Queens' 'Boulevard of Death' Safer, But Neighbors Gripe About Cyclists, Traffic - NBC New York

Queens' 'Boulevard of Death' Safer, But Neighbors Gripe About Cyclists, Traffic

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    NEWSLETTERS

    4 Investigates: Bike Lane Complaints On Queens Boulevard

    Mixed reviews about the addition of bike safety lanes on the infamous "Boulevard of Death". Andrew Siff reports. (Published Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016)

    Queens Boulevard seems to be on its way to shedding the nickname nobody liked: the Boulevard of Death. 

    After the city imposed lower speed limits, wider crosswalks and protected bike lanes, there have been zero deaths along the boulevard in 2015 and 2016.

    That's a striking difference compared to the 24 deaths in 1993 and the 22 deaths in 1997, and even eight deaths as recently as 2013. 

    Between 2003 and 2013, 38 people were killed and 448 severely injured in accidents along the boulevard. Six people were killed and a "significant" number severely injured along the western segment between 2009 and 2013, the DOT said.

    Mayor de Blasio to Go Forward With Bike Lanes on Queens Boulevard

    [NY] Mayor de Blasio to Go Forward With Bike Lanes on Queens Boulevard
    Mayor de Blasio said Wednesday that the city is moving forward with plans to install bike lanes on a Queens road dubbed the "Boulevard of Death" even though safety initiatives approved by a community board didn't include them. Andrew Siff reports.
    (Published Wednesday, May 11, 2016)

    Mayor de Blasio said in January, "We were not going to allow any street in the city to be called the Boulevard of Death anymore. It had to become a Boulevard of Life." 

    But surprisingly, many neighbors in Sunnyside, Woodside, Maspeth and Elmhurst are furious. 

    "This was a disaster," said Peter O'Donnell, who says that crossing the street is now tougher for him. 

    "I have to go across the boulevard -- the bikes under no circumstances would stop for the light," he said. "They don't stop. They give you the finger or tell you to 'go f yourself.'"

    "It's horrible," griped Sonia Cruz. 

    New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg acknowledged Thursday, "Yes, there certainly are complaints, but I'm getting amazing feedback." 

    Mayor De Blasio Credits "Vision Zero" for Making CIty Streets Safer

    [NY] Mayor De Blasio Credits "Vision Zero" for Making CIty Streets Safer
    Mayor de Blasio said city streets are the safest they've ever been for pedestrian. He's thanking the Vision Zero plan that keeps drivers from speeding. He also focused on a stretch of Queens Boulevard once known as the "Boulevard of Death." Andrew Siff reports.
    (Published Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016)

    She said the data is clear: "When we look at the safety statistics, it's looking good." 

    As for drivers, however, many say they're sitting in more traffic getting home. 

    "It's a nightmare," said Gene Austin of Woodside. "Used to be two lanes of traffic, now it's only one." 

    City councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said despite the complications and inconveniences, the bottom line is the boulevard is safer.

    "We don't want people to be inconvenienced," he said, adding that the DOT will revisit some of the changes to see if improvements can be made. "But I don't want anyone to die on my watch on Queens Boulevard." 

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