2015-07-29 / Front Page

Blvd Of Life

BY JOYCE VETERE MILOWSKI AND DAN MILLER


Mayor Bill de Blasio leads a press conference on Queens Boulevard, in Woodside, where he announced the start of work on a $100 million Vision Zero project overhaul of Queens Boulevard, beginning with the stretch between Roosevelt Avenue and 73rd Street. 
Photo by Dan Miller/DMD IMAGES Mayor Bill de Blasio leads a press conference on Queens Boulevard, in Woodside, where he announced the start of work on a $100 million Vision Zero project overhaul of Queens Boulevard, beginning with the stretch between Roosevelt Avenue and 73rd Street. Photo by Dan Miller/DMD IMAGES On July 23, Mayor Bill de Blasio held a press conference with the city’s Transportation Commissioner, Polly Trottenberg, to announce the start of work on the $100 million Vision Zero plan to overhaul Queens Boulevard in an effort to make it safer and to save lives.

Flanked by Commissioner Trottenberg and elected officials, the mayor laid out plans for the renovation of portions of Queens Boulevard, between Roosevelt Avenue and 73rd Street in Woodside, as the first phase of making Queens Boulevard safer for pedestrians, drivers and bikers.

“We don’t accept that streets like Queens Boulevard have to be dangerous, that children and grandparents have to be taken from their families year after year,” said Mayor de Blasio. “This street has earned the name ‘Boulevard of Death.’ Today we begin work on the ‘Boulevard of Life’.”

According to police records, between 2009 and 2013 six people lost their lives, 36 were severely injured and 591 were hurt in car crashes. In total, 185 persons, both pedestrians and drivers have lost their lives on Queens Boulevard since 1990.

“By implementing these traffic improvements on Queens Boulevard, we continue to demonstrate our commitment to safer streets under Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero program. These new enhancements will make our community safer for pedestrians and cyclists alike, by lowering the rates of death and serious injury at the hands of reckless drivers,” said state Senator Michael Gianaris.

The community board unanimously approved the project. The Mayor explained how the project would dramatically redesign one of the city’s most dangerous roadways bringing safer crossings, additional pedestrian crosswalks, protected bike lanes, with expanded, landscaped medians. Reconfigured intersections are expected to lower traffic speeds considerably adding to a safer environment.

“I want to thank Mayor Bill de Blasio for his relentless push to achieve Vision Zero in New York City, and the local community for working with us to improve Queens Boulevard,” said Trottenberg.

Also attending the press conference were Councilmembers Jimmy Van Bramer, Elizabeth Crowley and Assemblyman Michael DenDekker.

“No families should ever suffer the loss of a loved one along this major thoroughfare, and our city’s $100 million investment into Queens Boulevard sets our city on a course closer to the day when Vision Zero is a reality,” said Van Bramer.

Work on this phase of the project will continue until October, when the project will move east on Queens Boulevard to make continued improvements to the dangerous roadway.

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