Battle over Alderton Street's traffic problems continues
by Jennifer Khedaroo
Feb 16, 2016 | 5050 views | 0 0 comments | 108 108 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Community Board 6 members debated changing this street from a two-way to a one-way street.
Community Board 6 members debated changing this street from a two-way to a one-way street.
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With the Department of Transportation looking to ease traffic along Alderton Street in Rego Park by changing the directional flow of vehicles, members of Community Board 6 are still not convinced that major overhauls are necessary for the narrow street.

Currently Alderton is a two-way street, but over the past couple of weeks the DOT has been pushing to have the street converted into a one-way. While the board's Transportation Committee discussed the possibility of either making Alderton entirely a one-way street or at least between Woodhaven Boulevard and Fleet Street, they haven’t been able to settle on a particular plan.

In fact, CB6 Chairman Joseph Hennessey announced that, under recommendation of the board, the board will push to keep the current street configuration. And instead of turning the street into a one-way, the board suggested DOT reevaluate Alderton in terms of traffic-calming measures, such as the additions of speed bumps and parking restrictions.

Some residents who live on Alderton disagreed with the decision to send the proposals back to DOT for reevaluation. In a heated debate between Hennessey and residents, Elby Schneidman yelled out that the uncertainty of the dangerous road was something they had to “live with everyday.”

Schneidman shared seeing cars jump the sidewalk and hit her neighbor’s home so hard that the brick wall partially came tumbling down.

“[CB6] keeps saying that they will go faster if you put it one-way, but the point is, you can still have it both ways if there are parking restrictions,” Schneidman said. "Make the street wider by taking out one side of parking.”

Yvonne Shortt, executive director of the Rego Park Green Alliance (RPGA) Studio, has also seen troubling events, such as neighbors losing their dogs to traffic accidents and having children grabbed out of the street quickly because passing cars were going too fast.

Along with other volunteers and members of the RPGA Studio, a nonprofit aimed at solving community problems with creative solutions, Shortt canvassed the area recently to survey the community.

The group asked approximately 115 neighbors what they'd like to see in regards to traffic issues, and the overwhelming response was "a structural change that would allow Alderton to be a safe neighborhood, where it’s not just a speed bump or a crossing guard.”

Shortt pleaded with CB6 to reconsider their stance on the subject because it “just continues to delay the solution and puts added lives at risk."

However, another resident claimed that CB6’s view was more “realistic," especially compared to other streets in the neighborhood. The resident, who is also a member of the Forest Hills Volunteer Ambulance Corps, said the group relies on Alderton to shorten response time for those in need.

The DOT has stated it won’t go ahead with any changes to Alderton unless CB 6 gives its approval. Representatives for the DOT missed a scheduled appearance at the board meeting last week.
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