The neglected underpass in the Bronx has transformed into a terrifying open-air drug market, causing fear among locals and making them hesitant to walk in the area. This alarming situation has caught the attention of a local politician, who is furious about the issue.
Residents and City Councilman Oswald Feliz (D-Bronx) have expressed their concerns about the rampant drug use in the Kingsbridge D-train underpass. Since the end of the pandemic, addicts have been openly using drugs in public, creating a zombie-like scene. Shockingly, no action is being taken to address this issue.
In a scathing letter to the city Department of Transportation last month, Feliz expressed concern about the underpass becoming unwelcoming and, on some days, even unwalkable due to the presence of illicit drug selling and use, along with other quality of life issues.
During our recent visit, we discovered several used needles in the area. Vagrants were seen slipping under the overpass to purchase or consume drugs amongst the littered walkway.
Draya Michelle, mother of a 2-year-old daughter, expressed concern for their safety and decided to take them home nearby on Friday.
According to the woman, she chooses to take the Metro North instead of traveling through this area to avoid any potential issues. She strongly advises against going down into the underpass due to the uncertain and potentially dangerous circumstances one may encounter.
Michelle emphasized that there is no one coming to save you in such situations, stating that the police simply stand and observe without taking any action.
Many other local parents were also frustrated.
T. Charles, a concerned mother, expressed her growing sense of insecurity within her own neighborhood.
“I only use the underpass if the elevator isn’t working, and I have my daughter in a stroller,” she said.
People shooting up and leaving behind a pile of needles is a common sight around here. Sometimes, those same individuals can be found on the stairs near the back entrance.
She added that the place where they sleep and eat is there.
According to the locals, the drug addicts can be seen wandering around the area during the day, begging for money to buy drugs. The illicit activities become more rampant as the day progresses and residents hurry to seek refuge in their homes.
Brian Calle, a resident of the neighborhood, expressed his astonishment by saying, “It’s absolutely mind-boggling.”
“I have kids, so unfortunately we can’t really walk through that area. It’s filled with people who are sleeping there and engaging in drug use,” he expressed with concern. “It’s quite frightening to navigate through that neighborhood.”
The exasperated dad expressed his frustration, stating, “Nobody takes any action. I don’t want my kids to experience life in such a neighborhood.”
In a powerful letter dated November 25th, Feliz expressed his frustration with the Department of Transportation (DOT) for their lack of action.
The lawmaker expressed frustration, accusing the agency of rejecting numerous ideas for simple steps that could be implemented within their power.
According to him, the borough has more than just one trouble spot. He pointed out that Fordham Plaza, which has been neglected, has even led to the closure of the Bronx Night Market, a beloved local tradition.
According to the politician, this is surprising considering that the plaza underwent a $34 million renovation just seven years ago.
Feliz criticized the lack of action taken to activate the plaza, stating that if basic steps had been taken, the residents would have been able to enjoy the vibrant gathering space that was promised to them.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) is actively addressing the issue, according to a spokesperson. In a statement, they acknowledged the problem and assured that efforts are underway to resolve it.
“The Adams administration is mobilizing its resources to address the multifaceted challenges and ensure safe streets and inviting public spaces in the Bronx,” stated the release.
“We have engaged in extensive discussions with the Bronx Night Market regarding a long-term commitment and are collaborating with stakeholders at both locations.”
Nolan Hicks provided additional information for this report.