Deemed too narrow for two-way traffic, the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) will soon convert a pair of College Point streets into one-way roads.
The streets affects are 28th Avenue between 122nd Street and 120th Street — which will now only run westbound — and 29th Avenue between 120th Street and 122nd Street — which is slated to only run eastbound from now on. The change comes after decades of complaints from local residents and business owners of vehicular damage from large trucks squeezing their way through the narrow streets, sideswiping parked cars in the process.
The area in question is in the vicinity of a newly constructed NYPD cadet training academy on 28th Avenue.
Reportedly, the main contributing factor to the decision was the narrow spacing of the streets, which are between 29 and 30 feet wide and have parking on both sides.
According to Community Board 7 Transportation Committee Chair Joseph Femenia, several local stakeholders attended a Dec. 3 meeting in which the issue was discussed. At that meeting, a DOT analysis was presented that supported the one-way change; state Senator Tony Avella also provided a statement favoring the switch.
According to Femenia, for decades there have been reports of vehicle mirrors and other damage to cars due to there not being enough space for large vehicles to pass from opposite directions.
“The need for this [is] based in safety, and the ability to maneuver around these streets with trucks and commercial vehicles going forward in this area,” he said.
With several industrial manufacturing businesses located in the area as well as municipal sanitation services and a NYPD tow pound, the streets are used for both passenger cars and commercial vehicles, including large tractor trailers.
Local civic group The 28th Avenue Homeowners Association circulated a petition to support the change before the decision had been made, with nearly all business owners and residents on the affected streets signing on in support.
Civic member Jim Singletary thanked CB 7 and the DOT for listening to the concerns of the neighborhood, saying that the problem used to be so bad that cars and vans with no room to move would often drive up onto the sidewalk.
“The street is not wide enough for cars and trucks to go in the opposite direction at the same time,” Singletary said.