The Department of Transportation (DOT) will present findings from its Maspeth Bypass and Intersection Normalization Study February 23 at 7 p.m. at the Frank Kowalinski Post, located at 61-57 Maspeth Avenue.
The city is planning to turn the two commercial strips from truck through-routes into local routes to cut down on local truck traffic. The change would improve traffic and pedestrian safety and reduce pollution, supporters say.
“The large trucks that come through Maspeth rip up the streets,” said Jim O'Kane, the former president of the Maspeth Chamber of Commerce. The plan is also backed by Assemblywoman Marge Markey and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley.
“For far too long we've been burdened by these trucks, which are destined for other boroughs,” Crowley said. The route change “is a step in the right direction.”
In addition, the city will propose other changes, such as improvements to intersections and new signage to help enforce the new rules.
Residents welcomed the news.
“I'd like to stop breathing in all these [truck] fumes,” said Evelyn Talutis, who lives on Grand Avenue.
Joan Nekoloff said she stopped taking walks on Grand Avenue due to the truck traffic. “It's not pleasant to walk there,” she said. “It's too noisy and it smells. It's terrible.”