Bill de Blasio Hates the Cross Bronx Expressway, Too

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

Mayor Bill de Blasio today echoed the frustrations of many an aggravated New York City driver stuck in traffic: the Cross Bronx Expressway is the worst.

At a Staten Island press conference to announce funding for road repairs, Mr. de Blasio said he, like any other city driver, has his list of highways to avoid due to their shabby condition. Asked which was at the top of his do-not-drive list, Mr. de Blasio didn’t even need a moment to consider it.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the Cross Bronx Expressway. Number one. Number one,” Mr. de Blasio said. “There is no reason to go there, unless you have no other choice. I love the Bronx, but that road is not a good road to go on. I have strong views on this.”

As Mr. de Blasio’s bashed the roadway, which true to its name cuts across the Bronx, city Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg piped up to note it’s a state road.

The freeway, constructed by Robert Moses, is the city’s segment of busy Interstate 95 and is a major source of truck traffic into and through the city. It lacks shoulders and is the frequent scene of traffic tie-ups leading to major thoroughfares like the George Washington Bridge.

It would seem few drivers would disagree with Mr. de Blasio’s assessment of the highway, with its crumbling overpasses and potholes—except, perhaps, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

The mayor is already in trouble with the Bronx for cheering on the Boston Red Sox instead of the New York Yankees, Mr. Diaz Jr. joked to the Observer.

“He’s walking a thin line here. he should refrain from saying that anything he likes the least or the worst thing for him has anything to do with the borough of the Bronx,” Mr. Diaz Jr. said. “People are paying attention.”

But Mr. Diaz Jr. commiserated on the rough shape of the roadway, which some have blamed for the deterioration of some of the neighborhoods the trench-like road bisects. He suggested Mr. de Blasio join him for a ride on the Cross-Bronx—either up to Albany or down to Washington D.C. to request for transportation funding.

“We have to do more to rectify Robert Moses’ mishap here,” Mr. Diaz Jr. said.

While the mayor said he tries to avoid the road, Mr. Diaz Jr. said he didn’t really have that option.

“I can’t. It runs right through the Bronx, right, so in the same way maybe folks can’t avoid the BQE, the West Side Highway or the FDR right,” he said. “I’m aware of the fact that we need to find funding for it. I’m aware of the traffic congestion on it. Aesthetically, it needs to look better—the underpasses, I’ve always said we should scrub those and re-do them.”

A spokeswoman for the state DOT, which oversees the road, did not respond to a request for comment.

Mr. de Blasio had kinder things to say about Tenth Avenue in Manhattan, naming it his favorite road to drive.

“Tenth Avenue moves beautifully,” he opined. Bill de Blasio Hates the Cross Bronx Expressway, Too