Tonight: Queens Community Board 5 Takes Up Myrtle-Wyckoff Plaza

Reconfiguring this dangerous intersection with a car-free plaza will simplify vehicle movements and reduce the potential for turning drivers to hit pedestrians. Image: DOT
Reconfiguring this dangerous intersection with a car-free plaza will simplify vehicle movements and reduce the potential for turning drivers to hit pedestrians. Image: DOT

Queens Community Board 5 will vote on DOT’s safety plan for the Myrtle-Wyckoff transit hub at its monthly meeting this evening. The plan, which creates a one-block public plaza on Wyckoff Avenue between Gates and Myrtle [PDF], won near-unanimous support from the CB 5 transportation committee three weeks ago.

Since 2009, three pedestrians have been killed by drivers at the six-legged Myrtle-Wyckoff intersection. Initial changes that simplified turning movements failed to prevent the death of Edgar Torres, who was struck by a turning bus driver while crossing with the right of way in 2014.

In March, CB 5 Chair Vincent Arcuri said he was reluctant to go ahead with the car-free block, but recognized the need to prevent more injuries and deaths. “Something has to be done, obviously,” he told Streetsblog. “We’ve tried different things and we still haven’t stopped the fatalities. I have mixed feelings about the plaza, but what else can you do?”

While CB 5 members have warmed to the proposal, the same cannot be said for Brooklyn CB 4, which represents the southern side of the project area and failed to support the plan last month. Council Member Antonio Reynoso, who represents areas served by both community boards, has said he believes DOT should move forward with the project.

You can weigh in on the project at tonight’s meeting, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at Christ the King High School, located at 68-02 Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village.

  • “We’ve tried different things and we still haven’t stopped the fatalities. I have mixed feelings about the plaza, but what else can you do?”

    What a bunch of callous a-holes. I’m so sick of hearing from old people like Arcuri who can’t move beyond the fact that every inch of open space in the city doesn’t automatically belong to cars.

  • I was on the Q58 on Fresh Pond Road and a truck was double-parked in front of the bus and unloading. The bus had to wait to change lanes to get around the truck. I asked the driver is this was OK. He said no it was not.

    I asked a bus driver parked on the proposed Wyckoff Avenue plaza location what he thought about a plaza. He said I don’t think it is going to happen.

    Nice 54 page PDF referenced in the comment to: http://www.streetsblog.org/2016/06/22/myrtle-wyckoff-plaza-gets-support-from-queens-cb-5-transpo-committee/

    The word MTA appears only once in the entire document. If anything, the DOT should come in behind the MTA and let them do their things first. Double-parking and similar problems will shift to other streets.

    The new B26 and Q55 route changes should be implemented even if the plaza is not. These route changes were hinted at on:

    http://gothamist.com/2016/04/01/dangerous_intersection_at_myrtle-wy.php

    This post is over three months old and some of the suggestions in it have not been implemented yet or repeated in any news article referring to the proposed plaza. Two of the most important changes only need a ladder and an adjustable wrench to get done.

    During the March 29: Queens public workshop (IS 77) the DOT was informed of the error in the Brooklyn Bus Map at Wyckoff Avenue. This is a minor problem, but if someone is using this information they may find themselves crossing Wyckoff Avenue unnecessarily. The DOT chose to include this graphic not once, but twice in their PDF which is probably a PowerPoint presentation. Part of the problem, proposed as part of the solution? The excessive use of color in the document is puerile. [The DOT has since removed this graphic in the revised PDF: 50 pages, probably made for CB5] Compare:

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/myrtle-wyckoff-avenue-june2016.pdf

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/myrtle-wyckoff-june2016.pdf

    Instead of studying vehicular traffic, the DOT should have focused on pedestrian traffic and accounted for most pedestrian’s actions. Did someone use the Brooklyn Bus Map to find the B52 bus stop, etc? Did someone use the Queens Bus Map to find the B54 bus stop, etc? That person would also be crossing Wyckoff Avenue unnecessarily. Pedestrian traffic is a major research field now with the coming of autonomous vehicles. The DOT should be looking at this research now. Some of it applies to Wyckoff Avenue now. Soon, all of it will.

    It’s all about reducing the probability of an accident. Unnecessary street crossings happen all around the area. I have done it myself and that is why I have an interest in this issue.

    Ironically, the Ridgewood Property Owners and Civic Association: RPOCA, which was so vehemently and in hindsight, perhaps wrongly, against the Fresh Pond Road Street Fair did not take a stand on this issue even though it was fully aware of concerns of at least several of its members.

    I once met a woman elsewhere in the country that was seriously considering becoming an ex-patriot because the powers that be were making her commute more arduous than it should be. She was unconsolable. Her language was a wad more colorful than what I am using here.

    The DOT also implies that a poll of 130 has statistical significance which is unproven since 130 people not in attendance and 130 motorists were not polled.

    Wyckoff Avenue is an important road for drivers going east to the Jackie Robinson Parkway, the Belt Parkway and Nassau Expressway, Rt. 27 and Sunrise Highway. Drivers going west are headed to the BQE and bridges and tunnels. Its not only Cooper Avenue and Flushing Avenue. To reroute this traffic goes against common sense. I no longer support any one-way options.

    Greater compliance from motorists could be achieved with a greater presence of the NYPD like on 2nd Avenue and 60th Street in New York. Those officers are amazing and Wyckoff Avenue could use some like them. Cypress Avenue has enough traffic going east and west already.

    I once notified the DOT of concerns at another dangerous location: Rentar Plaza in Middle Village. Nothing became of it. A poll of 130 people needs to be taken there too.

    Nothing new in MoveNY that wasn’t discussed in the media, and on peoples’ minds forty years ago. Tolls on the bridges should have been enacted in 1976. It would have been foolhardy for any politician seeking reelection to take this stand at that point in time.

    Since the average man or woman on the street, AKA the taxpayers, don’t know what is going on behind their backs, the DOT could get out their colored pencils and design a nice big super-sized plaza for the Boulevard of Death. How about in front of the Queens Center?

    I could go on for 50 plus pages but I have to catch a bus.

    TAGS: Vision Zero, Zero Vision

  • Geck

    Passed 29-0-1. Thank you CB5

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