After 35 years of waiting, the residents of the Boulevard Gardens community in Woodside will have a traffic light installed at Hobart Street and 30th Avenue by the end of the year.
Councilman Costa Constantinides understood and heard residents concerns about this particularly tricky intersection long before he took office in 2014 and he joined with Assemblyman Brian Barnwell and the Queens office of the Department of Transportation on several walkthroughs of the area.
“When I took office, our Boulevard Gardens neighbors made two simple requests: remove the trailers from P.S. 171 and get us a traffic light at Hobart and 30th Avenue. Today, I am proud to say that thanks to our partnership, we have delivered on both promises,” Constantinides said. “Crossing the street shouldn’t be a life-or-death situation, yet oftentimes it’s sadly the case at this intersection. Thanks to the tireless advocacy from Assembly member Barnwell and the Boulevard Gardens community and the partnership of Queens DOT Commissioner Nicole Garcia, we’re creating a safer Woodside for all those who live here.”
Barnwell grew up at the Boulevard Gardens complex and still calls it home. He has a keen understanding of the dangers at the intersection that has a blinking red light and all-way stop signs.
“For decades Hobart and 30th Avenue, and the area surrounding such, has been dangerous. Through working with neighbors, community leaders, and my colleagues in government, we have secured a big victory that will make the area safe for all,” Barnwell said. “We have secured various traffic & pedestrian improvements, an actual traffic light, and 20 to 25 new parking spots. It’s a win for all, and I’m very happy to have helped secure this community.”
Many community members complained that drivers disregard the stop signs and speed through the intersection, which serves as a junction between Woodside and Astoria. It is heavily trafficked by by children who attend P.S. 151, located just a block from the intersection. The school’s principal Samantha Maisonet has been among the community stakeholders concerned about student’s safety.
“The Strippoli Triangle and Hobart Street safety enhancements, which includes enhanced crossings, curb extensions and pedestrian ramps, as well as a new traffic signal at Hobart Street and 30th Avenue will make it safer for everyone to walk from P.S. 151, the Boulevard Gardens Housing Cooperative and local businesses,” Garcia said.
DOT made improvements at the intersection, but also the entire area from Hobart to 54th Streets as well as from 30th to 31st avenues. The resulting renovation, which wrapped up earlier this year, has created a pedestrian-friendlier crossings between Boulevard Gardens and the elementary school.
“Kudos to Council member Constantinides and Assembly member Barnwell for solving what was a dangerous crossing here in Woodside,” Community Board 1 Chairwoman Marie Torniali said. “They heard the concerns of this community, worked tirelessly with Queens Commissioner Garcia, and many walkthroughs later, a traffic light (will be) installed which will make all the difference in the world for the safety of all pedestrians who traverse there.”