The Department of Transporation has pitched a new, mostly one-way street plan for Ozone Park, hoping to end the days of accidental sideswipes on the narrow two-way streets in one residential corner of the neighborhood.
The DOT recently completed a traffic study of the area that was requested by the Ozone Park Civic Association, encompassing the area bordered by North Conduit Avenue, Cross Bay Boulevard, Rockaway Boulevard and Aqueduct Race Track. The study offered a number of suggestions, all of them involving converting two-way streets to one-way.
Currently, only 97th Street, 133rd Avenue and Albert Road are one-way streets for more than one block in the area bounded by the study. That has led to major traffic problems, especially on 95th Street, one of two streets with access to Magnolia Court, the housing development that will open next year. Cars are parallel-parked on both sides of the two-way street, leaving only one narrow lane of traffic in the middle.
When Magnolia Court opens, it will have its own parking facilities, but there will be more cars on the road. In the DOT’s plan, all Magnolia Court traffic would enter on 95th Street and exit through 150th Road.
The biggest single change would be the conversion of 96th Street to a one-way northbound from Albert Road to Rockaway Boulevard. It would be a sister street to 97th Street, which already runs one-way southbound. A public hearing on the plan will be held at Community Board 10 within the next two months. Residents are urged to give their suggestions, because the study’s recommendations are not final.
Ricky Pistone, president of the Ozone Park Civic Association, requested the study after they received a large number of complaints of cars swiping each other. “We’ve had too many complaints about mirrors being bent,” he said.
Pistone supported most of the plan, which mostly changes portions of two-way streets to one-way—not the entire street. He objected to the DOT’s suggestion to change Centervillle Street to a one-way northbound between 97th and Hawtree Streets. Centerville Street has bus and truck traffic. “That will put trucks on one-way residential streets, and I am against it,” he said.
Pistone also supported making Plattwood Avenue one-way all the way from Cross Bay Boulevard to 98th Street something many residents of Plattwood Avenue have suggested. He will meet with members of the civic before determining what recommendations to make to the community board.
Councilman Joseph Addabbo Jr., a lifelong resident of Ozone Park, said he could never quite get his head around some of the bizarre intersections in that section of the neighborhood. “I always found it odd that you’d be going south on a one-way street and it would become a two-way street. If there is a way to have one-way streets, we should go for it.”
Addabbo will listen to community reaction to the plan until the public hearing at the next CB 10 meeting on December 4th. He is also against changing Centerville Street. “That should remain a two-way street for a number of reasons, including the bus route that goes up that block. We’re going to have to reconsider that one,” he said.