CB 8 eyes intersection fix

After community activist Bernard Sydnor died when he was hit by a car while crossing Jewel Avenue and Parsons Boulevard, residents are wondering what can be done to make the intersection safer. Photo by Anna Gustafson
By Anna Gustafson

Following a fatal accident in Fresh Meadows that took the life of community activist Bernard Sydnor last week, area residents were brainstorming over what can be done to change the intersection of Jewel Avenue and Parsons Boulevard, which they say is too dangerous for pedestrians.

According to Community Board 8 member Mike Sidell, the intersection where Sydnor was hit Oct. 24 is difficult for walkers to cross because pedestrians find it difficult to see oncoming vehicles and drivers frequently encounter blind spots that make it hard for them to view individuals at the crosswalk.

“When you’re crossing there, there are very high hills in all directions, and you cannot see the cars coming over the hills unless they’re SUVs,” said Sidell, a longtime friend of Sydnor.

Sydnor, 69, was crossing the intersection on his motorized wheelchair when he was hit by a car, according to police. He remained in a coma at the New York Hospital Medical Center in Queens until he died on the evening of Oct. 27.

Sidell said adding left turn signals to the intersection’s traffic lights could help to mitigate the problem, and Jim Gallagher, president of the Fresh Meadows Homeowners Association, said “day lighting” at the corners could make the area safer.

“If you had day lighting, which means cars couldn’t park for at least one car length from the corner, drivers could have better vision when turning,” Gallagher said. “If you had day lighting on all four sides of the corner, it could be very helpful.”

Jesse Rosenbaum, chairman of the CB 8 Transportation Committee, said a no−U−turn sign could help drivers and pedestrians, although he added there may not be a lot that could mitigate pedestrians’ and drivers’ woes in the area.

“There could be a no−U−turn sign, but I don’t believe that’s the cause of what happened to Bernard,” Rosenbaum said. “… If people have suggestions or recommendations or feel there’s something that would make the community safer, they should put questions to the community board. Every request is looked at and reviewed by the Transportation Committee.”

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