One-way proposal for 70th Street in Maspeth
by Andrew Shilling
Apr 02, 2014 | 2411 views | 2 2 comments | 75 75 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Some residents are asking the city to hit the brakes on a possible one-way northbound conversion of 70th Street between 54th and 51st Avenues one of the few two-way passages in the community between Grand Avenue and Queens Boulevard.

Following a recent Department of Transportation (DOT) study, Community Board 5 sent a letter to residents living along 70th Street in Maspeth and Woodside, preparing them for conversion during the week of April 14.

“It’s hard to argue with them,” said CB5 district manager Gary Giordano. “If we thought we had a real good argument, we would have made it. We just couldn’t come up with reasons why it shouldn’t happen.”

While the board released a letter to community members that the city plans to convert the route over “Spring Recess from school” in order to avoid major traffic problems, a representative of the DOT there are still no official plans to change the street.

“While the agency found the proposal feasible and notified the boards, discussions are ongoing and there are no plans to implement this project at this time,” the DOT spokesperson said of the study, requested by, “CB2 and CB5 and other local stakeholders.”

Confused by phrasing in the letter that suggests the conversion is still just a possibility, and the proposal for a start date during the week of April 14, Maspeth resident Jackie Abramaitis said she plans to request a copy of the study from CB5.

“CB5 sent a letter to 70th Street residents that insults our intelligence by stating the block is in proposal state, yet further down the letter it states the dates this change will occur,” Abramaitis explained. “The residents had no knowledge of this proposal, nor who or why it was proposed.”

She added that any changes would only disrupt the current traffic flow in the neighborhood.

“I do not want our quality of life changed,” Abramaitis said. “We want the freedom to travel north or south.”

Roe Daraio, president of the Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET), said she turned in numerous complaints from residents along the street to the board, however she is aware there are two sides to the argument.

“Someone told me some kids almost got hit by a car at I.S. 73, someone up by the school said they were tired of getting their mirrors taken off by cars and someone on my block said there was too much traffic,” Daraio said.

Ann Marie McGee, a resident of 70th Street, said she isn’t convinced the change would reduce any problems along the street.

“I’ve been here 33 years, and we can’t have it,” McGee said. “Even if we make it a one-way, people are still going to double-park and mirrors are going to get chipped.”

McGee suggested that without the southbound use of 70th Street, residents would then flood other residential roads, only causing more problems.

“The schools have been there for 100 years, and if you don’t like it there, park somewhere else on the weekdays,” she said. “What’s not broken, don’t fix it.”

Giordano added that the board did suggest that the city consider installing a traffic signal at 69th Street and 52nd Drive, however they have not heard back on their request.

“We were told people would be using 52nd Drive a lot more,” Giordano said.

Comments
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ONE WAY LADY
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April 03, 2014
Mirrors are NOT being chipped...they are being ripped off cars ! Double parking has NEVER been mentioned as an issue ! Parking in general has never been mentioned as an issue !!! I have lived here a hell of a lot longer than 33 years and until recently I have never been afraid to cross my own street.

You will still have your "freedom" to go north or south , but south might take a minute longer.

52 drive has needed a light for a long time. EVERY BLOCK ON 70 STREET has a 2 way intersection at their corners. No one is going to travel to 52 drive to access 69 St. Common sense says they will use the corner closest to them.

And the stupid statement about flooding other street with traffic has no merit. 70% less traffic will benefit all the surrounding streets as drivers learn that they will have to use 69 St. The mayor wants his Vision Zero Action Plan to slow traffic and avoid injuries---here is the place to start.
70 st One Way
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April 03, 2014
This conversion is long overdue. How can someone argue that a reduction of more than 70% in traffic on a tertiarry street is a bad thing ?

A minimum of 70% less traffic– 50% less buses

No school buses heading toward IS 73 in the morning

No More vehicles being side-swiped

Less car mirrors being broken

Fewer cars being damaged by careless motorists making U-Turns

Easier and safer for school children, seniors, and everyone to cross the street

Eliminates all traffic that now turns left onto 70th from Queens B’lvd since the city removed the turn lane and signal on 69 Street

No more backups caused by buses, oil trucks, delivery and sanitation vehicles trying to squeeze past each other

Negates the dangerous limited sight distance at the top of the hill

Less stress on YOUR water and sewer lines that ultimately could cost you thousand$$$ in repairs – and time and aggravation

We get rid of more than more than 1/2 of drivers who use our street as a rat run (see wikipedia .org) to avoid traffic, red lights and congestion on 69 Street– think livery cabs and Chinese buses

Higher home values. Streets with less traffic are more desirable and traditionally have higher home resale values !!

Safer conditions for children playing in the area

70% less noise from engines, brakes, and backup chimes

I read your story and the TWO residents who are voicing opposition offer no real argument other than their own inconvenience !!