Everyone knows that driving in Astoria is a headache. The streets are full of inconsiderate motorists looking to treat the road as their own personal highway, while the traffic gets heavier and more congested. Getting around by car could add another hour to your trip, and if you’re a pedestrian, then most days are spent trying to avoid the speeding lunatics who have no qualms about breaking every rule in the book just to cut 20 seconds out of their commute. It’s no surprise why there’s so many accidents here.
Another disaster area for traffic in Astoria, is one that Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas is trying to fix. The intersection at 32nd Street, Grand Central Parkway exit ramp and Astoria Boulevard North has only one stop light.
The six lane intersections, according to Simotas, are in dire need of additional safety improvements. There were already safety additions added in 2015, by the Department of Transportation, before which vehicles were forced to cross up to 5 lanes of traffic.
What do you think of the accident heavy intersection?
The median between Astoria Boulevard and Grand Central Parkway was extended in 2015, causing cars going down Astoria Boulevard North to continue straight, or turn into 31st Street. This additional feature, which was meant to help fix the problem, according to Simotas has now only pushed the car weaving down further west.
After a meeting with the DOT and the assemblywoman, in 2015, a study was said to be on the books, so that a solution can be found by 2016.
However since the completion date of the study was set for October 2016, no such study has been released.
In a letter to the DOT dated in January, Simotas writes that she “first reported the daily danger faced by motorists and pedestrians at this intersection to the DOT over three years ago and improvements have been repeatedly delayed despite acknowledgement of the issue….I respectfully request immediate action to improve the safety of this intersection.”
It doesn’t help when the intersection in question has been put on the 114th Precincts list of most accident prone locations in Astoria.
DOT told QNS that safety enhancement plans were being worked on and will be presented some time early this year, however no date was specified.