Tiffany Pierce has lived on 72nd Road in Forest Hills since May 2011, and now lives in the middle of what she says is a traffic nightmare.
She says when commuters and commercial traffic look for a direct route to the Grand Central Parkway in Forest Hills, they often weave through her block for quick access, bringing the already tight thoroughfare to a standstill.
“We just sit there and watch all this traffic and congestion, people are getting out and directing people,” Pierce said. “Because it’s coming from the interstate, you also have the tractor trailers and the buses that are coming around the parked cars on those streets and we’re trying to get around those cars.”
After Pierce was rear-ended on her block with her child in the backseat, she got some advice to start a petition from the local precinct and started to undertake an age-old problem in her neighborhood.
“I called the police and filed a report, but they said that nothing could really be done,” she recalled. “The officer said we should just petition to turn it into a one-way.”
Pierce has started a petition on Change.org, and plans to reach out to her neighbors.
“We’re going to start going door-to-door next weekend,” she said. “I’m hoping everyone will get on board, but if not, at least this will start the conversation of what can be done to fix this street.”
Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz said while she has fought for traffic-calming measures on the street for the last several years, she has recently taken steps to ignite the conversation once again.
“There is no question that vehicles using 72nd Road do so with great difficulty,” Koslowitz said. “Today, my office requested of DOT that they offer recommendations to ameliorate the problems on 72nd Road. My office is awaiting their answer.”
Koslowitz requested a feasibility study in 2001 however, “DOT studied the matter and advised against the conversion, citing the effect such a conversion would have on the traffic in the area.”
A spokesperson with the Department of Transportation (DOT) said they are always interested in finding new ways of relieving traffic along congested intersections.
“If, after DOT reviews the location and it is determined to be feasible, the agency would reach out to the local community board for its support to make the adjustment,” the spokesperson said.