Key intersection in industrial Maspeth to get safety boost from Transportation Department in months ahead

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The Department of Transportation (DOT) will attempt to reign in confusion around the “complex” intersection at Maspeth Avenue and Rust Street where drivers are not only forced to contend poorly delineated lanes, but also an at-grade, six-track railroad crossing.

In an email that QNS received on Aug. 26, Queens Borough DOT Commissioner Nicole Garcia informed Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano about the project which will mostly include repainting that will not affect parking.

“As you know, this intersection is complex given its adjacency to at-grade Long Island Rail Road tracks and its location within the heart of the Maspeth Industrial Business Zone, where commercial vehicle and truck volumes are relatively high. The introduction of traffic calming improvements at this intersection will serve to enhance overall safety for all road users,” Garcia said. “These enhancements at the intersection of Maspeth Avenue and Rust Street will improve safety by normalizing the approaches to the intersection along Rust Street, better organizing traffic movements near the existing rail infrastructure, and enhance sight distances for drivers.”

The intersection is at the heart of the “Maspeth bypass,” a truck route through the neighborhood’s industrial sector implemented to keep large rigs off Grand and Flushing avenues.

The letter mentions chaotic traffic flow at the four-way stop sign in which drivers often create their own lane on the single lane thoroughfare of Rust Street going south. This will remedied with markings.

“No Standing Anytime” signs will also be placed on a portion of the north-bound approach of Rust Street between 57th Place and Maspeth Avenue, according to Garcia. No standing regulations will be extended by 20 feet on the south-bound approach to Maspeth Avenue, Garcia added, as a measure to prevent motorist behavior that may hinder the flow of traffic.

Although the intersection can be tricky, Vision Zero data shows there has not been a major incident since 2010 when a motorist or passenger was killed in an incident.