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Block-the-Box Will be ‘Aggressively’ Enforced at Several LIC Intersections

Queens Boulevard and Skillman Avenue, one of the intersections where “Don’t Block the Box” will be enforced. (Google Maps)

March 6, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

The city will begin to “aggressively” enforce block-the-box regulations in several problematic intersections across the boroughs, including three in Long Island City out of 12 locations in Queens.

The intersections include Queens Boulevard and Skillman Avenue, Queens Plaza South and 28th Street, and Northern Boulevard and Queens Boulevard.

These three locations will get special markings and updated signage to make drivers aware of the new restrictions.

Block the box, which was not being enforced by the city for some time, is making a comeback as part of an update to the mayor’s “Clear Intersections” initiative to address congestion, released last year. The intersections, announced yesterday by the city, are among the most congested areas citywide, with traffic and slow speeds at these locations having a domino effect on traffic in other places.

“We know traffic can be frustrating, but blocking the box just causes gridlock for everybody — bus riders, pedestrians, cyclists and your fellow motorists,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

This time, however, block the box returns with the help of the NYPD, with the agency set hire an additional 50 uniformed officers to enforce these regulations.

“Blocking the box is one area where focused NYPD enforcement can and will make a big difference to keep traffic moving around hotspots in every borough,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Violators can face minimum fines of $115 and possible points that can lead to the loss of a driver’s license.

The announcement comes as the city is experiencing slower vehicular speeds. In Manhattan, for example, travel times have slowed by 23 percent since 2010, according to the DOT.

The 12 intersections in Queens under the new plan:

– Queens Boulevard & Skillman Avenue
– Northern Boulevard & Queens Boulevard
– Queens Boulevard & Roosevelt Avenue
– Astoria Boulevard & 31 Street
– 21 Street & 49 Avenue
– Laurel Hill Boulevard & 65 Place
– Queens Midtown Expressway *N S/R & Grand Avenue
– Main Street & Roosevelt Avenue
– 71 Avenue & Austin Street
– 37 Avenue & 138 Street
– Metropolitan Avenue & 60 Street
– Queens Plaza South (SR) & 28 Street

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The real problem is the number of TLC licenses being granted to ride sharing services such as Uber, Lyft etc. These need to be better curbed to address the congestion issue.


I’ve been saying for years that Queens Plaza and Northern/Jackson is a disaster waiting to happen. Cars trying to get past the blocked lanes head into the oncoming traffic. It’s horrifying. Are they putting cameras in too? God, I hope so!


Van Dam St. /Thompson Ave/ & Queens Blvd. completely blocks westbound queens Blvd. to upper level
43rd Street and Laurel Hill Blvd every f&$king morning blocking Q67 bus route.

Ed Babcock

Traffic congestion in Manhattan can be directly attributed to the removal of street space from vehicles to put in picnic tables pedestrian plazas and vendor carts. This effort to Midtown Manhattan more Disney World-like is the biggest4 cause of congestion. Broadway no longer runs from the North end of Manhattan to South Ferry. Many side streets streets are similarly obstructed or narrowed.

Flushing Skeptic

Every traffic signal controlled intersection should be subject to drivers being fined if they are caught in the intersection when the signal changes. Usually, if they are in the intersection when the signal changes, they are there because they entered the intersection when the signal was about to change.


Traffic enforcement is fine, but I cannot help but think this is a revenue generator more than an effort to keep traffic flowing. What about traffic agents that direct traffic to keep the intersection clear and keep traffic flowing? They also have the power to issue tickets. Why play gotcha?


Good. Sometimes traffic is blocked halfway up the bridge coming into Queens because of cars and trucks blocking the box in Queens Plaza.
Tons of traffic cops milling about Queens Plaza but they don’t do anything about it.


Great idea. All the congestion in that area really impedes my frequent visits to Scandals.


I agree with Anonymous that Queens Blvd and Roosevelt isn’t bad. Queens Blvd and Skillman is a whole other story. These regulations will literally save someone’s life at that intersection. That intersection is always blocked during rush hour by really large and long trucks and there are tons of students and staff on foot heading to nearby LaGuardia Community College being forced to walk into the middle of the intersection to navigate their way around massive trucks that may not even see them. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. Hopefully this new plan will help.

Transplant Recognized

You must be from some transplant…

Blocking the box prohibits drivers from entering an intersection when there is not enough room beyond the far cross walk to proceed without blocking the intersection. Motorists that are stuck in the middle of an intersection end up obstructing the flow of traffic coming in the other direction. If you are caught blocking the box you will be fined.


Thanks for the explanation. I don’t know why you had to be a b*tch about it but thanks nonetheless.


I didn’t ask for anyone in the comments to explain it, simply suggested they put an explanation in the original article for context, as this is not a common colloquialism. I’ve lived here for 17 years and it’s the first time I’ve heard the term.


Queens Boulevard & Roosevelt Avenue … hmmm, not really an issue at that intersection.


The intersection of 47 st. and Greenpoint Ave. is a mess and has been ever since 48th street became one way. DOT can’t admit that the change was a huge mistake.


Thank you Thank You Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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