Doug intersection poses risk

Doug intersection poses risk
Photo by Phil Corso
By Phil Corso

Douglas Montgomery said he became a member of Community Board 11 because he wanted to bring up the key issues affecting his neighbors, and he is doing just that by sounding off on what he called a dangerous intersection in Douglaston.

Heading north on Douglaston Parkway, drivers encounter a peculiar intersection where the road meets 43rd Avenue and 235th and 240th streets. Inside the intersection are two islands for pedestrians, but no striped crosswalks painted on any roads across it. Though there are stop signs on both sides of the intersection, Montgomery said they were not widely obeyed.

The only striped walkways near the intersection crosses from 240th Street to 43rd Avenue, but nowhere inside the Douglaston Parkway intersection.

Montgomery, who works minutes away up Douglaston Parkway, said he routinely sees vehicles barely stop at the intersection. And in an area with heavy commuter traffic being so close to the Douglaston train station, the CB 11 member said it was only a matter of time before a car zipped through at the wrong time.

“There is no real way to cross through this intersection without jaywalking,” Montgomery said. “This is an issue of public safety.”

Montgomery raised the issue at the community board’s June meeting and has been following up with District Manager Susan Seinfeld to ask the city Department of Transportation to look into the intersection.

According to Seinfeld, the area could use a second look.

“It really does seem that there is not a decent crosswalk area for residents to cross Douglaston Parkway,” Seinfeld said. “We do have to ask the Department of Transportation to look into it.”

Seinfeld said she was sending over detailed photographs to the city agency to hopefully persuade them to consider making more defined crosswalks for area residents.

“Sometimes, they might put crosswalks in certain directions to make a certain path for pedestrians, but that doesn’t seem to exist there either,” Seinfeld said.

Montgomery, who also serves as president of the Douglaston Garden Club, said the group works hard to maintain the nearby Catharine Turner Richardson Park near the corner of Douglaston Parkway and 240th Street.

But getting there safely, he said, is up to the pedestrian. The spot is also home to several apartment buildings.

“I am afraid someone is going to get hurt,” Montgomery said. “I was appointed to the community board to bring up these kinds of issues.”

State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) said he looked into the spot and reached out to the 111th Precinct last summer to seek better enforcement and a potentially new crosswalk. He said he also reached out to Transportation, which rejected his request for the installation of additional traffic controls.

Montgomery also spoke with Commanding Officer Jason Huerta, who said he would be paying closer attention to the intersection and routinely monitor drivers going through the area stop signs.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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