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Image via Pixabay
Image via Pixabay
Several streets in Maspeth could soon be converted into one-way traffic.

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has responded with recommendations to convert several Maspeth and Woodside streets into one-way traffic after Community Board 5 requested a traffic study be performed in the area.

In a letter to Gary Giordano, Board 5 district manager, the DOT recommended that six streets be converted to one-way within the zone bordered by Garfield Avenue to the north, 74th Street to the east, Grand Avenue to the south and 71st Street to the west. According to Giordano, he has requested more information about the findings of the investigation from the DOT Borough Commissioner’s Office and there will have to be a public hearing held to discuss this issue.

“We can’t go about saying the board agrees or disagrees without a hearing,” Giordano said. “Very often when you’re talking about traffic changes, there will be a percentage of people opposed.”

The streets recommended for one-way conversions are as follows:

  • Convert 71st Street one-way southbound from Garfield Avenue/50th Avenue to 53rd Avenue.
  • Convert 72nd Street to one-way northbound from Calamus Avenue to 51st Avenue, and one-way
    southbound from Calamus Avenue to Grand Avenue.
  • Convert 72nd Place to one-way southbound from 51st Avenue to Calamus Avenue, and one-way
    northbound from Grand Avenue to Calamus Avenue.
  • Convert 73rd Street to one-way southbound from 52nd Avenue to Grand Avenue.
  • Convert 74th Street to one-way northbound from Grand Avenue to 51st Road.
  • Convert 51st Road to one-way westbound from 74th Street to 51st Avenue.

The letter from the DOT said that the proposed changes will “reduce opposing vehicle conflicts and establish a favorable traffic circulation pattern.”

Giordano sent an email to Nicole Garcia, Queens borough commissioner for the DOT, on June 8, 2017, requesting the traffic study to determine the feasibility of converting the streets to one-way. To his knowledge, he said, the area that was surveyed is one of the few places left in the neighborhood with multiple two-way side streets.

Giordano further explained that these streets may not have been converted in the past because their traffic volume was too low.

Most of the work involved would be the installation of “one way” and “do not enter” signs to make drivers aware of the changes. Giordano added that there are pros and cons to these types of street conversions.

One of the benefits should be that there will be less side swiping of parked cars and mirrors,” Giordano said. “But often the fear is, will vehicles go faster?”

The one-way conversions are likely to be a topic of conversation at the Board 5 Transportation Services Committee meeting on Tuesday, Jan.23, but the date and location for the official public hearing have yet to be determined.

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