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DOT to study Center Blvd by June, with 5th street one-way conversion expected in April

Center Blvd (google maps)

Center Blvd (google maps)

Feb. 20, 2014 By Christian Murray

The Department of Transportation will be sending a crew of traffic engineers to Center Boulevard late spring to evaluate whether crosswalks are needed.

The roadway has become increasingly dangerous as the number of motorists and pedestrians has continued to grow with the surge in development and park space, according to residents, business owners and Community Board 2 leader Joe Conley.

Despite repeated calls, the DOT has rejected the community’s desire for crosswalks for years.

However, Queens DOT Commissioner Dalila Hall told Community Board 2 members Tuesday that the agency will study the area again in May/June and will reach a determination by the end of summer whether the boulevard generates enough traffic to warrant crosswalks.

Hall noted that while there is an appearance of crosswalks on some section of Center Blvd—they are mere decorative and are not recognized by the DOT.

Center Boulevard was last studied about 18 months ago, Hall said. She said the DOT plans to study it when the weather warms up but before school breaks for summer.

Joe Conley, CB 2 chairman, told Hall that it was important that DOT studied the street before the school year ends since PS 78 children cross the boulevard several times a day.

Meanwhile, Hall told the committee that the DOT aims to convert 5th Street (between 46th Road and 50th Avenue) into a one-way street during the spring recess, which goes from April 14 to April 18.

5th Street

5th Street

The DOT has said it has to do the job while school is out, since PS/IS 78Q is located at 46-08 Fifth Street.

However, Hall said that date may change if there are several development sites that have scaffolding covering the sidewalks (construction sheds). If that were the case, the next opportunity to do the conversion would be over summer while school is out.

“We are hopefully optimistic and are taking the commissioner at her word that the DOT will aim to do it in April,” said Joe Conley, after the meeting. However, he said, “I can’t understand why it can’t take place over a weekend.”

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12 Comments

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Anonymous

This is what happens when you let do-gooders tell the DOT exactly what to do. You get stop signs and 1-way streets that make no sense.

But, let’s all pat ourselves on the back that we made the DOT make a street 1-way. Now we’ll just get yahoos racing down the street because it will be wider and they won’t have to watch out for oncoming traffic.

Reply
HUGE circuit

what does “the parking lots” refer to? the citylights parking on 48th does not require taking north basin and going south on 5th. neither do the two large avalon lots, the powerhouse lot or any other lot i can think of.

Reply
Anonymous

It’s 3,500 feet farther not 200 feet. I checked it today.

The only way to get to the parking lots is to go all the way to N. basin rd, which is way too small for all the added traffic, and then to drive south on 5th…

It will direct ALL traffic down center blvd making it even more dangerous than it is now plus send ALL the traffic past the school on 5th…

Reply
Joseph Capone

Cross your fingers and hope no one dies before their study is complete. Looks like a no brainer to me. Most of the streets were designed in pre-historic times without studies and without public input.

Reply
HUGE circuit

you will be in a car, it’s really not a big deal to go 200 feet further down borden and drive north on center blvd instead of 5th street. also, the garage on 51st will still be accessible from borden via 5th street.

lots of delivery trucks come down borden and then go speeding north on 5th to duane reade and food cellar. it’s safer for kids walking to school on 5th if we reroute that traffic.

Reply
Anonymous

Is the DOT out of their mind? All the parking lots are accessed via 5th.
Anyone coming from the LIE down Borden will only have a choice of Vernon or doing a HUGE circuit all the way around the entirety of Center blvd…

This is going to cause traffic jams like never seen before….

Reply
Elle

I’ve been almost run over tens of times on Center Blvd. I do, however, enjoy the frantic look of passengers while riding in the warm shuttle bus that the above commenter mentioned. OUTTTA THE WAY SUCKAAAS!

Reply
Anon

Seriously, they are talking about adding crosswalks? how about speedbumps or heaven forbid a STOP SIGN or two??? Frankly the worst offender is that white van that rockrose/cornerstone hired. That thing goes flying down all of the neighborhood streets and barely stops.

Reply
Ro

I am not sure if preforming the study only while school is in session is sufficient. I would argue that during the summer and warm weekends there are more families crossing Center Blvd than when the school is open.

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