QUEENS, New York — According to qns.com, three Queens thoroughfares that are notoriously dangerous for pedestrians, bicyclists, and motor vehicle operators as well will receive attention compliments of a new safety initiative rolled out by the Department of Transportation. These roadways will be dubbed “priority corridors” and will focus on the safety of all as NYC’s governmental leaders continue to press their “Vision Zero” plan for reducing the number of fatal pedestrian accidents in the five boroughs to zero.
The thoroughfare of greatest concern to people living and working in Queens is 21st Street. The Department of Transportation identified a 50-block area on 21st Street from 20th Avenue in Astoria, Queens to 50th Avenue in Long Island City. That 50-block section of 21st Street averages 4.2 people killed or sustaining serious injuries per mile along that stretch from 2012 to 2016. Between 2009 and 2013, that number was 2.8 persons killed per mile.
Locals say 21st Street is more like a state highway than a city street and that has to change. The street is a well-known connection for vehicles of all kinds traveling between the Triborough Bridge and the Queens Midtown Tunnel. The Department of Transportation intends to change the traffic lights on 21st Street to force motorists to slow down. This task should be completed by the end of 2019. Also, these light changes will allow pedestrians more time to cross the street. The light changes will progress in such a way that pedestrians will have exclusive access to cross 21st. Other possible additions included added police enforcement, installation of speed cameras, and re-engineering of the road which will also force motorists to slow down.
The Department of Transportation designed two other priority safety corridors as a component of Vision Zero. Those areas are 37th Avenue from 114th Street in Corona, Queens, ending at Woodside Avenue. Additionally, the area of Rockaway Boulevard from Eldert Lane in Jamaica, Queens to 3rd Street.
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