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Photo via Google Maps
Photo via Google Maps
This left turn is now permanently banned, inconveniencing residents of Liberty Park.

Residents of the Liberty Park section of Glendale are calling on the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) to install speed bumps and stop signs as the agency continues its safety improvement project in the area.

As part of the Cypress Hills safety improvement project, Jason Banrey, the DOT Queens deputy borough commissioner, informed residents at the Liberty Park Homeowners Association meeting on Monday, Nov. 13, that the left turn going northbound on Cypress Hills Street onto 78th Avenue will be permanently banned as a way to curtail the amount of cars traveling on the street.

“One of the things we got support from the community when it was approved in the spring time was a permanent left-turn ban at 78th Avenue,” he said. “That was something that a lot of folks felt would help with a lot of the cut-throughs that we see.”

Currently, the signage at the intersection says that northbound left turns are banned between 7 and 9 a.m. Monday through Friday.

Banrey emphasized that the entire Cypress Hills Street safety project is not yet complete. He noted that there are still markings to be made, bollards to be installed, and signs to be changed before the project is finished.

DOT will work with the 104th Precinct on enforcement in that area to let drivers know that the left turn at that intersection is no longer allowed through a warning period, then a ticket phase, Banrey added.

Some residents are upset with this turn ban, stating that they will then have to travel down to Cooper Avenue in order to make the left turn to get into Liberty Park, making it more difficult for them to access their community.

DOT previously suggested converting 78th Avenue to an eastbound-only one-way street between 65th Street and Cypress Hills Street, which was met with disapproval.

Many residents, however, are in favor of placing stop signs and speed bumps on some of the streets in order to prevent motorists from cutting through their community.

In order to emphasize the need for speed calming measures along 78th Avenue, Liberty Park resident Tyler Polhemus presented his own traffic study at Cypress Hills Street and 78th Avenue which he conducted on Oct. 31 during the times when the left turn is banned. He found 249 cars making the illegal left turn. He also discovered that there were a total of 32 reported car accidents over a three-year period, according to the NYPD Collision Database.

Photo by Anthony Giudice/QNS

Photo by Anthony Giudice/QNS

Polhemus also went around and measured the space between the corners and the first curb cuts on each block along 78th Avenue between Cypress Hills Street and 62nd Avenue. He found that the spaces between the corners and the first curb cuts were larger than the space between the corners and curb cuts along 80th Avenue — where there are two speed bumps at 80th Road and 62nd Street.

Banrey said that DOT is not opposed to going back into the neighborhood and again examining the need for both stop signs and speed bumps, since the criteria for these features has changed since the last time the community was denied their requests.

“Now what we did was we [looked at] the crash data, everything that you’re seeing there, is something that we are pulling right now in an effort [for a] reanalysis of every intersection for both stop signs and speed humps,” Banrey said.


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