creating a park on top of the Cross-Bronx is a no-brainer. Computer modeling has also found that the project would benefit residents living nearby financially, generating an extra $1,629 per person, while bringing down the asthma rate in the Bronx would save the city hundreds of millions in annual public health costs related to hospitalizations and lost productivity," said Caruso-Cabrera, referring to the findings of a 2018 study published by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Caruso-Cabrera concluded by connecting her proposal to cap the Cross-Bronx to her overarching mission to deliver for communities across the city who have been left behind for far too long.
"I am running for Comptroller because I believe that our political leaders have failed to deliver for the most underserved in this city, and nowhere is that clearer than in the neighborhoods that border the Cross-Bronx. Capping the Cross-Bronx and covering the highway with a park is just one of many initiatives I will champion as Comptroller to deliver an economic comeback for New York City that is equitable, inclusive, and leaves no one behind.”