Hevesi Hails Countdown Crosswalk Clocks as Major Safety Feat for Neighborhood

In response to numerous accidents in which pedestrians have been seriously injured or killed crossing Queens Boulevard, Assemblyman Hevesi sent a letter on December 8, 2010 to the Queens County Commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) urging the installation of countdown clocks along major intersections on Queens Boulevard. Earlier this month, the Assemblyman received a response from the DOT citing the outcome of a comprehensive Pedestrian Countdown signals evaluation study. The report concluded the necessity for Countdown Crosswalk Clocks at the following intersections along Queens Boulevard: 63rd Road, 66th Avenue, 67th Avenue, 70th Avenue, 78th Avenue, and Yellowstone Boulevard. The DOT asserts that installation of these lights will begin this coming summer. “I am absolutely thrilled that the Department of Transportation has finally taken action on this longstanding concern of my constituents,” Hevesi said. “The installation of these countdown clocks is a major safety feat not only for my neighbors, but also the thousands of people that travel Queens Boulevard daily.”

Ms. Maura McCarthy
Department of Transportation
Queens County Commissioner
120-55 Queens Boulevard, Room 285
Kew Gardens, NY 11424-1015 December 8, 2010 Dear Ms. McCarthy I am writing to you on behalf of my constituents in the 28th Assembly district who reside in the Forest Hills, Rego Park, and Kew Gardens communities. As one of the highest motor trafficked thoroughfares in the borough of Queens, Queens Boulevard has proven to be a profound safety hazard. As you are aware, there have been 72 people hit and killed on the boulevard between 1993 and 2000, which has led to it being dubbed “the Boulevard of Death.” There have also been myriad injuries to pedestrians struck by motor vehicles. I am writing to urge the Department of Transportation (DOT) to install countdown crosswalks signals at the highly trafficked crosswalks between 63rd Drive and Union Turnpike on Queens Boulevard. In particular, the cross sections of Queens Boulevard and 63rd road, 66th, 67th, 70th, 78th Avenues as well as the intersection at Yellowstone Boulevard are in desperate need of countdown crossing lights. The DOT took several years to allow for the use of these devices in New York City, despite evidence of successful implementation in other cities throughout the country. Now that we have experienced the success of the countdown signal at 71st Avenue and Queens Boulevard, I urge, in the strongest terms possible, that the DOT take this further action immediately to protect the residents of these communities from injury and potential life threatening incidents. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely
Andrew Hevesi
Assembly Member 28AD