By Madina Toure
The city Department of Transportation will install a pedestrian island at the intersection of 138th Street and 31st Road in Mitchell-Linden at the request of state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside).
Avella had previously blasted the DOT for denying a request for an all-way stop at the intersection.
He held a news conference Sept. 25, with Arlene Fleishman, president of the Mitchell-Linden Civic Association and members of the North Flushing Senior Center to highlight the need for more traffic safety.
During the news conference, cars would frequently speed past the intersection as children held hands to cross the long crosswalk to travel to and from the nearby PS 214, according to Avella.
“It was absolutely vital for DOT to address the safety issues at 138th Street and 31st Road where cars frequently travel at dangerous speeds,” he said. “I’m glad that they have finally listened to the community’s concerns and have chosen to construct a concrete pedestrian triangle along the very long crosswalk.”
This week, the DOT released its study of the intersection.
The report, presented by Pedestrian Projects Group Jan. 21 to Community Board 7’s Transportation Committee, defined its project area as the residential area with PS 214, PS 242 and playground as well as access to Q34, Q43, QM20 and QM2 buses.
Between 2010 and 2014, the intersection has had four pedestrian injuries, one bicyclist injury classified as severe and two motor vehicle occupant injuries, according to data presented by the DOT. There were no fatalities at the intersection.
Current conditions at the intersection include unmarked crosswalks, long crossing distances, one uncontrolled marked school crosswalk and wide travel lanes encouraging speeding, according to the report.
The DOT will mark new high-visibility crosswalks at 138th Street and 31st Road and 137th Street and 29th Road as well as new enhanced crossing at 138th Street and 31st Road.
The agency will add the concrete triangle at the intersection and flush the median and parking lane stripes on 138th Street and 29th Road between 31st Road and 137th Street to visually narrow the corridor to slow down vehicles.
Reach reporter Madina Toure by e-mail at mtour