How the Cross Bronx Expressway was Built and
Cross-Bronx Expressway was built through the New York City with the intention
of serving the large population therein and reducing congestions. Robert Moses
is the planner behind the highway and most of the other American cities’
modernization (Sedensky). While in the mission of building roads and bridges
through the New York City, Robert ensured that some of the existing lands were
preserved for parks and other helpful tunnels through the town (Caro 850).
Moses assured that most of the road is straight as it stretches through the
borough and most of the curves that can be identified on the way are shallow. Moreover,
one of the miles possesses a puzzling location that cannot be expressed well on
the maps through the city. Although Robert Moses is known as an excellent urban
planner as he managed to maneuver his way through the design and actual
building of the cross Bronx expressway, it is apparent that the construction
was made in different ways and had various consequences.
onset of the construction of the road, more people were displaced, and the more
significant percentage was that of refugees who did not have much wealth.
However, the affected individuals were provided with the necessities that they
needed for their survival as the road could demolish their passage areas to
other cities to work (Gubaydullin). Therefore, jobs were provided for the men
who did not have work downtown within their neighborhoods. Further, some of the
people needed to travel city for their everyday tasks and good transportation
were provided. Additionally, major shopping for mothers who were homemakers was
available in the neighborhood, and they could feed their children without much
hustle. As the construction of the road continued through the Southwestern
border, more requests on the availability of parks and Crotona Park was set
apart. The parks that were set apart replaced playgrounds that would provide
children with a place to play and have fun together (Ouroussoff). Additionally,
the parks provided recreation for both young adults and children. Moreover,
Moses built a swimming pool that was referred to as the Indian Lake, which also
enhanced recreational activities in the neighborhood.
the highway passed through Tremont where schooling was considered a valuable
exercise. Moses ensured not to interfere with the schools, and all were kept
close enough for the children to walk to and from home (Caro 853). However, most of the apartments
in East Tremont were traditional, and Moses did not see it a big deal
demolishing them. Furthermore, he emphasized that the lack of elevators in the
apartments made them resemble slums. However, the people in the neighborhood
loved the houses because their low water pressure was equivalent to more
moderate amounts of rent. With time, East Tremont could act as a home for the
city’s newest immigrants, and this made it a stage for fast urbanization within
the construction period of the road. Further, Robert Moses sent letters to the
people of East Tremont notifying them of the passage of the highway through
their town (Caro 858). By then, an influx of refugees existed who were mostly
Negroes into the place, as they believed it had the cheapest of houses that
they could afford. He was the city construction coordinator as indicated in the
letters and the people were given an ultimatum of ninety days to vacate the
place, although there had been no warnings and indications of the information
(Rayman). However, the finances to build the road had not yet been released by
the time of delivery of the letters. Therefore, more time would be required to
make the way contrary to the three months periods indicated on the note.
the letter expressed that a section of the highway had already been completed
and that the relocation services were done in an orderly way. However, contrary
to the information, the two and a half miles of the express highway that had
come to completion that had created a scene of desolation and destruction. The
sites had turned into hills of people as there were no tenants in the
surrounding. The eviction and displacement of people from their apartments are
the most significant adverse effect on the inhabitants of the areas through
which the road passed. According to Gubaydullin, many people were displaced and
moved to temporary shelters with their families as they awaited other phases of
a way, the economy of New York City faced challenges as the number of people
who contributed to its GDP was jobless and homeless, although some of them had
no clear routes to use in their workplace. Despite the formation of a Tenant
Relocation Bureau that was charged with the responsibility of finding
comparable living quarters with average conditions that could accommodate
people of the economic middle and low cases, there were no beneficial actions
witnessed (Rayman). The evicted people would continue to suffer for an
irregular period as some of them continued to hold on to their old homes with
the hope that things would get better and that they would be spared. In most
cases, the city had tens of thousands of people who were waiting to be
allocated the city’s public homes, which were slightly cheaper than the other
houses (Powell). Additionally, the displaced persons faced threats that the
compensation fee that had been offered for moving expenses would be lowered if
they declined the already provided amounts.
there was hope for the people of East Tremont where the second section of the
highway was to pass when Flanagan, a close ally of Moses, reasoned with them
and concluded that there could have been a better route through the Park, which
would warrant that no individuals would face displacement (Caro 863). Most of
the apartments would be saved if the alternate route would be accepted for use
in the road construction. A battle ensued between the city dwellers and the
authorities to either have an alternative way or at least increase the amount
of compensation to the displaced people. It was in this cause that the locals
set to seek engineers who would be willing to defy Moses’ orders as they drew a
detailed map of the alternative route and proving its feasibility from the
engineers’ point of view (Caro 868). The media was not willing to publicize the
woes of the people as they sought help. Therefore, the details of the losses
that would be incurred by New York were omitted from the newspapers as the
Moses and his engineers were stubborn to change their construction routes.
Lilian Edelstein helped fight for the people’s rights to housing, but it was
challenging to convince various individuals who believed that fighting the city
hall officials would never be fruitful.
the challenges that would hinder the success of Robert Moses’ work in New York
were both political and economic. In such a way, the Bronx President supported
his people that the highway had an alternative route, even though the case was
taken to the law offices (Sarachan). However, Moses believed that the passage
of the road in the proposed alternative areas would pose speed-limiting
challenges, which will not solve the existing problems on the streets. Further,
Moses made Lyons agree with him that the only possible road was his version and
threatened to stop the ongoing construction in Lyons if he could be defeated in
this case (Caro 872). The effects of the Bronx highway are still felt in the
New York City as motorists have to slow down when using the road to avoid
accidents. Furthermore, the Lincoln Tunnel, which is along the Bronx highway,
is among the most congested routes during rush hours. Hence, it slows down
traffic movements, which in return causes motorists a loss of many hours on the
road annually. With time, most of the building in the Bronx had been raced down
by people who then sought compensation from insurance companies so the money
could help them settle in their new homes. With the continued trick of setting
houses ablaze, insurers uncovered the motives behind it and stopped the
provision of insurance policies. Hence, the city blocks were abandoned and
became home to gangs that would then rob people for survival. A significant
effect of the relocation of the locals was an increased crime rate in the city
as many jobs had also been lost.
the construction of the Bronx express highway is associated with both advantages
and challenges just like any other projects. Hence, many people were displaced,
and the government could not refund them substantially (Gubaydullin). As a
result, the number of homeless individuals and refugees increased in the New
York, especially East Tormento (Rayman). Additionally, the economy of the
entire city was paralyzed as many people lost jobs while others were not in a
position to commute to their workplaces as some roads were demolished to build
the highway. However, the construction also created some jobs that were taken
up by local engineers who helped in developing the way to completion. Despite
the political and economic challenges, the highway was built successfully as it
still serves as the primary transportation means in the New York City.
Caro, Robert A. The Power Broker Robert Moses and the Fall
of New York. Vintage Books, 1975.
Gubaydullin, Marat. “Robert Moses and the Cross-Bronx Expressway.” Baruch.
26 Sept. 2013. https://blogs.baruch.cuny.edu/his3460fall2013/?p=217. Accessed 20 Dec. 2017.
Ouroussoff, Nicolai. “Complex, Contradictory Robert Moses.” New
York Times. 2 Feb. 2007. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/02/arts/design/02mose.html.
Accessed 20 Dec. 2017.
Powell, Michael. “A Tale of Two Cities.” New York Times.
6 May 2007. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/06/nyregion/thecity/06hist.html. Accessed 20 Dec. 2017.
Rayman, Graham. “Cross Bronx Expressway Named Most Congested City
Roadway In U.S.” NY Daily News. 20 Feb. 2017. http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/cross-bronx-expressway-named-congested-city-roadway-u-s-article-1.2977466. Accessed 20 Dec. 2017.
Sarachan, Sydney. “The Legacy of Robert Moses.” PBS.
17 Jan. 2013. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/environment/the-legacy-of-robert-moses/16018/. Accessed 20 Dec. 2017.
Sedensky, Matt. “Neighborhood Report: Bronx Up Close; Decades
Later, Doing the Cross Bronx Expressway Right.” New York Times. 1
Oct. 2001. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/07/nyregion/neighborhood-report-bronx-up-close-decades-later-doing-cross-bronx-expressway.html. Accessed 20 Dec. 2017.