More streets in western Queens will soon be slower and safer.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) presented its plans for two proposed slow zones in Sunnyside Gardens, Woodside and Sunnyside, south of Queens Boulevard, before Community Board 2 (CB 2) during a public hearing on Wednesday night.
The slow zones were designed through input from the community, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and CB 2.
As part of the city’s Vision Zero initiative, the neighborhoods that will be included in these two slow zones were selected based on the transportation agency’s evaluation on crash history, traffic fatalities, community support, and the closeness of schools and senior and day care centers.
Slow zones are marked with high-visibility blue signs that warn drivers at all streets entering the zones. Each area has a speed limit of 20 mph and includes speed bumps and eight-foot-high letters on the road that read “20 MPH.”
The first proposed area, which would be called the Sunnyside Gardens-Woodside Slow Zone, would be bordered by 43rd Street, 38th Avenue, Barnett Avenue, 58th Street, Queens Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue. There are three schools and three daycare/pre-K centers in the area.
According to the DOT, since 2007 there has been one death in the proposed zone and three severe pedestrian injuries.
The Sunnyside Gardens-Woodside Slow Zone would include 18 proposed speed bumps, added to the already existing 12 bumps, and 19 neighborhood slow zone gateways.
In the proposed Sunnyside Slow Zone, which has four schools in the area, the borders would be 36th Street, Queens Boulevard, 51st Street and part of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. The area is split diagonally by Greenpoint Avenue, which is not part of the slow zone, according to the DOT.
Since 2007 there have been four fatalities in the proposed zone and since 2008 three severe pedestrian injuries and five severe injuries involving vehicle occupants.
The Sunnyside Slow Zone would include 20 speed bumps, in addition to the current eight bumps, and 31 neighborhood slow zone gateways.
CB 2 will vote on the proposal during its next monthly meeting.