BY LUIS GRONDA
A number of changes will be made to Woodhaven Boulevard starting next year, aiming to improve car traffic along the major thoroughfare.
The Dept. of Transportation provided an update to their ongoing project of making traffic changes along Woodhaven at a scarcely attended public meeting last week in Ozone Park.
Among the proposed plans would be an installation of 12-inch bus lanes between Eliot and Metropolitan Avenues, which could allow for Select Bus Service to run in the Borough for the first time. Another bus lane would also be installed on Cross Bay Blvd. from the Belt Parkway approaching Liberty Avenue. Other minor changes include marking bus stops along the boulevard to make it clearer to drivers where they will stop and for a smoother flow on the avenue.
While explaining the proposed changes to elected officials and community leaders, a DOT representative said installing the bus lanes would quell bottle-necking experienced during peak hours.
“The right lane on both sides will only be for the buses and for right turns,” said Gregory Haas, DOT’s project manager for this venture. He added they do not anticipate adding even more traffic to Woodhaven Boulevard because there will be a lane used for right turns.
Regarding the future bus lanes in Southern Queens, the bus lanes will only be on the east side of the boulevard and will be in effect during the morning rush hour, between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m.
When asked about DOT’s plan for the thoroughfare, Vinny Arcuri, Chairman of Community Board 5, said they have made good progress on their plan and the key is to see how they will make it safer for drivers to cross from the main road to the service road and vice versa.
“They should have the crossovers in mid-block and have a merging lane so it will be much safer and we can get in and out easier,” he said.
According to DOT’s presentation, multiple medians and curbs along Woodhaven will be widened to make it easier to switch lanes.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @luisgronda.