Over the last five years, the Department of Transportation (DOT) found that there were 29 total injuries, 15 of which were pedestrians, as well as two fatalities. More than 50 percent of the pedestrians injured at the intersection were due to cars failing to yield.
The intersection is especially dangerous because of its darkened location under the subway overpass. The city is proposing five painted curb extensions in order to shorten the crosswalk and slow the turning radius for cars.
“There’s a lot of trucks, a lot of pedestrians and a lot of buses at this intersection,” said DOT project manager Nichole Altmix at last week's Community Board 5 meeting. “A lot of the pedestrians are crossing against the signal or crossing in the middle of the intersection without a crosswalk, so we tried to keep these things in mind when proposing treatments for the redesign.”
Altmix added that the city plans to alter street signals to allow more time for pedestrians to cross the busy street, as well as install high visibility crosswalks.
“We also want to install another crosswalk at the middle of the intersection because we see pedestrians cross there anyway,” she said.
Typical two-way intersections have 12 movements, Altmix added, while the three-way intersection at Wyckoff Avenue has 25 movements.
“We’re currently trying to get flashing yellow warning lights under the subway column to make sure those are more visible in the intersection,” Altmix noted.
CB5 member Paul Kerzner suggested the city look into altering the current bus schematic. “Two fatalities, two buses,” he noted, “at least address that.”
In addition to re-envisioning the intersection for safety measures, Queens Borough DOT Commissioner Delila Hall added that the city’s current focus on Vision Zero has already contributed a drop in fatalities and injuries.
“We’re getting a lot more enforcement so people are stopping where they should be stopping,” Hall said. “There’s not a little more oomph to the regulations we now have up.”