After year of lobbying, Bayside residents will finally see a special left-hand turn signal installed at a high-traffic intersection.
The new left-hand turn signal will be established at 26th Avenue and Corporal Kennedy Street, according to Councilman Paul Vallone. The installation, led by the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), is expected to be done by mid-September.
The new traffic signal will be an actuated sensor-activated left turn signal, meaning there will be sensors and other technologies embedded into the left turning lane to determine when there is a car trying to turn. The turn signal will only be activated when these sensors indicate there is a car present.
According to Vallone, DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia said the testing for the new wireless technology has returned positive results.
The local community has long pushed for the traffic signal. Located in the Bay Terrace section of the neighborhood, the busy intersection is near to community fixtures, including the Clearview Selfhelp Senior Center, the Bay Terrace Shopping Center and a number of co-op buildings.
Complaints have been received of traffic at the intersection backing up all the way to the Clearview Expressway service road due to congestion in the left turning lane, Vallone said. Concerns about the intersection were also raised at a town hall with Mayor Bill de Blasio last year, which took place at the senior center.
“If you heard a unified cheer from the seniors of Bayside, it was a cry of victory,” Vallone said. “This was really the number one light request we’ve gotten since we entered office. For over 20 years, repeated requests have been denied, but just this week, we confirmed with DOT Commissioner Trottenberg that this left turn signal will finally become a reality. It may not seem big in the grand scheme of things, but this was a huge, long overdue victory for the neighborhood.”
In March, Community Board 7 also gave the green light to a DOT proposal to bring a number of safety improvements to the area, including concrete curb extensions and crosswalk upgrades.
State Senator Tony Avella also spoke out in favor of the long-awaited announcement.
“After working for almost 20 years on this — well before I was in elected office —along with the Bay Terrace Community Alliance, I am very happy to know that this heavily trafficked and very busy intersection will finally get the traffic controls that so many people have asked for,” he said.