From detonations to gunfire, these intrusive sounds from Rodman’s Neck disrupt the relative tranquility of the quaint island neighborhood of City Island just on the other side of Eastchester Bay.
Now the city has announced that it’s planning on $275 million in upgrades to this NYPD training ground tucked away in the northeast Bronx inside Pelham Bay, the city’s largest park.
This is an increase from $150 million proposed back in late 2014 and a lot of it has to do with substandard infrastructure which hasn’t been updated since the city took it over in the 1960s.
But for City Island residents, the most important upgrade will be the noise reduction.
For decades, local residents from Country Club to City Island have been fighting the city to do something about the noise pollution from the detonations and firing exercises that plague the communities surrounding Eastchester Bay.
“I’m very happy that the City is going to upgrade Rodman’s Neck.” said City Island resident Tommy Breen.
“It’s exciting for residents and visitors to the area that sound baffles will be installed after decades of pressure. The noise from the range reaching City Island and other nearby neighborhoods is very unpleasant and unnecessary.” added Breen.
Not everyone is as optimistic, however.
John Doyle, City Island resident and a candidate for Councilman Jimmy Vacca’s seat in the 13th District, said, “While the latest pledge from City Hall is encouraging, Bronx residents who live along Eastchester Bay realize it’s only the latest in a string of broken promises over the last twenty-five years.”
In 1993, former Mayor David Dinkins had signed a memorandum of understanding with New York State legislature that sound baffling would be installed to mitigate the noise pollution from the range within a year—something which clearly never came into fruition.
And since 2009, the NYPD and Councilman Vacca had told the community that the range was moving from Rodman’s Neck.
However,during a 45th Precinct Community Council meeting,Mr Doyle pressed then NYPD Commissioner William Bratton who admitted that the range would not be moved into a new police academy in Queens due to budget constraints.
“Until a shovel hits the ground, these are only words.” said Doyle.
“I’ll personally be watching these plans as closely as possible and I would encourage all levels of City government to set up a transparent and open process so Bronxites can keep informed.” he added.
In the meantime, there’s a petition started by Doyle circulating for the city to keep its promise so feel free to add your name to pressure them.