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‘Boulevard of Death’ to get more safety improvements

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City officials on Wednesday announced they will look at new safety measures for Queens’ deadly Northern Boulevard, which has seen 10 traffic-related fatalities since the beginning of last year.

The Department of Transportation and NYPD are aiming to make safer the hazardous 11-mile stretch with a redesign and beefed-up traffic enforcement under Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan.

“Clearly this is a street that needs more attention,” DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said at a press conference at the chaotic intersection of Northern Boulevard and 54th Street in Woodside.

The NYPD is launching a seven-week pilot program that will increase the number of cops along the corridor and the DOT will host three design workshops this month to discuss improvements with the community.

Trottenberg referenced Queens Boulevard, the borough’s so-called “Boulevard of Death,” saying, “In some ways this street is more challenging than Queens Boulevard – heavy traffic volumes, narrower streets, lots of curb cuts, intersections like this.”

The commissioner added: “I don’t want to leave the impression we haven’t done a lot of work here, we actually have, but as I said, we need to do a lot more due to the number of fatalities we’ve seen here.”

The plagued thoroughfare, which extends the length of Queens from Astoria to Douglaston, had six traffic fatalities in 2017 and four so far this year.

“We will really face some challenges on this street,” Trottenberg said of the boulevard, where just last month an elderly man was struck and killed by a car.

Assemblyman Michael DenDekker (D-Jackson Heights) added, “When I have my grandchildren when I cross Northern Boulevard and that light turns green, I’m scared as hell because I have to look at a hundred different directions not knowing whether a car is going to yield to me. I think when that light turns green I should be able to cross the street without having to worry about a car hitting me.”

Credit: NY Post

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