Some Glendale residents are hoping for a reversal of fortune on their block.
Earlier this month, the city Department of Transportation (DOT) changed the flow of traffic on 81st Street between 80th Street and 78th Avenue — from a northbound flow to a southbound flow — to the chagrin of the residents of the block who claim the change has been nothing but a hassle for them.
Residents are complaining that the new traffic flow restricts them from getting to their houses on 81st Street from the south, restricts access to driveways, and that motorists are not stopping at the newly installed two-way stop sign.
“It’s just a hassle in general. I have to go literally four blocks out of the way just to get on the block to park my car,” said Rodney Otero, resident of 81st Street. “It becomes a hassle in the morning at the 78th Avenue and 81st Street intersection with the Q29 bus as well.”
The residents of 81st Street and the surrounding area created a petition requesting that the DOT change the flow of traffic back to its original orientation. The petition has gained around 50 signatures claiming that “the goal of slowing traffic was accomplished without the reversal of 81st Street.”
“This change in traffic direction has created nothing but havoc on the block. The stop signs that were warranted on 77th Avenue haven’t helped,” Joann Hartnerr, resident of 81st Street, told the Community Board 5 (CB 5) Transportation and Public Transit committees at their joint meeting on Tuesday, June 21. “Nobody, or one-in-eight cars maybe, stops. Now the corner at 78th Avenue is ridiculous. You can’t get out of the street in the morning between the bus and the oncoming traffic coming off 80th Street … it’s out of control.”
The traffic reversal was part of a safety plan for the area after years of complaints about a lack of appropriate crosswalks in the area, blocked line-of-sight issues and speeding cars. In addition to the reversal of the traffic flow, DOT installed two new crosswalks and added a two-way stop sign.
In a show of support for the community and their concerns, the full board of CB 5 voted earlier this month 29-3 in favor of a resolution requesting that the DOT reinstate the original flow of traffic along the roadway.
Members of the committees said that they would follow up with DOT regarding the direction of traffic as well as the proposed curb bump-outs that were originally presented as part of the safety plan.
A representative from DOT said that all of the implemented safety improvements at the intersection were made possible due to the reversal of the traffic flow on 81st Street, and they will continue to monitor the location.