Western Queens Sees Its First Share Of Vision Zero

BY TRISHA SAKHUJA
Staff Writer

The Woodside intersection that took the life of eight-year-old Noshat Nishian three months ago will see the City’s first traffic safety upgrade as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan.

The Dept. of Transportation will implement safety upgrades to one of the many dangerous intersections in western Queens, starting with Northern Boulevard and 61st Street.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who began touring the intersection after Nishian’s tragic death to develop long-term solutions to address the dangers pedestrians face, said they must do everything possible to make sure that no child is ever harmed trying to cross the street to get to PS 152.

“We continue to mourn Noshat Nahian and we are as committed as ever to making Vision Zero a reality in Woodside, and New York City,” he said.

State Sen. Michael Gianaris (D-Astoria) said he is glad to see the City is stepping up safety measures.
“This is an encouraging step in that direction, but we have far more to do to remove the dangers posed by our streets,” he said.

According to the City, the improvements will include two pedestrian safety islands on Northern Boulevard and 61st Street to create safer pedestrian crossings. Drivers will no longer be allowed to make the left turn onto Northern Boulevard to eliminate vehicle and pedestrian conflict in the south crosswalk and to accommodate the new pedestrian island in the east crosswalk.

Further improvements include modifying the signal time to maximize crossing time for pedestrians and installing school crosswalks at all crossings to increase visibility of pedestrians in the crosswalks.

DOT spokesperson Nicole Garcia said the DOT will proceed with a comprehensive redesign of the area in April.

Reach Trisha Sakhuja at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, tsakhuja@queenstribune.com, or @Tsakhuja13.