“It’s a great first step, but it is only the beginning,” said Markey. “We still anxiously look forward to a permanent solution that is still to come.”
This is an interim step being taken by DOT as it conducts the Maspeth Bypass and Intersection Normalization Study, which is funded in part by the city and congressmen Joseph Crowley and Anthony Weiner. The designation of Flushing and Grand avenues as local truck routes means trucks may only use the streets if they originate from Queens or are making deliveries in Queens.
“We determined trucks going to Brooklyn are a large percentage of the traffic going through Flushing and Grand Avenue” as they try to avoid the backed up Kosciuszko Bridge, said Giordano, who along with CB5 presented a plan to DOT in 2003. “We hope to get local through traffic off those roads.”
The two avenues are currently “through truck routes,” but once they become local truck routes, trucks traveling through Brooklyn and Queens to reach their final destinations will be required to use the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and Queens-Midtown Expressway.
Markey said she is reaching out to the 104th Precinct’s traffic unit to enlist their assistance in enforcing stopping truck drivers and checking their paperwork.
Disgruntled civic group members from Maspeth and Middle Village accused Markey of being inactive on the subject over the last decade, but claiming credit for the bypass effort in the midst of election season.
Regardless of who did (or did not do) what, it looks as if the Maspeth bypass plan is finally becoming a reality. A full plan from DOT is expected by the end of the year.
“It’s been a long, hard road,” said Giordano. “This is the best news I’ve gotten in a while in terms of alleviating traffic in Maspeth, but we’ve still got a long way to go.”