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Officials call on de Blasio to declare Northern Blvd as one of the city’s 50 dangerous streets

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Feb. 6, By Michael Florio

Western Queens elected officials are looking to stamp out pedestrian fatalities on Northern Boulevard.

The officials are calling for Northern Boulevard to be incorporated into Mayor Bill de Blasio’s “Vision Zero” initiative, a policy which aims to bring traffic fatalities down to zero by measures such as redesigning high-risk streets.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, State Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblywoman Marge Markey held a press conference Thursday where they called on de Blasio to deem Northern Boulevard one of the city’s most 50 dangerous streets.  By doing so, the city will look to redesign the boulevard and introduce slow zones as part of Vision Zero.

“We are calling for the administration to include Northern Boulevard, all of Northern Blvd stretching down to Jackson Heights and Corona, as one of its 50 locations that it will zero in on,” Van Bramer said.

Several pedestrians have been killed on Northern Boulevard in recent years. Between 2010 and 2012, five people have been killed. Meanwhile, in December, Noshat Nahian, an eight-year-old boy, was struck and killed at 61st Street and Northern Blvd while crossing to get to PS 152.

The press conference was held at Northern Boulevard and 48th Street at the location where four pedestrians were struck by a car—including a 7-year-old girl—while waiting for a bus on Saturday. The driver who fled from the scene was later arrested.

The Vision Zero initiative is a broad strategy and includes the help of the police. The police aim to clamp down on speeding and other types of dangerous driving.

As part of combating traffic fatalities, Gianaris discussed a bill that he has introduced in the state senate that would make it a felony if a motorist killed someone while driving without a valid license.

“They kill far too many people and just get a slap on the wrist,” Gianaris said.

Noshat Nahian, Gianaris said, was killed by an unlicensed driver.

The chance that Northern Blvd is included in the list of the city’s 50 dangerous streets appears high, since the well-known corridor is already on de Blasio’s radar.

“They are well aware of Northern Blvd,” Van Bramer said. “The mayor announced [the] Vision Zero task force at P.S. 152.”

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13 Responses »

  1. Is that Marge Markey hiding in the background as she hides from most of her constituents? When she first ran, she pretended to be one thing and then her true colors came out.

  2. Is there a down side to designating Northern Blvd as one of the Vision Zero sites? Is there a chance cars (i.e., yellow, green and black cars for hire) will use local streets to avoid the slow zones? It would good if the pros and cons were presented.

  3. I wish someone would do something about cabs parked at Queens blvd 46 st…they park between 4 pm and 7 pm weekdays..the sign says no standing between those hours.please do something about it..

  4. Our new NYC Mayor, Bill de Blasio , has been a big disappoint in Saniation Dept. ice-snow clean- up, especially in the cross-walks, in the Woodside and Sunnyside areas of Queens. As of this day, Feb. 6th, we are under very dangerous walking conditions, much different from the Mayor’s public address in his press statement that the Sanitation Dept. has done a good job. I have called 311 three times for NYC Sanitaion Dept. to clean our cross-walks so the mothers with strollers can get their children to school; the disabled with canes and shopping carts who need food, desperately, etc., but the Mayor has taken little action. It was declared by Counsilman, Jimmy Van Bramer, and Assemblywoman, Marge Markey, that Northern Blvd. are the most hazadous in Queens next to Greenpoint Ave. This is not a good start for NYC Mayor, Bill De Blasio. What will he decide on our next snow impact expected this Sat. night into Sunday morning? More children unable to get to school, more parents unable to get to work, more people unable to buy food?

  5. The best way to cut down on pedestrian deaths on Northern and Queens Blvd is to charge people from LI and Manhattan for driving through Queens. They both charge us to go to their areas. We need to return the compliment.

  6. Guess where everyone went after this photo was taken?
    Best Buy of course.

  7. Jimmy Van Bramer spends more time on things that make no sense than on anything that does. Let’s hope this jackass never runs for mayor.

  8. How about punishing drivers more severely that kill and maim people instead of just giving them a 300 dollar ticket? That’s about the same fine homeowners get for taking out the trash too early.

  9. Ralphy, Jimmy intends on being public advocate (a do nothing job) and then running for mayor. And yes, Northern Boulevard is dangerous and scary especially at night.

  10. We need speed traps on Northern Blvd, Queens Blvd, and other major arteries. I walk the 39th street bridge a lot to to get to Astoria. I studied traffic there and estimated that about 80 percent of cars crossing that bridge travel at speeds exceeding 10mph OVER the speed limit. Van Bramer, if you are listening (ie reading), please get speed traps on this bridge and the Blvds before a car hops a curb and kills or maims innocent pedestrians. Encourage speeders to take 495 and 278 to crossings into Manhhattan.

  11. I’m wondering, how much impact can the new mayor have on snow removal? Does the performance of the Dept. of Sanitation really change just because Bloomberg is gone and de Blasio is here? Does that mean plowing and snow removal get handled differently under the new administration? I assume that these operations take place entirely without imput from the mayor, but maybe they’re just sitting around, waiting for him to tell them how to clean the streets?

    Same goes for Van Bramer’s ability and authority (or lack thereof) to set up speed traps on Northern. The police dept probably isn’t interested in this local politician’s ideas, or are they? a lot of the traffic on both boulevards comes from commuters avoiding the cost of the tunnel. If there were also tolls (with EZ pass, maybe locals could pay less?) those cars would be on the expressway, not on our local streets.

  12. Vision Zero is just another attempt to make the public think that ANYTHING can be done about the traffic issues we face these days living here in Queens.
    Until people are ARRESTED for driving WITHOUT a LICENCE instead of simply being given a ticket and let go, these types of horrible “accidents” will continue. Many of these drivers know that they can drive WITHOUT ever being issued a drivers license the worst possible thing that can happen if they get stopped by the police is that they will get issued a ticket for unlicenced operation of a motor vehicle and have to pay a minimal fine.
    On the other hand, if they do get issued a drivers licence and end up having it suspended or revoked for points, unpaid tickets, unpaid child support ect. they WILL be ARRESTED for driving with a suspended licence, charged with a misdemeanor and face stiffer fines and possible jail time.

    If you’re a bad driver (or someone who cannot legally get a drivers license in NY state) what is going to stop you from just getting behind the wheel of a car if you know you won’t be facing criminal charges if you get caught?

  13. Put a toll on the 59th street bridge, use EZ pass and get charged according to zip code- locals pay nothing and there will be fewer cummuters racing through our neighborhood and more local traffic.

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