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Bayside asks for speed relief

By Kelsey Durham

After decades of watching drivers speed past their homes and get into car accidents, residents of 33rd Avenue in Bayside have had enough.

Homeowners along the street, which connects Francis Lewis Boulevard and the Clearview Expressway, said they have witnessed hundreds of car crashes in their neighborhood and are calling on the city to put a stop to the constant traffic violations that lead to them.

The most recent occurred early Monday morning, when an SUV rolled over onto its side after crashing into a parked vehicle near Jordan Street and 33rd Avenue. No one was seriously injured, but the accident was the latest in what residents said is a series of ongoing incidents along the roadway, which homeowners believe are due to several factors, including the lack of stop signs and lack of speed enforcement by the NYPD.

“We see this on a daily basis,” said 33rd Avenue resident Sue Macinick, referring to car accidents. “People just barrel down here, speeding and blowing stop signs.”

Macinick, a retired NYPD officer and a former member of Community Board 11, said she has lived on the same block for 47 years and has been lobbying for just as long for the city to address the traffic violations her street sees every day.

The stretch of roadway from Francis Lewis Boulevard to the Clearview has no intersections with four-way stop signs, allowing drivers to speed down 33rd Avenue without stopping from one main road to the other.

Despite having a handful of schools within a few blocks — including Bayside High School and PS 159 — 33rd Avenue also has no speed bumps because buses use the street since it is considered a main road.

“It’s just speeding 24 hours a day,” said Elizabeth Kringdon, who lives on 33rd Avenue between 200th and 201st streets. “We’re afraid to let our kids play outside because it’s dangerous.”

Macinick said she and some other neighbors have spoken about the speed problems on their street at multiple CB 11 meetings in the past few months, but after witnessing the most recent crash earlier this week, she and dozens of other residents along the street decided they needed to do more to make their voices heard.

She said she is working on a petition that will be circulated around the neighborhood in hopes of gaining support for a solution to the traffic woes that have led to countless accidents.

“We’re not picky, we’ll take speed bumps, stop signs, anything,” she said. “Beggars can’t be choosers, but we’re only going to get results if people get involved.”

Macinick said ideally the city should agree to place four-way stop signs at every odd-numbered street along 33rd Avenue, and she said she has begun researching what requirements exist in order to get the help the community needs.

“We’ve been complaining for a long time and it’s time for some action,” she said. “It’s about time we take a stand.”

Reach reporter Kelsey Durham at 718-260-4573 or by e-mail at kdurh‌am@cn‌gloca‌l.com.

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