2017-05-24 / Front Page

De Blasio: Over Two Years Without A Fatality On Queens Boulevard

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on May 17 that Queens Boulevard has seen zero fatalities since 2014, and New York City will further extend the redesign of Queens Boulevard beginning in June. After overwhelming approval by Queens Community Board 6 last week, DOT will add major safety improvements to the street – including new protected bike lanes, more crosswalks, and expanded medians – through Rego Park and Forest Hills. Queens Boulevard, which had 22 traffic fatalities as recently as 1997, has not had a single traffic fatality in two and a half years, the same time DOT began the street’s conversion into a Vision Zero Priority Corridor.

“Queens Boulevard offers the best and most dramatic proof that our efforts at Vision Zero are working,” said Mayor de Blasio.  “What was once a ‘Boulevard of Death’ is no longer – as pedestrians, cyclists and motorists all have become accustomed to enjoying a more vital, welcoming and safe street.  As changes come this year to Forest Hills and Rego Park, we thank Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz for her leadership and Community Board 6 for its recognition that a new Queens Boulevard is a win-win for all of the community’s businesses, children and seniors.” 

Last week, Community Board 6 in Forest Hills voted overwhelmingly, by a 34-3 margin, to support DOT’s plan for a third phase of Queens Boulevard redesign, for the 1.3-mile portion of the street between Eliot Avenue and Yellowstone Boulevard.  In the first two phases, DOT transformed 2.5 miles of Queens Boulevard through Woodside and Elmhurst.  In addition to the absence of fatalities, DOT statistics show that since work began, crashes in the Phase 1 corridor have declined by 14%, with pedestrian injuries down by 49% and cyclist injuries down by 42%, even as cycling increased by 120%.

All of DOT’s changes to Queens Boulevard will cost approximately $4 million.  Starting next year, the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) will begin major capital work – for which the de Blasio administration has committed $255 million – to transform the boulevard, making all three phases permanent, including by widening medians and adding new amenities like trees, landscaping and benches.

 

 

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