Tag Archives: traffic

Two Queens-bound lanes of Throgs Neck Bridge to close overnight this weekend


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo by Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Marisa Baldeo

BY ASHA MAHADEVAN

Two of the three Queens-bound lanes on the Throgs Neck Bridge will be closed during overnight hours this weekend, while one lane will be closed during the day.

From Friday, Aug. 22 at 10 p.m. through Monday, Aug. 25, at 5 a.m., one lane to Queens will be closed due to construction. One additional lane will stay closed between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. on all three days.

According to the MTA, these closures can cause delays in traffic movement, so motorists should use the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge or Robert F. Kennedy Bridge as an alternative.

This is the fourth of the seven non-consecutive weekends that the MTA needs to replace 90,000 square feet of binder and asphalt overlay to deliver on its promise of a smoother riding experience, according to the agency. All work is heavily dependent on good weather.

For up-to-date information on MTA service status visit www.mta.info.

 

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Traffic study released on site of fatal LIC accident


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

More than a year ago, 16-year-old Tenzin Drudak was fatally struck while on his way to school on Thomson Avenue. Now, LaGuardia Community College has released a traffic study on the highly congested roadway, to help prevent another life from being lost.

The comprehensive analysis was led by traffic engineering firm Philip Habib & Associates and recommends three changes be made to the corridor to improve safety for students and faculty.

The first change calls for the widening of sidewalks along Thomson Avenue by getting rid of one of the eastbound lanes, creating a buffer between vehicles and pedestrians.

The other suggestions are creating sidewalk bulb-outs, or curb extensions, and modifying current signal timing at select intersections.

The recommendations were decided after measuring hourly traffic volume and assessing signal timing, lane markings and curbside parking regulations. The firm also reviewed accident data from the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT).

Last July, the DOT redesigned Thomson and Skillman avenues by closing the slip ramp and making it illegal for vehicles to make left turns from Thomson onto Skillman Avenue. New signs and plastic markers to limit left turns from Thomson Avenue to 30th Street have also been installed.

There is also a brand new 550-square-foot pedestrian space at the intersection of 30th Street and Thomson Avenue, where Drudak was struck by a minivan. It is bordered by stone blocks, plastic markings and six planters.

Thomas Avenue brings in a large amount of pedestrian traffic with over 50,000 students and 2,500 faculty and staff from LaGuardia Community College, located on Thomson Avenue, and more than 2,000 students from five nearby high schools, according to Dr. Gail O. Mellow, president of LaGuardia Community College.

“For years, LaGuardia has been concerned about the pedestrian and vehicular safety of its students, faculty and staff,” Mellow said. “LaGuardia urges the city to rapidly make the necessary improvements for both pedestrian and vehicular safety by making modifications on Thomson Avenue, between Skillman Avenue and Van Dam Street.”

 

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Dangerous Sunnyside intersection prompts DOT study


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alexa Altman

A transit advocacy group is moving to make changes to a hazardous Sunnyside intersection.

Representatives from the Queens Committee of Transportation Alternatives say the juncture of Borden Avenue and Greenpoint Avenue, running above the Long Island Expressway, is perilous for pedestrians and cyclists due to unclear markings and poorly-timed traffic signals.

“Frankly, it’s an absolute nightmare,” said Transportation Alternatives member Steve Scofield, who rides his bike through the intersection frequently. “There really is no safe way for a pedestrian or cyclist to get through the intersection safely.”

Many northbound cyclists choose to navigate the intersection illegally to optimize safety, crossing Greenpoint Avenue and riding against traffic on the southbound side. Scofield said it’s safer for bike rides to move in the opposite direction rather than be at the mercy of drivers with limited visibility. Nearly half of cyclists who cross the intersection use this method.

According to Streetsblog.com, a cyclist was struck and killed by a livery cab at the intersection in April 2012.

The driver of the cab was not charged with any crime. According to CrashStat.org, since 1998 there have been four accidents at the crossing, all of which resulted in injuries.

In order to create a safer intersection, Scofield wants to implement protected left signals and shared lanes for bikes and cars; convert Hunters Point Boulevard into a westbound one-way street; and add more lights for cyclists and pedestrians.

In August 2012, Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer sent a letter to then Queens DOT Commissioner Maura McCarthy, alerting her to the traffic calming measures needed at this intersection.

“This daunting intersection has had a history of accidents in recent years due to a lack of the appropriate traffic light timing and issues with speed control,” said Van Bramer. “These hazards have put the lives of pedestrians, motorists and cyclists in danger and action must be taken before another life is lost. ”

According to a spokesperson from the Department of Transportation (DOT), the agency will conduct a study on the intersection based on Community Board 2’s recommendations.

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Horse gone wild


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

A jittery horse escaped his stable and ran into rush-hour traffic in Queens yesterday morning, striking a car, authorities said.

Blackjack fled from Cedar Lane Stables in Howard Beach at around 8:20 a.m.

He struck a Honda sedan that had been waiting for the light, smashing its windshield.

[New York Post]

MTA Service Update for Good Friday and Start of Passover on April 6


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The New York City Subway and the Staten Island Railway will operate on a regular weekday schedule throughout Friday, April 6, Good Friday and the start of Passover. However, there will be some adjustments to MTA services as noted below.

 

New York City Buses

 

New York City Transit and MTA Bus Company buses will operate their regular weekday hours of service and travel paths with minor scheduling adjustments on some routes. There will be no Limited-Stop bus service in Staten Island on the S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96 and S98.  There is no Limited-Stop bus service in Queens on the Q6, Q21, Q25 and Q65.

 

Long Island Rail Road

 

The LIRR will operate a regular weekday schedule with nine additional eastbound trains from Penn Station, between 2:08 PM and 3:48 PM, for customers leaving work early in observance of Passover and Good Friday, April 6. There will be three additional trains on the Babylon Branch, three on the Port Jefferson Branch, two on the Port Washington Branch, and one on the Far Rockaway Branch.

 

For details, see the attached press release from the LIRR.

 

Metro-North Railroad

 

Metro-North will operate a regular weekday schedule, even though ridership is expected to be down a third from a normal Friday, so there is plenty of capacity for people who want to leave New York early. There is, however, one service change.

 

There will be an additional early afternoon super express on the Hudson Line, departing Grand Central Terminal at 3:25 PM and stopping only at Beacon, New Hamburg and Poughkeepsie. The 6:12 PM express from New York that is normally due Poughkeepsie at 7:43 PM, will not operate.

 

MTA Bridges and Tunnels

 

All temporary roadway closures will be lifted by 1 PM on Friday April 6, in anticipation of an early rush-hour period.

 

 

SPECIAL TRAFFIC ADVISORY

 

Two Lanes Closed On The Queens To Manhattan Ramp At RFK Bridge Beginning 10 A.M. Thurs., April 5th Through 5 A.M. Fri. April 6th 

 

Two of three lanes on the Queens to Manhattan ramp of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge will be closed to traffic beginning 10 a.m. Thurs., April 5th through 5 a.m. on Fri., April 6th while roadway repairs are completed. One lane will remain open.

 

Motorists are advised that they may experience delays. All work is dependent on good weather.

 

Pol: Change traffic response policy


| mchan@queenscourier.com

Local politicians rallied to rule reckless riders off the road, saying bad drivers belong behind bars, not the wheel.

According to NYPD policy, an Accident Investigation Squad (AIS) is only deployed to crash scenes in which a victim has been declared dead or “likely to die” by a medical professional. For all other cases, patrol officers will fill out an accident report, but cannot launch an in-depth examination.

“What that means in real terms is that someone could speed through an intersection, cripple a person, and most likely that driver will not face criminal charges,” said Councilmember Peter Vallone, who held a joint hearing with Councilmember and Transportation Committee Chair James Vacca — examining the NYPD’s traffic accident response, investigations and enforcement of traffic rules.

Additionally, according to the NYPD, policy states only members of AIS can issue violations and make arrests when no police officer witnessed the accident.

“Far too many people have been injured, or narrowly avoided injury, and have seen the reckless driver responsible get away with it because the police have refused to investigate,” said Vallone, who is also chair of the Public Safety Committee. “People have been severely hit, and the drivers who injured them were not punished in any way other than perhaps getting a traffic ticket.”

According to data from the hearing, more New Yorkers died at the hands of reckless or speeding drivers than gunfire from 2000 to 2009, although NYPD Deputy Chief John Cassidy of the Transportation Bureau said there was an all-time record low of traffic fatalities last year.

Cassidy said there were 241 deaths in 2011 — a 39 percent decrease from 2001.

Still, Vallone said the “insufficient laws” are coupled with a drastically decreasing uniform headcount throughout the department. He said within the Transportation Bureau, there were only 211 highway officers in 2011 — down from 376 in 2001.

“We need to stop allowing our police department to be decimated. That is obviously going to have an impact when it comes to enforcement,” said Vallone. “We hope that this hearing will yield information that will keep our streets safer for all — [especially if you] have been injured at the hands of a reckless driver who got away with it due to our current laws.”

Pending legislation supported by Vallone and Vacca calls on the state to give police officers authority to issue summonses even if the officer was not present at the time of the accident, as long as the officer has reasonable cause to believe the violation was committed by the driver.

“It does not seem to be a priority for the NYPD to weed out these dangerous motorists who are harming innocent pedestrians and bicyclists,” said Vallone. “We’re upset. Reckless drivers have been put back on the road and can injure more people.”