BY JON CRONIN
Community Board 9 voted unanimously to support the city Department of Transportation’s plan to ease traffic and create pedestrian-friendly intersections on Park Lane South between Myrtle Avenue and Austin Street in Kew Gardens.
A DOT report found that between 2011 and 2015, there were 68 injuries at the two intersections—14 were pedestrians and one was a motorcycle that proved to be a fatality. The agency noted that Myrtle and Metropolitan avenues are part of the city’s Vision Zero priority corridors.
Mike Moore, a resident of 116th Street off Park Lane South, said that the impact of the plan would be significant to the neighborhood. He stated that he already sees traffic coming onto his street to avoid Park Lane South. He believes that the effort to curtail traffic on Park Lane South would cause drivers to use side streets, and noted that if a light is added at 115th and Park Lane South, the side-street traffic would worsen. Moore said he hopes that speed bumps on 116th Street “would go a long way to halt the overflow traffic.”
He also pointed out that the park entrance across from Mayfair Road has no crosswalk and is not addressed in the proposal.
Moore said that there have been more traffic incidents on 116th Street this year than at the intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Park Lane South. He added that there have been more than 100 complaints to 311 in a two-block section of his street and the 102nd Precinct is called every week regarding the unsafe operation of vehicles on his street.
CB 9 requested a Park Lane South traffic safety study in July 2014 and the DOT noted that numerous citizens requested improved safety at Park Lane South and Beverly Road. The agency also received online petitions and calls for safety improvements by local elected officials.
The DOT said that there will be upgrades to intersections at Beverly Road/Onslow Place, Metropolitan Avenue, 115th Street and Myrtle Avenue, Lefferts Boulevard and Grenfell Street, Onslow Place and Grenfell Street and 82nd Avenue.
Each location will receive traffic- calming measures that include clearly marked shorter crosswalks, larger islands, curb extensions and signal changes for turns, clearer road markings for traffic movement and speed- calming measures on turns.
CB 9 members expressed concern regarding the small circles that are proposed to be implemented on Grenfell Street to better direct traffic. A DOT representative at the meeting said that the agency is open to discussing that portion of the proposal.
The DOT representative noted that the “Qwick Kurb” traffic-calming measures “are clearly not working out” on 80th Street and Park Lane South, and the agency is looking into how that can be fixed.