A ‘shell game’ with winners on many levels
The oysters, fi lled into bags by volunteers who collected them from local restaurants, will cure on City Island for a year and then released
into waters on Eastchester Bay from Throggs Neck up to the county line and New Rochelle. File Photo
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BRONX TIMES REPORTER, O 12 CTOBER 4-10, 2019 BTR
BP reviews MTA’s Bronx Bus Redesign
(The following letter was sent to MTA
President Andy Byford.)
Everyone agrees the Bronx Bus Redesign
is an undertaking that is long
overdue. While it may be arduous, it
is incumbent on our civic leadership
to proceed with utmost caution to ensure
maximum benefi t with minimum
disruption to Bronxites through this
undertaking, My offi ce has received
considerable feedback regarding the
proposed changes as they involve the
removal of bus stops, the removal of bus
routes and the creation of additional
transfers that will cause many of our
most vulnerable population serious
concern. We have also shared a list of
questions and concerns about some of
the proposed changes, the most pertinent
of which are included within.
In particular, it is imperative that
we pay close attention to the proposed
redesign’s effect in Co-op City. With
East Bronx Metro-North service soon
to be available. I urge you to reconsider
cutbacks to the Q50 LTD within Co-op
City which would also allow access to
this new station.
Another major concern of Bronx
residents and my offi ce is the proposed
changes to the BXM4 line. The current
plan would see BXM4 service along
Grand Concourse rerouted, because the
MTA argues that there is subway ac-
cess supplementing that route. While
this is true, the BXM4 is a well-traveled
express bus along its entire route utilized
by many elderly riders, Most of the
stations along the 4 and D trains do not
have ADA access and forcing those residents
to utilize stairs, particularly on
one of the most overcrowded train lines
in the City, does not make sense.
The MTA can still provide faster express
bus access to the northern neighborhoods
currently served by the BXM4
through a new route, while not compromising
access for our most vulnerable
populations in the southwest Bronx.
I do want to commend you for taking
on this very serious challenge in
revamping our bus lines. It is my hope
that you take into account the opinions
ofthose that use this vital service and
the new development that is occurring
within our borough. For instance, a few
of the bus stop removals proposed in
Soundview and other areas do not take
into account the growth that is occurring
in our borough.
It is imperative that we seek to provide
for the over 16 percent of Bronxites
that are commuting primarily by bus
on a daily basis, while also adapting to
the meet the changing needs of our borough
and to keep pace with the major
progress the Bronx is experiencing.
Ruben Diaz Jr
BTR letters & comments
BY ALEX MITCHELL
It is fascinating to learn that oysters
are not only ‘the jewel of the water’
but also play a role as the ‘tree of
the sea’ as well.
Like trees that clean our air of carbon
dioxide, oysters fi lter harmful nitrogen
from water and release oxygen
as a by product.
It’s also no shock that the city’s waterways
aren’t brimming with sparkling
clean water either.
As a matter of fact, many of the
city’s waterways receive failing water
quality grades, especially on Long
Island Sound and other Bronx water
However there is good news; that
trend has been reversing over the past
decade due to the environmental actions
that have been initiated.
There is one very organic solution
that could expedite the process.
Helping to replenish our oyster
populations along the Bronx shoreline
could in fact clean up the borough’s
aquatic natural resources in quite an
organic and cost-effi cient means, according
to nautical experts.
Imagine what kind of impact an entire
shoreline of these bivalves could
do for not just the borough’s ecosystem
but much of the city’s waterway quality.
Just imagine an Orchard Beach
without running jokes that going into
the water makes one’s baiting suit disintegrate
or being able to boat out on
the East River without the fear of dipping
toes into the water, personally I
would be happy as a clam to so.
A recently proposed piece of legislation
by Assemblyman Michael Benedetto
would encourage restaurants to
sell their empty oyster and clam shells
to the state at 10 cents a pound to restore
the oyster beds. Free-swimming
oyster larvae would fi nd a strong surface
to begin building their colonies,
instead of perishing in the sea bottom’s
A group of folks in City Island have
already started an oyster project. The
popular seafood restaurants on the island
have committed their shucked
shells to the effort. Assemblyman
Benedetto has awarded the organization
with a $2,000 grant to seed the
A cubic foot of oysters can fi lter
over a thousand gallons of water in a
day, essentially sucking in the bad and
spewing out the good. Currently, used
oyster and clam shells get dumped in
a landfi ll somewhere. The recycling
plan is a win-win.
With all the talk of climate change
and the dangers that the planet could
potentially face in upcoming years, it’s
time to cross one of those issues of the