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Conversion of 5th Street into one-way continues to be delayed

5th Street

5th Street

 Dec. 30, 2013 By Christian Murray

It’s been a year since the Department of Transportation said that 5th Street (between 46th Road and 50th Avenue) needed to be converted into a one-way street, citing its narrow width.

“When cars are parked on both sides of 5th Street, there’s only 16-18 feet for two-way traffic,” said Queens Borough DOT Commissioner Dalila Hall in a presentation before Community Board 2 last January.

Hall said 5th Street is only 30 feet wide and poses safety concerns. “That can be harrowing,” she said.

The DOT had planned to turn 5th Street into a one-way southbound street, with two speed bumps from 48th Avenue and 49th Avenue, in March. Community Board 2 unanimously approved the conversion that month.

“They told us that they were ready to go and were just waiting for our [Community Board 2’s] recommendation,” said Joe Conley, chairman of Community Board 2. He said he then touched base a couple of months later wondering why it had not be completed and was told that there were delays.

However, at the CB2 Transportation Committee meeting in December, Conley asked Hall for an update.

Hall said that the DOT has had problems converting it to a one-way street due to construction projects on the street and the fact that children are now in school.

“We have been waiting for a time period [to do the job],” Hall said. “Typically we do it during spring break or summer…when we get a good period of time.”

“And construction…all these things are complicating the process,” Hall said.

However after the meeting Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Conley lashed out at this explanation.

“I think any delay in making streets safer for children is foolish and potentially deadly and they should move on it right away,” Van Bramer said.

“They have a long holiday now in which they could do it,” Conley said. “They have fallen down on the job. Sometimes the answers we get are laughable.”

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9 Comments

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Anonymous

to dear anonymous – what vested interested other than having safe streets for pedestrians would one have?

btw – you said center blvd was very wide, so people speed, guess what making the street 1-way makes it wider for traffic all flowing in the same direction.

Making ALL the streets 1-way might help, but this proposal is to make just this street 1 way.

Just do your research online, you don’t have to listen to Anonymous.

Reply
dear anonymous

fyi there was a car accident at 50th and 5th a month ago. van coming up 50th didnt stop at 5th and t-boned a white lexus going north on 5th. the van jumped the sidewalk on the NE corner, right in front of the gantry. glass and shrapnel everywhere. thank goodness nobody was standing on the curb or the van wouldve wiped them out. would not have happened if the DOT had completed this simple change.

Reply
dear anonymous

do people speed down 49th, 50th or 51st aves even though they are one way? no they dont, because they are narrow. people speed down 48th and centre blvd because they are wide, despite being two way streets

look, you are probably someone with a vested interest in how this changes traffic for you. that’s cool. i think what this does is make the intersection of 5th street and 48th ave less hectic. having 4 way traffic become 3 way traffic makes that intersection safer. it also prevents drivers trying to turn left onto 5th from 49th, 50th and 51st from making a blind turn into two way traffic, which is safer for drivers and pedestrians.

Reply
dear anonymous

actually, forcing cars to play chicken and swerve or pull over to the curb (or back up at bottlenecks) to let oncoming traffic through is dangerous for pedestrians. stop signs and speed bumps are safer ways to slow traffic than are unreasonably narrow streets.

Reply
Anonymous

hmmm… so the street is too narrow, so it’s better to make it 1-way and give cars more room to speed?

Keep it two ways and just add speed bumps. Make it car unfriendly.

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