Tag Archives: Long Island Expressway

Man dies trying to cross the Long Island Expressway in Flushing

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

A pedestrian attempting to walk across the Long Island Expressway was fatally struck by an SUV early Thursday morning in Flushing, according to police.

The 61-year-old man was crossing the expressway at 168th Street near Exit 25 (Utopia Parkway) when he was hit at 12:17 a.m. Officers found the victim, whose identity was withheld pending family notification, lying unconscious on the roadway.

EMS responding to the scene transported the man to NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens, where he was later pronounced dead.

According to police, the vehicle involved in the incident— a gray 2015 GMC Terrain operated by a 22-year-old male— struck the pedestrian on the front passenger side.

The driver remained at the scene of the accident; he was not charged with any crime.

An investigation is ongoing.


LIC warehouse, office building next to Long Island Expressway up for sale

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Property Shark/Scott Bintner

Offers are being accepted for a warehouse and office building in Long Island City that’s valuable for more than just its real estate.

The two-story structure at 34-10 Borden Ave., offered by Cushman & Wakefield, sits on an irregular, 8,977-square-foot lot adjacent to the Long Island Expressway (LIE) between the Queens-Midtown Tunnel and Van Dam Street exit. It is currently home to a scrap metal business.

With hundreds of thousands of drivers passing by it daily, the location is prime for advertising. It already has a fully functioning and permitted 12-foot-by-16-foot LED sign and two 20-foot-by-48-foot billboards, though the billboards currently lack proper permits.

“The advertising available on this building provides tremendous value for a user to have their brand displayed to a strong daily audience on Borden Avenue and the Long Island Expressway,” said David Chkheidze of Cushman & Wakefield. “The LED sign alone has drawn serious interest.”

Any and all reasonable offers are being considered; the city’s 2015-16 assessed value for the location is $459,769, with a tax liability of $49,122.

The site is located in a M1-1 manufacturing zone, which permits the site’s use for light industrial purposes including woodworking shops, repair shops and storage facilities; offices, hotels and retail space are also permitted as-of-right.


Elected officials visit deteriorating underpass in Middle Village

| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos courtesy Senator Joseph Addabbo's office/ Gallery courtesy Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley's office

An underpass beneath the Long Island Expressway in Middle Village has gone to the birds.

Conditions at the pedestrian underpass at 80th Street and 57th Avenue have become increasingly worse over the last several months, according to residents who have complained about the unsightly and unsanitary conditions.

The underpass has seen a growing infestation of pigeons in the tunnel, which leave droppings, broken eggs, broken spikes and feathers along the pedestrian walkway. Along with the litter and other debris left by foot traffic, the underpass has become a hazardous and unclean environment for residents who use this bridge on a daily basis.

Recently, state Senator Joseph Addabbo and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley visited the underpass.

Last week, Addabbo met with constituents at the underpass to discuss what could be done to fix the problems.

Addabbo had previously contacted the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT), which is responsible for the maintenance of the underpass, regarding the walkway’s conditions. The DOT had made efforts to clean up the sidewalks, but Addabbo believes that long-term measures are needed to prevent pigeons from gathering in the tunnel.

“The Department of Transportation listened to our concerns the first time around, and my constituents and I need them to hear us again now,” Addabbo said. “While we appreciate their efforts to tidy up this area, more needs to be done to prevent this situation from continuing to occur, worsening each time around. These pigeons and the mess they leave behind are making this walkway unbearable, and the people of Middle Village and the surrounding communities deserve better. Nobody wants to walk down a sidewalk covered in bird droppings and dirty feathers, and nobody should have to.”

Earlier in the week, Crowley joined members of the state DOT to clean the underpass marred by nesting pigeons and debris. The agency started installing wooden planks along the underside of the bridge, blocking the areas from birds looking to roost.

“Pedestrians going to and from P.S. 58, Maspeth High School, Elmhurst Park, Grand Avenue and more walk under these elevated platforms every day,” Crowley said. “Keeping this underpass clean from pigeon dropping was a constant battle, but once complete, this project will give our residents the clean sidewalks and healthy space they deserve. This was a quality-of-life issue that needed our attention, and I thank the State DOT for taking action.”

A representative from the DOT confirmed the cleanup efforts at the site.

“We are adding wooden planks to deter pigeons at this location, and we believe this will serve as a permanent solution. We are also replacing any of the bird spikes that have been damaged, and we are adding additional spikes,” said Diane Park, public information office for the NYS DOT. “Additionally, this location is washed on a three-month cycle as part of NYSDOT’s bridge-washing program. It was last washed on Aug. 28, 2015.”


Pedestrian killed after attempting to cross LIE in Flushing

| amatua@queenscourier.com

Image via Google Maps

A man attempting to cross the Long Island Expressway Saturday night was struck and killed by a car, police said.

The 34-year-old man was hit near exit 24 in Flushing at about 9:45 p.m. as he was trying to cross from south to north in the vicinity of 169th Street.

According to authorities, the pedestrian ran from the center wall of the expressway into the left travel lane and was struck by a Toyota Suburban. The driver attempted to brake and swerve to the right to avoid him.

EMS transported the victim, whose identity is pending family notification, to NewYork-Presbyterian/Queens where he was pronounced dead.

The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made.


All-cash, multi-million deal for Rego Park commercial building

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Cushman & Wakefield

One month was all one real estate broker needed to sell a Rego Park commercial building described as prime for development.

Cushman & Wakefield announced it sold 97-19/29 64th Rd., a 14,000-square-foot site off 98th Street and 64th Road, for $11.5 million in an all-cash transaction. The location currently has a two-story retail/office building that’s ripe for development, according to the agency.

“Within 30 days, we were able to generate a tremendous amount of interest and create a competitive bidding environment for our client,” said Thomas A. Donovan of Cushman & Wakefield. “A contract was negotiated and signed in one week, and a closing took place three months later at $11.5 million, which equates to approximately $554 per square foot on the existing building and $171 per buildable square foot.”

A spokesperson for Cushman & Wakefield indicated the plans for the site remain unknown, but the location’s zoning could allow for significant expansion. The site has 140 feet of frontage on 64th Road and another 100 feet of frontage on 98th Street and is located within a C4-2 commercial district.

The zoning code allows the new owners to build up to 47,600 square feet on the site, more than twice the size of the existing 20,771-square-foot building at the location. The new owners could add another 18,400 additional square feet of as-of-right development should community space be provided within the building space.

The location is two blocks away from the 63rd Drive subway station and within walking distance of the Rego Center mall, the Long Island Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway.


Alleged drunk driver from Whitestone has run-in with sanitation truck

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo


There wasn’t a clean getaway for a Whitestone man charged with reckless endangerment and DWI after driving the wrong way on the Long Island Expressway and slamming into a sanitation truck, prosecutors announced.

Salvatore Ferrara, 34, reportedly claimed he did not realize he was driving on the wrong side of the road when his 2009 Mercedes-Benz collided head-on with a city Department of Sanitation truck at around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday on the Greenpoint Avenue exit ramp of the Long Island Expressway in Long Island City.

Police on the scene allegedly observed Ferrara standing unsteadily on his feet near his totaled vehicle with bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of alcohol on his breath.

According to the criminal complaint, Ferrara allegedly told officers that he had been driving his car from the city, and that he had had two mixed drinks, a couple of beers and two bumps of cocaine several hours before the accident occurred.

Both Ferrara and the sanitation driver were injured in the crash. The truck driver suffered pain to his arm, while Ferrara was hospitalized for chest pain and rib injuries.

Ferrara faces charges of first-degree reckless endangerment, operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and an infraction of vehicle traffic laws. If convicted, he could serve up to seven years in prison, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.


64-year-old man dies in LIE car crash

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A 64-year-old man was killed on the Long Island Expressway Thursday afternoon when his car slammed into an exit ramp divider before crashing into another vehicle, police said.

The incident happened just after 1 p.m. on the eastbound side of the roadway at the exit for the Douglaston Parkway near Oakland Gardens.

As the driver approached the exit, his Hyundai Sonata veered to the right and struck a barrier, authorities said. His car then veered back onto the expressway where it hit a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

EMS took the Hyundai’s driver, who wasn’t immediately identified by police, to North Shore University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver of the Jeep was uninjured.

The investigation is ongoing.


Astoria man charged as serial tagger for graffiti acts

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Queens district attorney's office

An Astoria man was indicted Wednesday for allegedly tagging trees, traffic control boxes and more in the past year, according to the Queens district attorney’s office.

Michael Mestric was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court on 19 counts of criminal mischief and 19 counts of making graffiti.

According to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, the 30-year-old “found a canvas for his tag at nearly every turn.”

Between May 2013 and April of this year, Mestric’s tag “AOE” was found spray painted on highway walls along the Grand Central Parkway, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway and the Long Island Expressway, Brown said. Mestric is also being charged for tagging control boxes, a fence, tree, and a historic observation deck at Astoria Park.

“Graffiti is not art – nor is it a victimless crime. Tagging encourages lawlessness. It leads to decreased property values and is expensive to remove,” Brown said.

The damage and cost of removing the graffiti allegedly exceeded $12,500, with the observation deck at Astoria Park alone costing more than $2,500 to repair.

If convicted, Mestric faces up to seven years in prison.


Stolen Yorkshire Terrier reunited with Bayside owners

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo by Danny Morales

Police reunited Nutty the Yorkshire Terrier with his Bayside owners after the dog was stolen along with the owners’ car.

“We’re so relieved to have him back with us,” said Danny Morales, the dog’s owner. “I just can’t believe that he was returned to us totally unharmed, too.”

On Tuesday, Morales drove with Nutty in his dark blue Honda Accord to his job on Horace Harding Expressway and 221st Street. He left Nutty in the car with the engine on while he went in to pick up his pay at the Chinese restaurant where he works.

When he returned, the car, along with Nutty, was gone.

“It was like a perfect getaway too because the Long Island Expressway is right there and you just hop right on it,” Morales said on Friday.

Morales and his girlfriend Diana Oh spread flyers with a $1,000 reward, and even created a Facebook page to alert people in the neighborhood.

But the search ended on Saturday when police reunited the owners with their dog at the 113th Precinct. The Bayside couple discovered that Nutty had been on a crime adventure over the last few days.

Morales said he received a phone called at 2 a.m. on Saturday morning from a woman claiming to be the dognapper’s mother.

“This woman called me and you could tell she was in tears and she said that her son had taken Nutty,” Morales said. “She kept apologizing and said her son was troubled.”

The mother told Morales that her son, a 19-year-old, had stolen several cars recently.

Police couldn’t be reached for comment, but Morales said that the dog was found in the driver’s seat of another stolen car. The driver, the 19-year-old son, was arrested along with his alleged girlfriend. Authorities found Morales’ identification card and credit cards in the girlfriend’s wallet.

“That’s when the cops realized that Nutty wasn’t just some dog,” he said. “It turns out that he took Nutty with him on all these car thefts.”

Morales and Oh celebrated on Saturday with family and friends. They took the dog to the veterinarian, who found nothing wrong with Nutty.

“He’s acting a little weird but then again, he’s always been an oddball,” Morales said.


Bayside residents searching for missing dog taken in car theft

| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

Photo by Danny Morales

Two Bayside residents are scrambling to find their beloved Yorkie after a thief stole their car with Nutty the dog inside of it.

“I don’t care about the car. We’re just hoping that he didn’t just abandon the car with the dog stuck in it or something,” said Danny Morales, Nutty’s owner. “I just want my dog back. That’s it. We don’t care about anything else. No questions asked.”

Morales is offering a $1,000 reward for anyone who returns Nutty, a brown Yorkshire Terrier. Anyone with information can call Morales at (917) 942-0121 or (646) 201-3882.

On Tuesday, Morales drove with Nutty in his dark blue Honda Accord to his job on Horace Harding Expressway and 221st Street. He decided to leave Nutty in the car with the engine on for just a second while he went in to pick up his pay at the Chinese restaurant where he works.

“And when I went outside my car wasn’t there,” Morales recalled. “It was like a perfect getaway too because the Long Island Expressway is right there and you just hop right on it.”


Danny Morales’ stolen Honda Accord.

Morales, along with his girlfriend Diana Oh,  have spent the past few days spreading flyers in the Bayside area and even Little Neck and Douglaston.

They’ve created a Facebook page Bring Nutty Home so that friends can spread the word. The incident was reported to the police but Morales believes that distributing fliers and using social media will be the fastest way to be reunited with Nutty.

“He’s so small and innocent, it sucks,” Morales said. “I’ve lived here for 30 years and everyone knows me here, so I can’t believe this happened.”



Pedestrian struck and killed while walking on LIE

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

police car

A 38-year-old man was fatally hit by a vehicle early Wednesday morning as he was walking in the middle lane of the Long Island Expressway, cops said.

The victim, who has yet to be identified by police, was struck at about 3:15 a.m. on the westbound side of the roadway at the Grand Central Parkway near Corona, according to police. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

The driver of the vehicle, a green Ford, remained at the site of the collision and the investigation is ongoing.

It was not immediately clear what the pedestrian was doing on the expressway.




Overturned cement truck makes mess on LIE

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo via Twitter/@TrafficAdvisory


Updated Tuesday, Sept. 16, 7:02 a.m.

Commuters going westbound on the Long Island Expressway Monday afternoon faced a messy situation as an overturned cement truck spilled debris on the road.

The incident, which happened at about 12:28 p.m., occurred at Maurice Avenue near the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, according to the FDNY. The driver was taken to Elmhurst Hospital in stable condition, officials and reports said.

Photo courtesy of NYC Fire Wire

Photo courtesy of NYC Fire Wire

The accident caused delays on the LIE for several hours, and all westbound traffic had to be detoured at Maurice Avenue to the lower LIE level. Eastbound traffic also experienced delays.


Photo courtesy of NYC Fire Wire


Two killed in Long Island Expressway collision

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Graphic image

Two men lost their lives on the Long Island Expressway Saturday when their car struck a guardrail at the exit for the Grand Central Parkway, police said.

The vehicle, a Subaru Impreza, was traveling westbound on the roadway at about 12:35 a.m. when the driver tried to get onto the parkway exit and failed to properly navigate the turn, cops said. The car then struck a guardrail before hitting a metal overpass structure and overturning on its side.

The driver, a 30-year-old man, and his passenger, a 31-year-old man, were taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where they were dead, according to authorities.

Both victims have yet to be identified by police.


New retail space coming to Rego Park

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Rendering Courtesy of Winick Realty Group

New retail opportunities are coming to Rego Park just blocks from three major Queens malls.

Leasing has begun on 8,095 square feet of ground retail space at 92-77 Queens Blvd., which is currently under construction, Winick Realty Group announced. The site is expected to be move-in ready by 2015.

“We truly believe that this is an unparalleled opportunity for any retailer to position themselves in front of three major malls, Queens Boulevard, the Long Island Expressway, two subway lines and 10 bus lines,” said Winick Realty Group real estate broker Robert Heicklen.

Located adjacent to Rego Center and blocks away from Queens Center and Queens Place malls, 92-77 offers retailers 35 feet of all-glass frontage on 93rd Street and front- and rear-facing backlit signage.

Deals including one for a 16,000-square foot fitness center and another for a “well-known national coffee brand” are pending for two of the three spaces on the property, according to Winick Realty Group. The overall site features a 400-square-foot loading dock and on-site parking.

According to a Winick Realty Group online flyer, Retro Fitness and Starbucks are expected soon.

“Winick Realty Group is excited to represent this type of high-profile, high-visibility exclusive as we continue to expand our leasing efforts in the borough of Queens,” said Winick Realty Group President Steven Baker.



Long Island Expressway crash kills one

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

A 22-year-old man died after his car struck a wall as he was exiting the Long Island Expressway early Thursday morning, cops said.

The victim, Aaron Jung Hay Wu, of Oakland Gardens, was attempting to merge onto the Clearview Expressway, at Exit 27, about 3:50 a.m. when the accident occurred, officials said.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The investigation is ongoing, according to police.