By Rebecca Henely
City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) said he is requesting that the city Department of Transportation create emergency lanes on Queens Boulevard.
Vallone, chairman of the Council Public Safety Committee, said he wrote a letter to DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan last month after the ambulance corps throughout Queens said they had trouble getting through the packed thoroughfare in the midst of emergencies.
“I don’t think there’s an area of Queens Boulevard that isn’t thoroughly congested at rush hour,” Vallone said.
DOT Spokesman Scott Gastel said in an e-mail the department would consider a request for this or other street changes together with the FDNY.
Vallone said the emergency lanes would indicate which lanes motorists should leave when they hear an ambulance siren. He said traffic has been slowed on Queens Boulevard by various methods for safety reasons, but that means ambulances and fire trucks are also slowed.
“We’re asking for the same protection as they have in Manhattan,” he said.