Traffic improvements drive safety

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Some south Queens streets are getting a little less congested.

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that two-way traffic has been reinstated on Liberty Avenue between 93rd Street and Cross Bay Boulevard in Ozone Park. Traffic moving through will remain restricted, with eastbound Liberty Avenue traffic continuing southbound towards Cross Bay Boulevard, according to the DOT.

This change comes in the wake of the DOT’s re-evaluation of the one-way, eastbound traffic-flow alterations that began in 2010 as a way to make the area safer. The project hoped to make several area roads less dangerous, including Liberty Avenue, Rockaway Boulevard and Cross Bay Boulevard. Since implementing these changes, the DOT said that crashes at Cross Bay Boulevard, 94th Street and Liberty Avenue have decreased by 54 percent.

“We’re very pleased that [the DOT] was able to re-evaluate and make changes that benefit the residents of that block,” said Community Board 10 Chair Betty Braton.
The DOT monitored the area since making these adjustments, working with Councilmember Eric Ulrich and Community Board 10 to develop the plan — an effort to restore two-way vehicle access to local businesses and parking.

“DOT is making things right again,” said Ulrich. “Allowing two-way traffic along Liberty Avenue will boost small businesses there and offer drivers a more convenient commute in and around Ozone Park. I want to thank DOT for listening to the concerns of my constituents. It is just another example of what can be accomplished when elected officials, residents and the Department of Transportation work together to improve our streets.”

In support of previously-installed safety measures, the DOT will also restrict left turns from eastbound Rockaway Boulevard onto northbound Woodhaven Boulevard in order to reduce the number of incidents, as well as improve traffic flow.

“Our streets are more than just travel lanes, they also drive our local economy,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “We continue to work with local communities in Ozone Park to engineer streets that are better for business and improve the safety and mobility for everyone using them.”

The DOT also announced new safety milestones made throughout Queens and the entirety of New York City. Last year marked the safest year in the city’s recorded history, the latest in a decade of unparalleled street-safety improvements, they said. During the year, Queens saw 62 traffic fatalities, the fewest number recorded since borough-specific data has been kept. These gains come as a direct result of strategic planning and reformatting, making local streets safer for pedestrians and motorists alike.