The Alley Pond Environmental Center, located at 228-06 Northern Blvd., in Douglaston, is a great place to learn about ecology and the need to protect and preserve our planet. The center sees over 62,000 people a year including 40,000 children. Many of those children arrive by school bus on weekdays on class trips.
The problem is that there is no traffic signal by the entryway and exit to safely allow the cars and buses that visit APEC to enter and leave the site. Traffic on Northern Boulevard at that location speeds along briskly most of the time. It is just a matter of time before there is a serious accident there, possibly injuring or killing people.
The Department of Transportation has been advised of this problem many times. Their excuse for not installing a traffic signal is that traffic will back up on the exit ramp nearby causing congestion on the Cross Island Parkway. But there are dozens of exits throughout the city where highways meet other roadways near traffic signals and there is no issue.
Another excuse given is that a new APEC building will soon be under construction and the position of the entrance and exit may change. According to the architect of the new building, the exit would be in the same position as it is now. The exit is where the bulk of the problems lie.
There is also a need to create a turning lane westbound on Northern Boulevard into the Center. Cars and school buses must be able to access APEC from both directions.
If a traffic signal and turning lanes can be placed for businesses just down Northern Boulevard by a restaurant, car wash and driving range, surely APEC, which serves so many children and adults, can be given the same consideration. We need action now!