April 15, 2015 By Michael Florio
Traffic safety improvements to a dangerous Astoria intersection have finally been completed.
The improvements aim to reduce accidents at the hazardous intersection of 32nd Street, Grand Central Parkway (exit 45 ramp) and Astoria Blvd North.
With the changes, the median barrier between Astoria Blvd North and the Grand Central highway exit ramp has been extended-to separate traffic through 31st Street (see plans below).
The barrier now stops cars from coming down Astoria Blvd North and making a left turn on 31st street– while also blocking those vehicles coming off the highway from making a right turn.
“This intersection was dangerous and confusing,” said Assemblywoman Aravella Simotas in a statement. “Motorists from the area dreaded crossing multiple lanes of traffic to get home and drivers new to the area had no idea how to get where they were going.”
Prior to these changes, one traffic light handled two lanes of traffic exiting Grand Central Parkway and four lanes of traffic from Astoria Boulevard North.
The DOT presented the improvements to Community Board 1 last May. After being approved to begin the work on the intersection, the DOT said these changes would be completed in the Fall of 2014.
However, when the work was still not completed by January, Simotas put pressure on the DOT. “There is no good reason why residents and motorists should still be endangered at this intersection,” she said.
Simotas said she will continue to listen to residents on how to make the intersection even safer.
“I encourage residents to contact my office with suggestions.”