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