The Department of Transportation released a safety proposal for the Astoria intersection of 32nd Street and Astoria Boulevard North, adjacent to the exit ramp of the Grand Central Parkway. The 114th Precinct identified this particular intersection as the most accident-prone location in the area. According to Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, who has pushed for streetscape improvements here, “The DOT proposes extending the median between Astoria Boulevard North and the Grand Central Parkway in order to separate local and expressway traffic. Local vehicles traveling west on Astoria Boulevard will no longer be able to make a left turn at 31st Street, and motorists exiting the GCP will no longer have the option to turn right at 31st Street.” (Check out the proposed rendering above.) As it exists now, the Grand Central Parkway exit ramp merges directly with Astoria Boulevard North. This creates a seven-lane intersection where vehicles attempt multiple-lane crossovers across very short distances.

The DOT will take its proposal to Community Board 1 next week and will be looking for community input. Check out four more images from the proposal after the jump.

The DOT Looks to Reconfigure Dangerous Astoria Intersection [Q’Stoner]


Although Queens Boulevard — also known as the Boulevard of Death — is getting a slow zone, the speed limit won’t be any slower. DNAinfo reports that the DOT will keep the speed limit at 30 mph, despite lowering the speed limit in other slow zone areas from 30 to 25 mph. Instead, Queens Boulevard will receive new signs to identify the slow zone, changes in signal timing to discourage speeding, and increased NYPD enforcement. The slow zone on Queens Boulevard will begin at Jackson Avenue and end at Hillside Avenue, a 7.4 mile stretch. The DOT plans to install it in July.

According to a DOT spokesperson, “While we will not be further altering the speed limit at this time, we are not ruling out taking a look at a reduction at a later date.” Transportation Alternatives continues to push for a lower speed limit alongside other design improvements along Queens Boulevard, like wider sidewalks, bike lanes and benches.

Queens Blvd. ‘Slow Zone’ Won’t Actually Have Lower Speed Limit [DNAinfo]
A Few New Slow Zones for Queens [Q’Stoner]


On Friday Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer announced that Sunnyside will receive two new public plazas as a part of the Department of Transportation’s NYC Plaza Program. The Sunnyside Shines BID submitted applications to install plazas at both 40th Street and Queens Boulevard (pictured) and 46th Street and Queens Boulevard. The DOT approved the applications this month and selected the Sunnyside Shines BID as the nonprofit partner to maintain them.

Both future plazas are located under the 7 train in areas currently closed to vehicular traffic. They’ll get outfitted with planters, benches and moveable tables and chairs open to the public. Sunnyside Shines will be in charge of programing events and activities in either space. But before the plazas are installed, the BID and DOT are looking for design and programming suggestions from the public. The first community outreach meeting to discuss these matters is happening on Wednesday, April 30th at 6:30 pm. It’s at Sunnyside Community Services, 43-13 39th Street.

Photo via Google Maps