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Elmhurst Slowdown Sought

DOT Proposes Vehicular ‘Slow Zone’ At CB 4 Meet

Hoping to make the streets of Elmhurst safer, Community Board 4 approved a city plan to create aslow zone” in the area to curb drivers’ speeds at its Tuesday, Jan. 8 public hearing in Corona.

A DOT map of the proposed Neighborhood Slow Zone in Elmhurst.

The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Rob Viola presented the agency’s plan for the Corona Slow Zone to the crowd last Tuesday at the Flanders Field VFW in Corona.

The zone-requested by nearby P.S. 89-would be bounded by Broadway, Junction Boulevard, Roosevelt Avenue and Baxter Avenue. In the zone, speed limits would be de- creased to 20 mph, and signage, visual aids and speed humps would facilitate the slower speeds. The slow zone would not affect truck or public transit routes.

The zone is supposed to be “selfenforcing,” Viola stated, with the various elements of the zone intended to reduce speeds; NYPD personnel will not be responsible for enforcement beyond all citywide traffic laws.

According to Viola, the area is ideal for the slow zone, with wide, busy streets as boundaries. In addition, the area’s roadways are more dangerous that 74 percent of all Queens streets for pedestrians.

The signage would take up some parking spaces throughout the zone; about 15 spots would be lost.

“The inspiration from this came from people who were doing this in other locations,” Viola noted. “There’s a very big program in London; they’ve been doing it for about 20 years and they have seen some great reductions in crashes there, almost a 50-percent reduction in fatal and severe injury crashes.”

He added that there are other quality-of-life traffic benefits, such as a reduction in noise.

In response to a question by Board 4’s Lucy Schilero, Viola noted that the DOT has been coordinating with local police or fire departments, but that they had yet to speak to Elmhurst Hospital Center.

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