Busy Jamaica intersection receives redesign with safety features and improved pedestrian experience

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The Department of Transportation (DOT) unveiled on Friday its redesign of the streetscape and new public space at a dangerous intersection in Jamaica.

The project, known as the Gateway to Downtown Jamaica, created a new public space at the east side of Parsons Boulevard between Jamaica and Archer Avenues and provided safer crossings and an enhanced pedestrian experience.

The redesign, made possible with help from Jamaica Now Leadership Council and the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation, was a part of New York State’s Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which awarded $10 million to Jamaica.

“Under Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, last year was the safest ever on the streets of Queens — helping us bring down the number of citywide traffic fatalities for the fourth straight year, bucking national trends,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “But we need to keep moving forward, and this crash-prone spot in Jamaica where three Vision Zero Priority Corridors converge needed our attention. We are proud of the safety enhancements Commissioner Garcia is unveiling today, as we will now better protect the enormous number of pedestrians walking through this vibrant district to shop, go to school and work and connect to mass transit.”

A recent study found that the Parsons Boulevard corridor was in the top 10 percent of crashes resulting in fatalities and serious injuries. The site had 70 crashes with reported injuries happened at the location, with nearly 30 involving pedestrians between 2012 and 2016.

The redesign, which has been currently done with interim materials, included transforming a former road bed into a 26-foot sidewalk extension as well as adding movable tables, chairs, planters and granite blocks that will keep pedestrians safe while elevating the look of the area. These designs addressed the community’s feedback regarding poor pedestrian environment and lack of adequate pedestrian space, connections, seating and greenery in the area.

Additionally, a commuter van hub at 153rd Street — near the Parsons Boulevard subway station — increases the number of spaces available to commuter van operators and their passengers.

“I think anything that can be done to improve pedestrian safety while making the streets easier to navigate for motorists is a plus,” said state Senator James Sanders Jr. “I look forward to watching the enhancements to this bustling hub improve life in the community, and I thank the DOT for making this worthy project possible.”

For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/dot.