Friday, September 17, 2010

Astoria traffic headache roundup

From the Queens Gazette:

Motorists who travel through the maze of traffic at 31st Street and Hoyt Avenue in Astoria to reach the Grand Central Parkway, Astoria Boulevard or the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (Triborough Bridge) should pay special attention to new signage at the bustling intersection – where the city recently installed a series of new traffic patterns, signs and signals.

Drivers are advised to take notice of the changes, since failure to follow messages on new signage puts them in risk of a $130 summons and two points on their driver’s license, law enforcement sources said.

The changes were made following months of hearings and an exhaustive traffic study that showed a need for safe crossings on Astoria Boulevard from 29th to 33rd Streets, reduced congestion and new vehicle-to-vehicle safety measures in the designated area, a city Department of Transportation (DOT) spokesperson said.

From the Queens Courier:

Two local Queens elected officials want the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to green light a plan that would allow large trucks to access the Grand Central Parkway (GCP) from the RFK Bridge, instead of having the large vehicles come in and cause congestion on the local streets of Astoria.

City Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. and Assemblymember Michael Gianaris sent a letter to acting DOT Commissioner Stanley Gee and Regional Director Phillip Eng asking the agency to support an MTA construction project that, when completed, would eliminate the need for trucks to use local streets to access the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (BQE).

Since November 2003, small commercial vehicles have been allowed to use the GCP to access the BQE from the RFK Bridge in the eastbound direction.

Local elected officials said that this program, which started out as a pilot, has been very successful, but larger commercial vehicles – trucks higher than 12 feet, 6 inches with more than three axles – are still required to exit at 31st Street. The vehicles are required to make a sharp right turn onto 29th Street and then a sharp left onto Astoria Boulevard to avoid the low clearance on Hoyt Avenue South under the elevated train.

Recently, the city’s Department of Transportation installed a traffic signal at 29th Street and Hoyt Ave South. The MTA Bridges and Tunnels wants to perform construction that will allow the large trucks to stay on the GCP to gain access to the BQE.

By grinding the highway lower, these large vehicles will meet clearance requirements. Legislators believe this will improve the operation of the newly installed traffic signal, and reduce traffic delays and safety concerns at this intersection.


Anonymous said...

Putting bike lanes will 'calm' traffic (snicker)

Lets see now...who was overdevelopment winner this year by Crap - oh thats right, the Vallones.

Well, since the Vallones are planning a massive population increase (yea, sure, Astoria is 'saved' by the new zoning) they realize this interaction is a gridlock to their plans.

Just like putting in new utilities. You can be sure its not done for the Bunkers....

Only done when massive development is planned.

Anonymous said...

RFK? You mean Triboro!

Anonymous said...

It will ALWAYS be the Triboro. Why do you think the old Triboro signs are STILL UP?

Anonymous said...

Traffic just gets worse and worse in this neighborhood. These "planners" just don't get it. There's too many people here with cars because it has become high density from rezoning. Their efforts to pad the tax base has created a nightmare scenario. They haven't a clue what to do next but rest assured, it will get worse.

Never learning from the mistakes of the past will undoubtedly get you into trouble for the future.

It's totally impossible to maneuver in this area come 3pm to 7 pm for both vehicle and pedestrian. You take your life in your hands. It's been like this for the last 10 years now. I avoid it like the plague. Cab drivers are the worse offenders. They simply refuse to stop for red lights and they get away with it because there is no credible traffic enforcement. This prolongs the culture that now believes in this city that you can do whatever you want because you want to and you don't care about anyone else.

Anonymous said...

Cab drivers are the worse offenders. They simply refuse to stop for red lights and they get away with it because there is no credible traffic enforcement.


Well when you learn your craft on the streets of Cairo or New Dehli what do you expect?

All that is required is that you vote Democratic and its fine. BTW, if you don't vote, you at least don't complain, and even better, help force out those that do.

Anonymous said...

I love when cars come off the GCP at Hoyt (or whatever that exit is called now) and the two left lanes are to turn left into the two lanes on 31st St. 75% of the cars in the outside lane try to turn into the inside lane, causing most of the problems in that spot. Where did these people learn to drive, and how did the pass a US driving test?

Gary the Agnostic said...

It's not a question of how did they pass a U.S. driving test, but rather did they pass a U.S. driving test.

Anonymous said...

Gary, with your inane comments, it's obvious you passed the Nitwit Test.