In Our Opinion
Oct 06, 2009 | 8007 views | 0 0 comments | 68 68 recommendations | email to a friend | print
You hear that somebody was hit by a car on Woodhaven Boulevard and maybe you get nervous if you live in the area, or maybe you shrug your shoulders if you live in a different part of Queens. But everyone should be listening to what is coming out of the Woodhaven traffic debate because it deals with larger issues.

The problems with the Woodhaven corridor hinge on two different issues. The first is how can the Department of Transportation (DOT) maintain traffic levels. The second is how can the DOT give maximum protection to pedestrians.

This shouldn’t be a difficult choice.

Sure, if you don’t deal with traffic intelligently, the problems will divert to other areas and other intersections. But this doesn’t mean you don’t pay the utmost attention to pedestrian safety.

There are fewer pedestrians on side streets and cars drive much slower on local roads. On large multi-lane boulevards like Woodhaven, cars hit the gas and hit pedestrians.

And you know where there are no pedestrians? The Van Wyck Expressway. A lot of cars and trucks that drive on Woodhaven Boulevard are avoiding the Van Wyck.

Right now, the DOT has a list of short-term fixes. These short-term fixes would help move traffic along better and protect pedestrians. Well, someone just died, and people are still waiting on those fixes.

Woodhaven Boulevard has its fair share of seniors walking along it, as well. It’s not easy for them to get across the street with traffic coming from seemingly every direction. As currently constituted, Woodhaven Boulevard has serious inherent flaws in the way its set up. Cars turn every which way and don’t watch their speed.

Why is it okay for the agencies involved to drag their feet on this issue? It’s becoming increasingly en vogue for people to liken Woodhaven to the Wild West that was the Boulevard of Death, Queens Boulevard, in the1990’s. It’s not okay.

If you live in another part of the city, maybe you aren’t worried about the Woodhaven issue. But you should be. Not because of your immediate safety, but because of the mindset of those in decision making positions.

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