BY JAMES FARRELL
Traffic safety improvements are coming to Oakland Gardens’ MS 74Q, local officials announced on Monday.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) will install a two-way protected bike lane along Oceania Street and 210th Street and Cunningham Park. Additionally, there will be buffered bike lanes on Oceania Street over the Long Island Expressway.
MS 74 will see increased space for student dropoffs and pickups in front of the school. Part of 210th Street, where it merges with Oceania Street, will be converted into a one-way street with a new crosswalk and speed bump near 64th Avenue.
The changes were necessary, officials said, to address several safety concerns along Oceania and 210th streets. The area is prone to illegal U-turns, driving on the center median, double parking, unsafe student drop-offs and other dangers to students, cyclists and pedestrians, officials said.
MS 74 had raised the safety concerns with Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens), who then met with the school’s principal, Anthony Armstrong, and wrote to the DOT. Community Board 11 approved the plan in March. The DOT will proceed with installation prior to the upcoming school year.
“The safety of our children is always a top priority,” Grodenchik said. “I thank DOT for its attention to the streets near Middle School 74Q and look forward to a safe school year.”
Grodenchik announced the incoming safety measures in a press conference with several other elected officials—including Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D-Flushing) and U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing)—as well as members of Community Board 11 and the school community.
“We are all so grateful for the council member’s steadfast commitment to MS 74Q and to all the schools in our wonderful district,” said PTA President Cathy Grodsky. “We are hopeful that these new traffic changes will help alleviate long-standing issues and make the streets safer for our students.”
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, email@example.com or @farrellj329.