Dec. 25, 2013 By Christian Murray
The city will be prohibiting nighttime traffic on the Queens-bound lane on the 59th Street Bridge—following the death of an off-duty police office who died while exiting the lane about two weeks ago.
The Department of Transportation announced that the single lane of the Queens-bound outer roadway of the bridge will be closed from 9 p.m. through 6 a.m. each day, reducing the potential for speeding and other unsafe nighttime driving when the lane is underused.
The nighttime closures will go into effect on Monday, December 30.
The DOT said the decision to close the lane at night follows a review of existing safety measures, traffic volumes and travel speeds.
The review came shortly after the death of Elisa Toro, an off-duty police officer who lost control of her Ford Focus while driving off the exit ramp.
Her car bounced off a guard rail, struck a cement jersey barrier, then flipped over and went through a storefront. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
“I applaud the DOT for finally giving this dangerous stretch of road the attention it deserves,” said State Sen. Mike Gianaris. “Hopefully, the nighttime closure of the Queens-bound outer roadway will provide the time for a proper evaluation of the street design.”
Politicians have been calling for the redesign of the exit for years.
In 2011, an alleged drunk driver killed a pedestrian while getting off at that exit ramp. About two weeks later, another driver lost control and was killed while getting off the exit.