Friday, December 5, 2014

Trying to build a safer Woodhaven Blvd

From the Queens Courier:

Woodhaven Boulevard is one step closer to becoming safer as the Department of Transportation (DOT) is widening some of the medians for pedestrians crossing the street.

The DOT installed temporary pedestrian safety areas at multiple intersections. These are designated areas that are set off by yellow safety cones that widen the medians for pedestrians to stand on.

The changes come as part of the Woodhaven Boulevard congested corridors study from 2012.

The study outlined the major problems with the busy 3.2-mile thoroughfare from Queens Boulevard to Rockaway Boulevard.

The safety areas have been set up at the intersections of Woodhaven Boulevard and Queens Boulevard and Woodhaven Boulevard and the Long Island Expressway. The DOT is now looking to remove these temporary safety areas and make them permanent by adding concrete to “improve the boulevard’s walkability,” according a spokeswomen.


Anonymous said...

people will still jaywalk and get hit by cars

Anonymous said...

It'll end uplike the "new and improved" College Point Blvd. in Flushing...a disaster.

Anonymous said...

If you want to stop the accidents. Stop the jaywalking. A real solution would be to install fencing on the median (like on Queens Blvd) to prevent jaywalking.

But its just easier to blame the "evil" cars and lower the speed limit to some ridiculous speed.

Anonymous said...

With all the deaths on Queens Blvd. our boy mayor and his minions decided not to lower the speed limit on the Boulevard.

Anonymous said...

Yes making sure the road is crossable, even for the elderly when there's ice and snow is horribly inconvenient to drivers so we shouldn't bother right anon? Just pretend everyone who dies deserves it so you don't have to share the public realm with anyone not in a car. Disgusting.

Anonymous said...

"With all the deaths on Queens Blvd. our boy mayor and his minions decided not to lower the speed limit on the Boulevard."

Um, yes, they did.

J said...

Always astonished by aggressively pro-car rhetoric. It defies logic as well as the evidence--

Cars are not evil but humans are mistake-prone and reckless. Who is more vulnerable- someone in a 1000 lb box with airbags and crumple zones or someone simply crossing the street in their own body?

Think through the logic of what you're saying-
Humans are dumb enough to jaywalk where it's dangerous (and they're putting their life at risk) but they're not dumb enough to just drive recklessly (where the chance of serious injury or death below ~40 mph is basically 0)?

In the fantasy world where pedestrian death is simply the fault of the pedestrians and jaywalkers and not poor driving, we wouldn't see accidents between two cars. We presume drivers are so careful as to not accidentally strike pedestrians yet there are hundreds of 'fender-bender' accidents every day.

At night time the roads are filled with drunk drivers. Day and night the roads are filled with texting, distracted drivers.

I hate wrong way and dangerous red light runner cyclists as much as the next guy but I see many, many more cars every single day run the red light outside my house than I ever see cyclists behaving recklessly. I've personally seen the aftermath of five car accidents in the two intersections of my block on Forest Ave in the five years I've lived in this building.
At night reckless drivers treat it like a speedway.
There's still a dent in the building across the street from the worst accident.

Every day at Forest and Myrtle people cut off pedestrians in crosswalks, run red lights, speed around other cars, stop in crosswalks and just generally behave without patience or regard for the safety of others. If you sit at any traffic light in the entire city for more than two minutes, baseline bad behavior you will see at least one car run a red light. It is basically a guarantee.

Lastly, the need for speed is irrational. The time saved casually speeding, cutting off pedestrians or tail gating someone driving the speed limit is literal seconds.

I'm willing to find the grain of truth in just about any worldview but the idea that the way our traffic system operates now is too hard on drivers is just insane to me. It blows my mind.
Occasionally pedestrians do truly dumb things that result in death, like jaywalk, or sometimes a child darts out in the road... basically, not all car accidents are the result of bad driving. But it defies logic, statistics and basic human observation to act like bad car driving is not a serious problem and not at the root of the majority of pedestrian injuries and deaths.

Anonymous said...

"J said" you make many valid points except for one: cyclists disobey traffic signals in proportion to motorists more than motorists do. That's why people hate bikers more than motorists. I see drivers obey traffic signals and most rules of the rode every day. I have NEVER seen a cyclist make a full stop at a stop sign or signal when turning or yield to a pedestrian. EVER. And in NYC pedestrians seem to think that they ALWAYS have the right-of-way, even when crossing against the light.

Anonymous said...

For every forest & myrtle, there is a Roosevelt avenue where the elderly and people with strollers or young kids in tow routinely cross in front of buses and other vehicles with reckless abandon. It is apparent that different situations need different solutions, but I doubt we'll get anything other that a one size fits all approach.

J said...

Anonymous, possibly true but if we're talking proportions a car is 10x heavier, 8x faster, 5x wider etc etc than your average pedestrian. Modify those slightly for a cyclist.

Pedestrians = basically no danger to themselves or each other
Cyclists = should ride with more caution, can be dangerous but are basically not deadly outside of freak collisions like in central park
car = can easily kill someone at average speed

pedestrians and cyclists might law break in proportion to cars (I guess it's possible though difficult to quantify), but pedestrians and cyclists are nowhere even close to proportionally responsible for injury and death, especially once you add in deadly collisions between cars. That's the proportion that matters.

Anonymous said...

Lowering the speed limit in nyc streets is not going to help any. If you are a speeder, then you will most likely speed fast than the 25 mph limit. Say if I was speeding, I would not be speeding at only 30 mph...I would probably be speeding more at the rate of atleast 40 mph. So it is not going to matter. A speeder will keep going over the speed limit no matter how low you make the speed limit.

Anonymous said...

"Pedestrians = basically no danger to themselves or each other"

Huh??? Not a danger to yourself when crossing against the light? I stop short even when I have the right of way and get rear-ended?

J said...

"Huh??? Not a danger to yourself when crossing against the light? I stop short even when I have the right of way and get rear-ended?"

If you get rear-ended in that situation, it's both the fault of the pedestrian and the driver behind you. They're supposed to drive at a speed and distance that allows for a safe stop if the person in front stops suddenly. That's basic driving. The fact that so many people ignore this only furthers the argument that dangerous, unlawful driving is the norm, not the exception.

I see 10x more double parked cars or u-turns (ILLEGAL) creating similar situations as the pedestrian you've described on a daily basis.

No one is disputing sometimes pedestrians will do dumb things. I've already indicated several times that not all car accidents are the fault of cars. If your only argument is to reduce my point to disingenuous hyperbole, it's an indication your position is not so strong.

There's nothing wrong with changing your mind on an issue once in a while.

Anonymous said...

J said is on the money.
Cars have killed more people then all the U.S. wars combined.