May 20, 2017
By Neal Tepel
Queens, NY – Queens Boulevard has seen zero fatalities since 2014, and New York City will further extend the redesign of Queens Boulevard beginning in June.
After overwhelming approval by Queens Community Board 6 last week, DOT will add major safety improvements to the street – including new protected bike lanes, more crosswalks, and expanded medians — through Rego Park and Forest Hills. Queens Boulevard, which had 22 traffic fatalities as recently as 1997, has not had a single traffic fatality in two and a half years, the same time DOT began the street’s conversion into a Vision Zero Priority Corridor.
“Queens Boulevard offers the best and most dramatic proof that our efforts at Vision Zero are working,” said Mayor de Blasio. “What was once a ‘Boulevard of Death’ is no longer — as pedestrians, cyclists and motorists all have become accustomed to enjoying a more vital, welcoming and safe street. As changes come this year to Forest Hills and Rego Park, we thank Councilmember Karen Koslowitz for her leadership and Community Board Six for its recognition that a new Queens Boulevard is a win-win for all of the community’s businesses, children and seniors.”
All of DOT’s changes to Queens Boulevard will cost approximately $4 million. Starting next year, the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) will begin major capital work — for which the city has committed $255 million – to transform the boulevard, making all three phases permanent, including by widening medians and adding new amenities like trees, landscaping and benches.
New York City has seen 69 traffic fatalities in 2017, compared to 78 by this date in 2016 – a 12 percent decline. The number of pedestrians struck and killed has gone from 46 in 2016 to 38 in 2017, a 17 percent decline.
“This latest DOT plan, with its pedestrian and bike safety improvements, will continue the transformation of this major thoroughfare from the ‘Boulevard of Death’ to the ‘Boulevard of Life.’” said Council Member Karen Koslowitz.