October 27, By Tara Law
A number of measures that aim to reduce traffic congestion throughout the city were announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this week, with some having a direct effect on drivers who use Roosevelt Avenue.
The plan includes several initiatives such as ticketing drivers who block-the-box to prohibiting drivers from curbside access during rush hours in certain areas.
Roosevelt Avenue from Broadway to 108th Street has been selected as one of three corridors across the city where curbside loading will be prohibited on both sides of the street between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m, and 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The curbside restriction will be in place for six months—as a pilot program– and if it is deemed successful will be rolled out into other neighborhoods. The pilot begins in January.
The other two corridors selected under the program are in Park Slope/Prospect Heights and in midtown Manhattan. The three areas were selected because they carry high volumes of traffic and are subject to significant blockages by double parking and delivery activity, officials said.
The city will be beefing up its NYPD presence in Jackson Heights and the other pilot areas to enforce the restrictions and keep the curbs clear.
The city is also implementing a plan to prevent cars from blocking intersections, a practice called “blocking the box.”
The DOT will be focusing on 50 key intersections citywide—with 20 in the outer boroughs—where it will install special block-the-box markings and signage. The city will be hiring an additional 50 uniformed officers to ticket violators.
The DOT has yet to select the intersections.
Other city initiatives include working with state officials and partner agencies to reduce highway congestion on highways outside the city’s jurisdiction.
The city also plans to tackle congestion hotspots outside Manhattan, although none of those areas include Jackson Heights, Corona or western Queens.
There are two areas in Queens that are being targeting—one is downtown Flushing and the other is downtown Jamaica.
The DOT will redesign streets in these areas to increased safety for motorists and pedestrians.
“With a targeted effort to help clear travel lanes, delivery zones, intersections and highways, these initiatives will address these concerns head-on, using established and new tools that will keep our City moving, from midtown to all of our neighborhoods,” de Blasio said in a statement.
The plan was praised by local city officials including Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, who represents Elmhurst and Corona.
“This ambitious plan will help New Yorkers spend less time in traffic and more time with their families and guarantee the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike,” she said in a statement.