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37th Avenue in Jackson Heights, Woodside Among Priority Locations for New Vision Zero Plan

37th Avenue and 81st Street, where a pedestrian was killed on New Year’s Eve in 2018. The DOT listed the avenue, from Woodside Avenue to 114th Street, as a priority location for safety improvements. (Google Maps)

Feb. 19, 2019 By Nathaly Pesantez

The city has unveiled a new Vision Zero plan highlighting the next batch of streets and intersections deemed dangerous across the boroughs that will see enhanced safety measures—with a long avenue running between Jackson Heights and Woodside among the targeted locations.

The Department of Transportation, in its updated Borough Pedestrian Safety Action Plan released today, listed the length of 37th Avenue between Woodside Avenue and 114th Street as a new “priority location” for a lineup of safety treatments and critical upgrades, given alarming crash data recorded through the stretch in recent years.

The 3.1-mile corridor, according to the DOT, saw 16 pedestrians killed or severely injured (KSI) from 2012 to 2016. The figure translates to a KSI rate of 5.2 pedestrians per mile for the four-year period, a 33 percent uptick from the prior 3.9 KSI figure per mile on the same length from 2009 to 2013.

The near 60-block stretch is among five new corridors in Queens the DOT will focus on improving, among 30 already on its list. The updated plan for the borough, however, has also dropped 17 corridors.

The 37th Avenue corridor, additionally, is part of 424 miles of targeted corridors across the five boroughs in the new plan that, despite making up 7 percent of the city’s streets, are responsible for 48 percent of total pedestrian fatalities.

37th Avenue from Woodside Avenue to 114th Street in red. (Google Maps)

“In these updated plans, we have used the freshest data to identify new crash-prone corridors and intersections most in need of our full menu of safety interventions,” said Polly Trottenberg, DOT Commissioner, in a statement.

As part of the updated plans, “every feasible intersection” at 37th Avenue and other new priority corridors will have Leading Pedestrian Interval signals installed, which show walk signs for pedestrians before showing a green light to vehicles, by the end of 2019.

Signal timing through the avenue and other priority spots citywide will also be adjusted to reduce speeding by the end of the year.

Other efforts include a mix of engineering, education and data gathering initiatives, like launching a high visibility enforcement program on priority corridors; conducting a study of senior pedestrian injuries; tracking violations at priority corridors and other hot spots; and addressing issues with vehicles crossing sidewalks to access driveways.

The lineup of initiatives, save for the LPIs and changes to signal timing that are anticipated to wrap up by the end of this year, will be implemented over the course of three years.

The DOT’s updated plans also include a large list of priority intersections, with about 70 selected in Queens. The majority of the intersections in the borough, however, have already been the focus of the agency, with only a handful added.

The changes to 37th Avenue, while stemming from data collected up to 2016, also come after a recent string of incidents on the avenue.

A pedestrian was killed, for example, on New Year’s Eve at 81st Street after a driver, who carried a suspended license, struck her while making a turn. The driver then drove over the victim twice.

In April, a 13-year-old suffered a leg injury after he was struck by an SUV while crossing at 101 Street at the avenue in Corona.

In 2017, a 67-year-old man was killed while crossing the avenue on 76th Street by an Uber driver, who was also turning.

While 37th Avenue is a new focus for the DOT, the agency is still keeping a close watch on more than two dozen corridors in Queens that are still in need of more safety improvements, including Northern Boulevard, Roosevelt Avenue and Queens Boulevard.

via DOT

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7 Comments

Richard Vagge

Alllll bit assured ….
37th Ave, below
76th street Will Not
get equal attention
nor results.
This is a Lock.
Sadly,
We have a Divided
Jackson Hts
Richie V
The Rabid Activist
of Jackson Hts

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Reply
Sara Ross

As a driver and a walker, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to stop because people were crossing in the middle of the street or against the light (many times with children in tow) or when I’m about to cross the street (at the light), a car comes zooming down the block and goes through the red light. In my neighborhood, I have seen cars go through red lights (rolling into the intersection – thinking it’s a stop sign) and then make their turns before the light turns green. Vision Zero has always been Zero Vision.

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eric

Somehow I don’t think anything will help when a driver intentionally runs you over twice. Do they seriously think a safety measure would have prevented this? 🤔

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Guadalupe Cajaraville

As a pedestrian living in Jackson Heights, I am constantly amazed at the behavior of the drivers AND the pedestrians. Pedestrians walk without paying any attention to what they’re doing (or their children) – almost challenging the drivers – “I’m walking here! you stop”
What is needed is Zero tolerance for double parking, U turns, stops in the middle of the street to say hello to people. Ticket pedestrians too. Etc.The delayed green for drivers, confuses both pedestrians and drivers.
This should also be implemented on Roosevelt Ave. Put up cameras and ticket double parkers; bus stop parkers, U turns, etc. A trip from 78st and Roosevelt to 33rd St. Qns Blvd. takes 40 to 45 minutes around 11am on most days; it used to take 15 to 20. mins. a couple of years ago. Just a thought

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Tony

there are jerks in all places it just happens when a jerk gets in a car, they can cause the most damage.

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