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More Countdown Clocks Needed On Queens Blvd: Hevesi

Assemblyman urges Department of Transportation to expand crosswalk-timer program in borough.

D-Forest Hills, called on the to increase the number of crosswalk countdown clocks on Queens Boulevard this week.

Hevesi said that the introduction of countdown clocks at several more intersections up and down Queens Boulevard will save pedestrian lives in the future.

"The simple action of installing countdown clocks has the potential to save many lives in our area," Hevesi said.  "For years, I have been asking the Department of Transportation to install countdown clocks at the intersection of Queens Boulevard and 71st-Continental Avenue.  Now that they have, and we have seen that they are effective, I believe we should take the next step in ensuring pedestrian safety on Queens Boulevard."

The countdown clocks were installed on Queens Boulevard at the intersection of 71st Avenue in August. They are designed to help pedestrians know exactly how much time they have to get across some of the busier intersections in the area.

Queens Boulevard, also known as the Boulevard of Death colloquially, has always had a reputation for pedestrians and bicyclists. It had multiple stages set on Queens Boulevard.

Now that residents have had some time to get used to the countdown clock at 71st Avenue, Hevesi said, it's time for the Department of Transportation to widen the scope of the program.

"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," Hevesi wrote in a letter to the Queens Department of Transportation Commissioner Maura McCarthy. "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."

Kenneth Graham December 15, 2010 at 08:03 PM
Yes this is a good step toward saving peoples lives who are just simply crossing the street. This is an extremely dangerous avenue and we need more speeding tickets to be given to drivers who regularly violate the 30mph speed limit.Also they dont stop for the red lights. Where are the POLICE?????
Matthew Hampton (Editor) December 15, 2010 at 08:45 PM
Hey Kenneth, thanks for commenting. That's a concern that a lot of people share, and at a recent Precinct Council meeting, 112th Precinct officers said they have been issuing speeding citations on Queens Boulevard, and might continue through the rest of this year. Here's the link to the story: http://patch.com/A-clg8 Anyone gotten one of those speeding tickets yet? Let me know.
P.O'Brien December 16, 2010 at 06:01 PM
Reports out today say the cross-walk signs repeatedly get stuck between the "go" white hand and the "stop" red hand. One would think Hevesi would have checked with Dept of Transportation to see if the signs are working well overall before saying we need more of them.

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