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Construction Starts on Sunnyside/Woodside Slow Zones

Nov. 3, 2014 By Christian Murray

The construction of two “new slow zones” that incorporates about 150 residential streets in Sunnyside and Woodside has begun.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer held a press conference outside PS 199 to mark the occasion and said that the two slow zones will reduce the speed limit to 20 mph and will, ultimately, save lives.

“We have to make sure that not one young person loses their life on the streets of New York and this is further progress toward that point,” Van Bramer said.

The two slow zones cover two designated sections of the neighborhood. One zone covers about 100 blocks south of Queens Blvd, while the other covers 50 blocks on the northern side of Queens Blvd—including Sunnyside Gardens.

The slow zones are marked by large blue signs that state the 20 mph speed limit. Within a zone, speed bumps and 20 mph markings are on some of the streets.

slowzonesThe two zones were selected by the Department of Transportation after Van Bramer’s office put in a request for them. Van Bramer’s office provided the DOT with details such as the number of crashes in the area—as well as schools and daycare centers.

The zone that covers the south side of Queens Blvd—called the “Sunnyside Slow Zone” –is bound by 36th Street to the west; 51st Street to the east; Queens Blvd to the north; and Laurel Hill Blvd to the south.

Construction started on that zone a few weeks ago and the DOT is adding 20 speed bumps to the existing eight speed bumps. There will be 32 entry points that will be marked by blue 20 mph gateway signs.

The DOT aims to complete the “Sunnyside Slow Zone” before winter sets in.

There have been four deaths in the “Sunnyside” zone since 2007, with many serious injuries, according to the DOT. There are also four schools in the zone.

Meanwhile, construction on the zone that covers the northern section of Sunnyside/Woodside—called the “Sunnyside Garden-Woodside Slow Zone—will not begin until spring.

This zone, which incorporates about 50 blocks, is bound by 43rd Street to the west; Queens Blvd and Roosevelt Avenue to the south; 38th Avenue and Barnett Ave to the north; and 58th Street to the east.

The “Sunnyside Garden-Woodside Slow Zone” will include 17 speed bumps in addition to the 13 that are already there. There will also be 19 entrances to the slow zone that would be marked by the blue 20 mph gateway sign.

Since 2007, there has been one death in that zone, with many people severely injured. Furthermore, there are six schools/daycare centers in the area.

The Department of Transportation claims that the speed zones help reduce injuries and deaths. Its studies indicate that a pedestrian hit at 40 mph only has a 30% chance of surviving, while one hit at 20 mph has a 95% chance of surviving.

Community Board 2 unanimously approved the two speed zones at its September month meeting—although two attendees at the meeting said that the slow zones were not needed and that the blue signs were unattractive—particularly in Sunnyside Gardens.

However, Van Bramer said, the “Best way to keep everyone safe is to slow traffic,” adding that “Nothing is more important than making our streets safer for children, seniors and residents.”

The two Sunnyside/Woodside slow zones are the sixth and seventh zones in Queens.

Meanwhile, starting this Friday Nov. 7, the speed limit on all New York City streets will become 25 mph, unless posted otherwise.

2014 09 02 Slow Zone Sunnyside and Sundside Gardens Woodside(1) by Queens Post on Scribd

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21 Comments

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L

Reilly and Jake M. you are right on. Can’t understand this at all. The zone should start at 40th Street. I have called/emailed JVB and the School Safety people as the intersection of Skillman and 43rd St is an accident waiting to happen – especially as school crossing guards are rarely stationed there. If other people called/emailed as well we may at least get someone permanently stationed there for the drop-off/pick-up of PS150 kids at the Annex on 43rd. Surely funding this safety measure is within someone’s budget. Please contact these offices.
A Concerned Parent

Reply
Reilly

I think this is a great idea, though I’m surprised the northern Slow Zone wasn’t extended on the west to 40th Street. Considering that the Torsney Playground and PS150 (with it’s playground that’s open until sundown) are right there, this would have made more sense, and I’ve noticed that a lot of cars going down Skillman pick up speed right past 43rd street anyways.

Reply
Anonymous visitor

Oh Please. The signs are too unattractive for sunnyside gardens!?! How about they fix the decrepit looking houses and not worry about signs making the place look unattractive. The only thing it has going for it is the trees which are quite lovely and hide many of the house suffering from years of decay!!

Reply
Jake M.

I’m all for the slow zones, but come on! Enforcement, enforcement, enforcement!

Bikes ride any which way they want – side walk, wrong direction, through red lights. I’m a biker – bikes are good – but the laws need enforced!

Cars – don’t even get me started. I see cars speeding and running red lights on Skillman and 43rd Ave ALL THE TIME. I even saw a car going the wrong way down Skillman, presumably because they didn’t want to bother with going all the way around the block to get to their destination. A cop was RIGHT THERE AND DID NOTHING.

Pedestrians – compared to the rest of the city, Sunnyside isn’t SO bad here, in my opinion.

Reply
Peter

Excellent – good to see things going in the right direction – hope the cops will enforce it with some ticketing – apparently they’re pretty good at that part of the job

Reply
rikki

this is so freakin wrong headed..the problem is morons using thier cell phones walking against the light……ticket the jaywalkers.

or worse people drive up the wrong way on 39th st place and 40th st where is DOT writing tickets everyday around 20- 3pm?

Reply
Anon

@sunnsyide me- get a bike and stop complaining. Ride the subway. There’s no reason anyone in this neighborhood can’t use alternative transportation.

Anyway. Love the idea. Who is going to enforce it? How about some speed cameras? I just don’t understand why this is not a thing in this City. The police unions should get over it.

Reply
Sunnyside me

This is suppose to be the land of the free and if I want a car I will have one.i am also disabled and can’t climb the stairs of the subway or ride a bike. Excuse me for living

Reply
anononona

Your comment supposes that the person is going somewhere accesible by public transport, which is not always the case. Believe it or not, not all Sunnyside residents commute into Manhattan.

Reply
Jake M.

There are always going to be exceptions. But the design of our streets should better reflect the needs of all residents. For a number of reasons, urban planning in this city has disproportionately favored drivers. It’s time for that to change.

Reply
Sunnyside me

This is madness , it’s going to take me 1 hour to go twenty miles, the marathon is run faster , let’s bring back the horse and cart

Reply
JOReilly

Hopefully, these efforts to promote safety on our streets will be better enforced than the commercial pedal bike and ban on e-bike laws enacted in the past two years, also intended to promote pedestrian safety, which are almost completely ignored.

Reply
Flores 65

Definitely! Just because there are no cars doesn’t mean you can cross when the “Red Hand” is illuminated! You never know when a vehicle is speeding down the road like a maniac. Take Berliners and Europeans for example.

Reply
Old-timer

You’re not alone sir. I was heading to work last Thursday and I saw two guys jaywalking. As they were walking, a car drove by and one of the two guys told the driver to stop so they can walk. First of all, the traffic light was green for the driver, so who in the world do they think they are telling the driver to stop. This shows how serious jaywalking is and yet nothing is being done about it. I would love to see more enforcement and rules set to eliminate jaywalking as much as possible.

Reply
South Side Johnny

Countless studies, tons of data, and all the evidence concludes that the biggest problem in our neighborhood is too many cars going too fast, yest a small handful of people keep going on about jay walkers or people who want to get somewhere and cross the street even though the traffic light is red.

Jay walkers are not the problem! They not running people over and causing injury and death to the folks that live here. If you are driving and see a pedestrian, SLOW DOWN. Walking is the dominant means of transportation for all of us and pedestrians should always have the right of way.

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