By Bill Parry
Some 40 residents of Astoria and East Elmhurst joined elected leaders and officials from the city Department of Transportation to discuss traffic safety improvements along a dangerous stretch of Astoria Boulevard between 77th to 92nd streets.
Since 2010, there have been three fatalities and almost 200 injuries, eight of them serious, along the roadway, according to the DOT.
Nearly 60 percent of vehicles were found speeding in a recent study of the area that normally carries 2,000 cars during a normal rush hour. There are only six crosswalks over these 16 blocks, so pedestrians must walk up to 1,000 feet between each crossing before they can get across the street.
In addition, Astoria Boulevard is 100 feet wide, making crossings very long for seniors or pedestrians with disabilities to navigate in the time allotted. The area also contains several multi-legged intersections with confusing lane designations.
“This workshop provided an opportunity for residents to collaborate and exchange ideas about traffic safety improvements in this area,” City Councilman Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) said. “Suggestions will be taken into consideration as a comprehensive traffic safety plan along Astoria Boulevard is designed.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr