An electronic speed limit sign has been placed on the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and 62nd Drive, displaying the words ‘Slow Down’ in capital letters and a picture of a skeleton when drivers exceed the limit.
When driving northbound on Woodhaven Boulevard, drivers see the sign that reads ‘Speed Limit 35’ and depicts a man crossing the street. When a driver breaks the speed limit, the sign changes.
This sign was implemented by the Department of Transportation as a reminder to drivers to adhere to speed laws for everyone’s safety. It is part of the DOT’s outreach to install temporary electronic speed boards at locations with histories of speeding, and will be moved again in the upcoming days to another intersection.
Some businesses along Woodhaven cannot wait for the sign to move.
“All it did was slow traffic while construction was going on,” said Jay Gruber, owner of Locksmith Hardware. He said that he does not believe the sign is even helping drivers to drive more slowly because “people aren’t even reading it.”
The sign had originally been placed on the corner of Woodhaven and 62nd Road, but it blocked the valet parking at Barosa restaurant.
However, the speeding on Woodhaven Boulevard is a concern for many, and others think that the sign is a benefit.
The Rego Park Green Alliance wanted the DOT to set up a neighborhood Slow Zone within the triangle formed by Woodhaven Boulevard, 63rd Drive, and the Long Island Rail Road tracks running parallel to Alderton Street. However, a letter from the DOT stated that the triangle would not be able to be included in the Neighborhood Slow Zone program this year.
Among others concerned about speeding is Michael Murphy, communications director at Transportation Alternatives, a transportation advocacy group
“Speeding kills more people in New York than distracted and drunk driving combined,” Murphy said, “I’m happy to see the DOT do something.”
For others, the issue with Woodhaven Boulevard is not so much speeding as it is traffic. Community Boards 5, 6 and 9 are involved in a Woodhaven Boulevard Traffic Study that began a few years ago, in an attempt to improve traffic flow and safety for drivers and pedestrians.
Vincent Arcuri, chairman of Community Board 5, said that the traffic study is developing safety measures in increments. These consist of Metropolitan Avenue to Myrtle Avenue, Myrtle Avenue to Park Lane South, Park Lane South to the end of Jamaica Avenue, and from the end of Jamaica Avenue to Rockaway Boulevard.
Arcuri said he was still waiting for the DOT to tell him how the study is progressing.
Frank Gulluscio, district manager of CB 6, said he knows nothing about the study except that it is in motion.
“The study is almost done,” Gulluscio said, stating that he does not know if it’s going well or not, he just knows that it is going.
Having yet to contact the community boards, the DOT claims that the study is indeed progressing. New road markings in seven locations are expected to be installed this fall. The DOT spokesperson also said that the middle section of the project, about 62nd Road to Rockaway Boulevard, continues to be studied. Findings are expected to be shared with the community next year.