DOT plans to improve Yellowstone intersection
by Jennifer Khedaroo
Feb 01, 2017 | 1283 views | 0 0 comments | 171 171 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By Jen Khedaroo

jkhedaroo@queensledger.com

Often described by locals as one of the worst in Forest Hills, the intersection of Yellowstone Boulevard and Austin Street will soon receive safety improvements.

Between 2010 and 2014, there have been 16 injuries at the intersection, including one severely injured pedestrian hurt by a left-turning driver.

The intersection is located near the Austin Street commercial corridor and a high-density residential area that also includes a senior center, JHS 190, and the 112th Precinct.

Safety improvement requests from the community include creating a safer crosswalk on Austin Street in front of the school, and adding parking lane stripes to organize traffic and decrease side swipes.

Residents and the 112th Precinct have also asked Department of Transportation (DOT) officials to address illegal left turns from Yellowstone Boulevard to Austin Street.

Cars partially blocking the crosswalk near JHS 190 often obscure the views of pedestrians and drivers. The crosswalk, at 85 feet long, was also deemed too long for young children and seniors, DOT officials said.

At a recent DOT safety improvement workshop, residents voiced their concerns about the intersection to DOT representatives.

“You can’t have a crosswalk where the angles are like that and then ask seniors to walk,” one resident said. “If they can’t walk there, they’re going to move over and walk where they can, which may cause accidents.”

The DOT is proposing a number of changes to the intersection. At the stop bar on Yellowstone Boulevard, a new crosswalk and traffic signal would be added to reinforce where drivers should stop for the signal.

Additionally, DOT officials are proposing a concrete curb extension in front of JHS 190. The curb extension would shorten crossing distances, as well as control vehicle turns onto Austin Street.

Agency representatives presented the proposed project to Community Board 6’s Transportation Committee earlier this month and will return to the board with updates in the future, a DOT spokeswoman said.
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