Monday, April 11, 2011
DOT plan puts stores out of business
From the Queens Chronicle:
A city plan meant to curb accidents and prevent pedestrian deaths has instead left business owners struggling to survive on a commercial strip in Ozone Park that will soon be gasping for its last breath if the Department of Transportation does not make changes to the area, store owners and employees say.
The DOT in November made Liberty Avenue a one-way eastbound street between Crossbay Boulevard and 93rd Street as part of its plan to address congestion and injuries and deaths from accidents at the Liberty Avenue and Woodhaven, Crossbay, and Rockaway boulevards intersection.
DOT officials noted between 2004 and 2008 there were 207 injuries for pedestrians, bicyclists and individuals in motor vehicles at the Rockaway Boulevard and Liberty Avenue intersection between 94th and 96th streets.
Shop owners, however, said city officials need to figure out a way to change the intersection without settling for what has become a death sentence for stores in the area. A 99-cent store, laundromat and fast-food chicken restaurant have all gone out of business since the plan was implemented, and the shops that are left have seen a drastic drop in customers.