The Department of Transportation has proposed giving Springfield Boulevard a facelift, which officials say would include several aesthetically pleasing amenities and safety features.
The $40 million project is set to begin next spring, and representatives from the DOT made a presentation regarding the plan at a Community Board 12 Transportation Committee meeting on Tuesday.
The project covers the section of Springfield Boulevard between South Conduit and 147th avenues. It is the fourth and last phase of a multi-part plan for the corridor.
The first two blocks will be slightly narrower than what exists now, but will have the same number of traffic lanes. There will be a 16-foot-wide median running the length of the area with plantings and street lights on it.
The median will be constructed of permeable concrete to absorb rainwater, keeping it off the street and feeding into the trees located on the platform. Additional space available from 145th Avenue to 145th Road will allow the agency to create angled parking northbound and there will be room for parallel parking southbound. An off-street asphalt bike path will run parallel to the sidewalk.
There will be a new entrance to Springfield Park, located on the west side of the boulevard with a service road for Parks Department vehicles and removable bollards.
Orlando Miquel, director of transportation engineering for Dewberry, which is overseeing the project, said the plan is unlikely to disturb homeowners, because most dwellings do not face the boulevard. Also, the agency will be installing a wooded buffer to ensure further separation.
In response to community concerns about safety, there will be a traffic light installed at the intersection of Springfield Boulevard and 145th Road, an area frequented by students from nearby PS 251. In addition, two of the crosswalks will be designated school crossings, identified by painted white stripes and signs that read school crossing ahead.
Other changes include the narrowing of 145th Road south towards 147th Avenue in front of the school with traffic going only one way in both directions. There will also be extensive tree plantings along the sidewalk areas.
The members of CB 13’s Transportation Committee appeared to be satisfied with the proposal as no objections were raised, and Chairwoman Tanya Cruz stated that the agency, “obviously, put a lot of thought” into the plan.