The Community Board 5 Transportation Committee held a meeting with the Transportation Department (DOT) on Tuesday, June 19, to discuss possible changes to Mazeau, where residents say they are plagued with accidents from speeding drivers making illegal right turns off the Long Island Expressway service road.
Mazeau has a small portion off the service road that is a one-way, which leads up to a blind curve, with a two-way street on the other side.
Queens Transportation Commissioner Maura McCarthy attended the meeting to hear residents' concerns and to give a presentation on a proposal to turn Mazeau into a completely one-way southbound, toward the service road.
“The existing conditions are that it is narrow, limited visibility around the bend, there's perceived speeding from the highway, they travel down the wrong way of the one-way segment of Mazeau to scoot into the neighborhood, and there have been side-swiped vehicles and damaged property on the street,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy said the proposal is plausible, but echoed other attendees at the meeting who said the change may cause an inconvenience to residents on nearby perpendicular streets, such as 57th Road, who would have to go to the service road to leave their area.
According to DOT, 65 vehicles travel northbound on Mazeau Street between Grand Avenue and the service road during the peak hour of the week, and 43 go southbound.
There were eight accidents recorded on Mazeau between 2006 an 2010 resulting in six injuries, five to motorists and one to a pedestrian. Five of the accidents were in 2010.
Mazeau resident Linda DeCuaro said her son bought a new car, which was dented on her street within a week. In another incident, she said a car jumped the curb and crashed through her neighbor's property line wall, missing her house by a few feet.
“I'd rather be inconvenienced five minutes out of my way so no one gets hurt,” DeCuaro said. “Does inconvenience override safety?
“I don't need my property destroyed or my son killed because people are speeding up Mazeau Street, making it a short cut from Grand Avenue,” she said.
Board 5 member Bob Holden suggested putting no-standing signs near the blind curve, to which DeCuaro replied that parking is already limited on her block.
“Anything you do, there's ramifications,” Holden warned. “If you make it a one-way, they're still going to be barreling down that block.”
McCarthy said DOT will consider points made at the meeting, and that she will look into other ways to physically limit illegal right-hand turns off the service road.