June 24, 2014 By Christian Murray
The Department of Transportation will be converting 5th Street (btw. 46th Road and 50th Ave.) into a one-way, south bound street the week of July 7th.
Community Board 2 and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s office were notified by the DOT of the plans recently—and were also informed that two speed bumps will be added at the same time the street is converted.
The community board, particularly its chairman Joe Conley, has been pushing the DOT hard for the past 18 months to convert it into a one-way. The community board approved the conversion—and the addition of the street bumps—well over a year ago.
Meanwhile, Van Bramer has also been a fierce advocate for these changes through press conferences and constant DOT outreach.
The primary reason for the change is that 5th Street is very narrow and has become a hazard. When cars are parked on both sides of the street, there’s only 16-18 feet for two-way traffic, the DOT has said.
The DOT at a recent meeting said it was going to convert the street into a one-way–and then add the speed bumps at a later date. However, the DOT’s plan was subject to a lot of criticism from members of Community Board 2’s Transportation Committee.
The board feared that the one-way street—without the traffic calming measures of speed bumps—would be dangerous.
The DOT will add speed bumps at 48th and 49th Avenues to slow traffic.
“I am proud to have fought for these much needed improvements,” Van Bramer said.”The one-way conversion and addition of speed humps along 5th Street will make this residential strip safer for all local residents, families and children who live in Long Island City.”
The DOT has said that it has been waiting until summer to do the work, so parents at nearby schools would not be confused by changing road signs and traffic signals.