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
  • I’m not personally familiar with this area, but the diagram makes this intersection look very scary and Crashstat 2.0 confirms DoT’s numbers on fatalities and injuries. Sounds like a great project, and helps address concerns that DoT doesn’t care about improving areas outside of northwest Brooklyn and midtown/lower Manhattan.

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    I once had to meet someone here off the train many years ago. It is a nightmare complex of streets. Glad to see the DOT is going to do something about it.

  • JW

    too bad woodhaven blvd doesnt get a road diet. that thing remains the same monsterouz width

  • I spent most of my childhood crossing this nightmare of an intersection to go to the local movie theaters (now closed), a library, and catching the bus or the train there. I didn’t go to high school right there but had lots of friends at nearby John Adams who got clipped by cars trying to cross. I’m ABSOLUTELY ECSTATIC these long overdue changes are coming, but agree… Woodhaven blvd/Cross Bay Blvd needs taming along the entire corridor too. Does anyone else see the potential for a full BRT from the Rockaways to Queens Blvd on this stretch? Perhaps even a protected bike path near the Forest Park stretches?

  • R2

    Agreed. I’ve only been through there by bus or car. It is indeed a nightmare for a pedestrian to cross. Glad to see attention being paid to it!

  • Quinn Hue

    The station needs an exit at the East Side of Woodhaven Bd as it is ridiculous to walk out the far west end of the station and see a Woodhaven Bd Elmhurst-bound bus and attempt to run across the swath of speeding cars.

  • I know I’m a bit late by 3 months, but there is more to do to Rockaway Blvd. The curb lanes on both sides should become a protected bike lane and the next lane over become a parking/peak moving lane. To keep people from parking in the bike lane accidentally, a concrete curb should be built between the bike and motorized vehicle lanes.

  • Sorry, I meant Cross Bay Blvd not Rockaway Blvd.

  • ed.

    I CAN’T BELIEVE THE CHANGES THAT AFFECTED MY OLD OLD NEIGHBORHOOD. IT MUST BE ABOUT 60YRS. AGO WHEN I FIRST LIVED THERE. MY FATHER OWNED A DEPARTMENT STORE ON CROSSBAY BLVD. & 107TH. STREET…REMEMBER “NORDS DEPT, STORE.? AND NOW IT IS A REAL ESTATE OFFICE…..THE BLDGS. ARE THERE AND SOME GOOD MEMORIES STILL LINGER WHEN I WAS A CHILD…MEMORIES……

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