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Photo courtesy of NYC DOT
Photo courtesy of NYC DOT
The newly improved crosswalk at the corner of Northern Boulevard and 48th Street.

Longer crosswalks and new lane patterns are just two of the safety improvements the Department of Transportation (DOT) made at a busy intersection on the Astoria/Woodside border that were unveiled on Friday.

In an ongoing effort through Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, Northern Boulevard was named a Vision Zero Priority Corridor. This is less than a mile away from where Mayor de Blasio launched Vision Zero in 2014 at the Woodside intersection of 61st Street and Northern Boulevard, where 8 year old Noshat Nathian was fatally struck by a truck while walking to school.

“Not one more child, pedestrian, cyclist or motorist should die or be injured along the Northern Boulevard corridor,” says City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer who was also instrumental in the safety improvements made to the intersection and others in his district.

The Northern Boulevard improvements are an effort to reduce issues between pedestrians and motorists, and also make it easier for public transit to drive the difficult intersection.

Van Bramer was joined by DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Transportation Alternatives and Community Board 2 at the March 3 announcement, which was held at the intersection of 48th Street, 34th Avenue and Northern Boulevard.

The following improvements were made:

  • A new concrete pedestrian island was built on Northern Boulevard at the western edge of the intersection.
  • The DOT added two new crosswalks: one at the western edge and one at the northern part of the intersection east of Dwyer Square, the small park at the edge of the intersection.
  • The burb was extended where 34th Avenue meets 48th Street to shorten the crosswalk distance along the northern segment of the intersection.
  • The DOT reversed 48th Street into a one-way street northbound from Northern Boulevard to Broadway, which is expected to facilitate MTA/NYCT buses being able to navigate the challenging intersection.
  • Finally, the DOT marked two moving lanes on 48th Street south of the intersection.

Other works on Northern Boulevard in the years since the project was implemented include concrete median extensions being added at multiple intersections along the corridor. The DOT also plans on adding 14 pedestrian safety islands along the Northern Boulevard corridor from 39th Avenue to Broadway.

Earlier this year, Mayor de Blasio confirmed an additional $400 million investment in Vision Zero, which is now at $1.6 million planned over the next five years.

Visit the Vision Zero website for more information on the project.

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