BY LUIS GRONDA
A Dept. of Transportation plan to enforce the new Vision Zero policy at a Forest Hills intersection has residents concerned about the effects it could have on traffic.
At last week’s Community Board 6 meeting, members discussed a DOT plan that would make some traffic changes at the intersection of Queens and Yellowstone boulevards.
According to the DOT, among the plan for the intersection is to widen medians on Queens Boulevard to create safer pedestrian crossings, install plastic bollards on Yellowstone Boulevard to prevent u-turns and restrict left turns from Yellowstone northbound to Queens Boulevard going westbound.
The agency said the changes are being made to improve safety for drivers and pedestrians in the area. According to statistics provided by DOT, there were a total of 85 injuries from 2007 to 2011 and one pedestrian fatality in 2012.
But some residents in the area say the changes could have a negative impact on the area.
Barbara Stuchinski, the president of the Forest Hills Civic Association, said it will be very difficult for drivers if they are coming from Queens Boulevard and are looking to get onto Yellowstone Boulevard. They would have to drive one to two blocks up what she described as a “big hill” and make a left turn to get onto Queens Boulevard.
She also said that this plan would drive away some business from the stores on Yellowstone Boulevard because that left turn will no longer be available to them.
“If you’re coming from the south side of Queens Boulevard and you want to go to one of those stores, it seems like an impossibility,” Stuchinski said.
She said, instead of this plan, the traffic could be better controlled by making minor changes, including changing the timing of the traffic lights.
The plan will officially be underway soon, with Frank Gulluscio, the District Manager of Community Board 6, saying that the project is a done deal despite resident concerns.
In order to promote dialogue in this situation, Gulluscio said representatives from DOT will appear at a CB6 meeting within the next two months to discuss the plan and iron out any problems residents have with the intersection plan.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @luisgronda.