The Department of Transportation announced its proposal to convert 5th Street in Long Island City into a one-way southbound roadway from 45th Road to 50th Avenue to address safety concerns, at a community meeting last Wednesday night at MoMA PS 1.
Queens deputy commissioner for the DOT Delila Hall noted that Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Sunnyside) and Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) — both co-sponsors of the meeting — along with Community Board 2 and the Hunters Point Community Development Corporation, requested that the DOT monitor this stretch of 5th Street for a number of reasons, including congestion.
“As you know, a lot of construction is going on there; new high-rises, new schools, new playgrounds — and we are just as concerned,” borough planner for the department Hilary Gietz said.
The majority of this work is from the Hunters Point South Project, a 5,000-unit development, and two new schools.
The DOT’s proposed plan would include safety improvements at 5th Street and Borden Avenue, like the addition of a speed bump for extra traffic control.
The DOT also recommends to realign the stop bar at 5th Street and Borden Avenue to improve visibility for cars and pedestrians.
A member in the audience voiced concern of what she believes to be a high volume of delivery trucks in the morning that use 5th Street.
“Will they just come down Vernon [Boulevard]? … Now they’re coming down 48th [Avenue],” said a resident.
The DOT took this into consideration.
The department conducted a study covering the proposal area and surrounding streets, which documents how any change in traffic will affect the community.
“We took a count of how many cars were in the area, and in which direction [they were going] … We also looked at accidents,” Gietz said.
With the support of local officials, the DOT laid out their proposed plan for 5th Street in Hunters Point because of safety concerns brought to the department’s attention.
“These are items we have asked for,” said CB2 Chairman Joe Conley, speaking of the proposed traffic change, as well as potential new street cleaning regulations for Hunters Point that are also in the works.
Queens deputy commissioner for the DOT Delila Hall kicked off her presentation by acknowledging that the DOT received requests from both CB2 and others in the community regarding this area in western Queens.
Gietz followed up on requests from the community at last fall’s Transportation Committee Meeting held by CB 2 on Oct. 16.
“Some of you who were at the October meeting, you will see some of the suggestions that you made back then that are now incorporated into the presentation today,” Hall said.