City makes signal timing changes at busy Whitestone intersection to improve traffic flow

14th and Utopia
Photo via Google Maps

Whitestone intersection that connects to one of the borough’s busiest roadways has recently seen some changes.

Signal timing at the intersection of Utopia Parkway with 14th Road and the Cross Island Parkway service road has been modified by the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT), according to state Senator Tony Avella.

Under the change, more cars will be permitted to pass through the intersection on a green light, which will bring an improved traffic flow to the site.

This marks the third change the city agency has made at the site in the last year. The lawmaker previously requested DOT widen the Cross Island Parkway exit. Instead, the agency installed double-arrow markings on the roadway to indicate it was one lane, which further confused drivers, Avella said. After further correspondence, DOT installed different lane markings to more clearly indicate the road is one lane.

While the lawmaker believes the new markings and signal changes will alleviate confusion, widening the exit to accommodate two lanes is still the best fix.

“The amount of traffic at this exit has increased dramatically over the past few years and so has the confusion,” Avella said. “I still believe that the proper solution to this condition is to widen the exit to permit two lanes. However, I am happy that DOT has adjusted the timing of the signal to allow for more cars to pass through the intersection on a green light. I hope that the new signal timing operation will provide better traffic flow and make the commutes of Queens residents a lot easier. I appreciate DOT’s willingness to work with me on this issue.”