Fixes Set for Dangerous Jamaica Hills Intersection

A rendering shows expanded pedestrian space on Homelawn and 169th Streets at Hillside Avenue Image: DOT
A rendering shows expanded pedestrian space on Homelawn and 169th Streets at Hillside Avenue. Image: DOT

The intersections surrounding Hillside Avenue, Homelawn Street, and 169th Street in Jamaica Hills are on track for pedestrian safety upgrades this spring after NYC DOT’s plan [PDF] received the support of Queens Community Board 8 last week.

With entrances to the F train on all four corners and bus stops served by 17 routes, the busy commercial area is a magnet for people on foot. But Hillside and Homelawn is also one of the most dangerous intersections in Queens, ranking among the worst one percent in terms of crash frequency. From 2007 to 2011, there were 47 motor vehicle driver and passenger injuries, 34 pedestrian injuries, and two bicyclist injuries at this intersection and the four adjacent ones, according to DOT. A 19-year-old pedestrian was killed in May 2010 at Cedarcroft Road and Homelawn Street, according to data compiled by the Tri-State Transportation campaign.

hillside
Current conditions at the intersection of Hillside, 169th Street, and Homelawn. Image: Google Maps

DOT’s plan adds a concrete pedestrian island and striped crosswalk at Cedarcroft and Homelawn, and will also add concrete pedestrian islands to the existing painted median on Hillside at 169th Place and 170th Street. Crosswalks on Hillside Avenue will be upgraded to high-visibility “zebra” markings. Excess pavement where Homelawn and 169th Street meet Hillside will be converted to curb extensions and an expanded pedestrian triangle, which will now extend to form a median refuge on the north side of Hillside.

Caption. Image: DOT
Left: Current conditions. Right: Planned curb extensions, concrete medians, and crosswalks. Image: DOT

Where 169th Street meets southbound traffic from Homelawn Street, DOT will add curb extensions and is studying a stop sign and marked crosswalk. The project will also add on-street parking on the east sides of 169th Street and Homelawn Street for one block before the streets intersect with Highland Avenue.

Wednesday’s vote at the transportation committee amounts to the support of the full board, said CB 8 District Manager Marie Adam-Ovide, who added that the board has been working on this project with DOT since June 2011. Adam-Ovide said that the presentations DOT have available online do not include additions to the project made at the board’s suggestion, including dedicated left-turn signals on Hillside Avenue.

Implementation is scheduled for this spring.

  • (apparently my comment didn’t post, so here’s a 2nd attempt) The design doesn’t go far enough as both the roads and crosswalks could easily intersect Hillside Ave at a right angle… and the lanes can easily be more narrow making it easier for pedestrians to cross.

  • Are three travel lanes on 169th Street at Hillside really needed, including a turn lane for each direction?

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