By Bill Parry
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced new initiatives to help ease congestion in busy thoroughfares in all five borough and the new five-point plan will have a significant impact on Roosevelt Avenue when it is implemented in January.
Curbside loading will be banned on both sides of Roosevelt Avenue from Broadway in Jackson Heights to 180th Street in Corona during peak hours from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The busy business corridor was chosen for the six-month pilot program due to “significant blockages by double parking and delivery activity,” according to the program’s announcement. Additional NYPD staff will be assigned to the pilot locations to enforce the new restrictions and keeps curbs clear.
“New Yorkers complain continuously about traffic congestion, a nuisance and serious problem that affects our quality of life,” state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) said. “Clearly, we must work to reduce traffic effectively, and I believe this five-point blueprint put forth by Mayor de Blasio, a plan that includes curbside restriction along the busiest stretch of Roosevelt Avenue, is worth a try. Traveling by car along Roosevelt Avenue is dangerous at times since delivery trucks block lanes and intersections, obstructing the flow of traffic. Once the plan in implemented and the results are in, then we will have time to analyze its real effects and make conclusions.”
The expeditious pick-up and drop-off of passengers will still be allowed as will deliveries to off-street loading docks.
“This ambitious plan will help New Yorkers spend less time in traffic and more time with their families and guarantee the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike,” City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland (D-East Elmhurst) said.
In addition to the Roosevelt Avenue business corridor, the city will make an effort to address congestion in downtown Flushing where Main Street is being reconstructed with expanded sidewalks to improve pedestrian, vehicle, and bus circulation. The city Department of Transportation will recalibrate the traffic signals to allow a better flow of vehicle.
DOT is developing a congestion action plan for downtown Jamaica, which will include recommendations for street redesigns to enhance safety and mobility, signal timing changes and one-way street conversions to promote traffic flow, and curb regulations to reduce congestion.
“I’m particularly glad to see that downtown Jamaica in my district is included in the mayor’s plan, and I look forward to working with the administration to unfreeze traffic in this important commercial district,” City Councilman Rory Lancman (D-Hillcrest) said. “I also hope we can expand the ‘Clear Highways’ initiative to include the Grand Central Parkway, Van Wyck Expressway and Long Island Expressway in the areas around Flushing Meadows Corona Park.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr