Apartment Construction Causing Traffic Delays

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

With the ongoing construction of new apartments at the Rego Park Mall, there is some concern of what it has done for traffic in the area.

The work being done on the 24-story apartment complex on top of the shopping center is backing up traffic on Junction Boulevard and 62nd Drive and making it dangerous for pedestrians, some residents said.

Steven Shakarchy, a Rego Park resident who lives a block away from the shopping center, said the scaffolding from the construction blocks off one lane on 62nd Drive, causing a traffic jam on that side of the street.

Shakarchy said that area is dangerous for pedestrians, with many cars speeding up on that thoroughfare to beat the light and a fatal accident could happen. He said Vornado, the company that is building the apartments, should adopt safety measures in that area.

“There should be a cop provided by the mall, a security guy that directs traffic, because people are going to get into accidents,” he said. “It’s very hectic.”

Joseph Hennessy, the board’s chairman, echoed his concern, saying they have asked the Dept. of Transportation to take a look at that area when they met with the agency’s commissioner, Polly Trottenberg.

When asked about the area, a DOT spokesperson said they are following up on that situation.

“Safety is DOT’s first priority. The agency is inspecting the location to check that the permit stipulations are being followed, and which are designed to enhance safety, while maintaining traffic flow for all street users,” DOT said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Vornado said they are working with DOT and a traffic consultant on the situation.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.