Pedestrian Reclamation on Tap for Deadly Ozone Park Intersection

Rockaway_Ave_Pic_1.pngPedestrian plazas planned for 94th Street and Liberty Avenue. The elevated tracks of the A train run over Liberty Ave. Image: NYCDOT
One of the most dangerous intersections in Queens is slated for a DOT safety makeover. At a meeting of Queens Community Board 10 last Thursday, DOT presented a plan [PDF] to rework the chaotic intersection of Crossbay Boulevard, Woodhaven Boulevard, Rockaway Boulevard, and Liberty Avenue in Ozone Park by turning two full street blocks into pedestrian plazas and introducing a host of other safety improvements.

With seven bus lines, a subway station, and major thoroughfares that are highly conducive to speeding when rush-hour subsides, this jumble of roads is a safety disaster. Between 2004 and 2008, 207 traffic injuries happened there, including three pedestrian fatalities, which makes the intersection one of the most dangerous intersections in Queens, according to DOT. 

In response, the agency is proposing to turn one block of 94th Street and one block of Liberty Avenue into pedestrian areas. Also in the plan: installing pedestrian refuge islands and new crosswalks, lengthening pedestrian crossing times, and daylighting intersections by removing the parking spots nearest to the corner. According to the Queens Chronicle, DOT plans to begin implementation in September, although CB 10's chairwoman has asked to hold off until plans for the nearby Aqueduct Race Track are finalized.

Rockaway_Ave_Pic_2.pngMore safety improvements at the intersection of Rockaway Boulevard and Liberty Ave. Image: NYCDOT