A photo of a backhoe-torn sidewalk was posted on Twitter by the Department of Transportation (DOT) on Thursday as a signal to Long Island City residents that safety improvements on Queens Boulevard have begun.
The Greenstreets triangle is being modified to accommodate ADA-compliant pedestrian ramps to be passable for pedestrians. Three new crosswalks will be able to access the triangle when construction is complete.
“The majority of the construction will be finished by the end of fall,” said a DOT spokesperson.
But backhoes and jackhammers will be smashing up more than just the triangle.
The DOT will be revamping Queens Boulevard from Van Dam Street to 33rd Street by creating seven new crosswalks and pedestrian signals, expanding and reconfiguring Greenstreets triangle and converting 14 off-street parking spaces under the concrete viaduct between 32 Place and 33rd Street in a pedestrian pathways.
All construction is being done in order to better accommodate the large number of pedestrians that utilize the area.
Earlier today DOT crews began excavating the #QueensBlvd/Van Dam St Greenstreets triangle to make more space for pedestrians. New crosswalks and pedestrian signals will be also installed at this intersection. pic.twitter.com/pw7813F6bl
— NYC DOT (@NYC_DOT) October 10, 2018
The excavation is part of Vision Zero, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s ongoing effort to improve pedestrian safety throughout the city, which has taken particular notice of Queens Boulevard, once notoriously known as “The Boulevard of Death.” Between 1990 and 2015, 185 people, the majority of them pedestrians, were killed in traffic accidents along Queens Boulevard.
The number of pedestrian injuries on Queens Boulevard has gone down by 63 percent since renovations started in 2015. This according to data presented by the DOT at a workshop in Forest Hills about the fourth phase the boulevard’s renovation on Jan. 23 of this year.
There are other areas of Queens, however, that are also in need of attention.
“DOT’s recently announced steps to improve pedestrian accessibility and expand high-visibility enforcement are a good start, but making Vision Zero a reality will require a complete safety redesign of Northern Boulevard that specifically addresses the needs of children, seniors and people with disabilities,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.
“The carnage on Northern Boulevard must end. This new Boulevard of Death must receive the same attention and similar treatment that Queens Boulevard did,” he added.