June 5, 2017 By Jason Cohen
Astoria lawmakers are calling on the Department of Transportation to allow large trucks to travel on a small section of the Grand Central Parkway—between the RFK-Triborough Bridge and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway– in order to alleviate traffic on Astoria Blvd and surrounding streets.
Large trucks are not permitted to travel on the parkway requiring big-rig drivers to exit the BQE and RFK Bridge, resulting in heavy traffic on the service roads and streets. Smaller trucks are permitted on the parkway between the RFK Bridge and the western end of the BQE.
Elected officials want large trucks to be able to go on the parkway along this same stretch so they don’t clog traffic.
“All Astorians deserve access to streets without unbearable traffic, loud noise and heavy fumes,” said Councilman Cost Constantinides (D-Astoria) at a press conference Friday at Columbus Triangle, located at Astoria Boulevard South between 31st & 32nd Streets.
“Opening the parkway to all trucks between the BQE and the bridge would be beneficial to our environment and for traffic safety. Taking this move would be a solid step towards Astoria Blvd. feeling less like a highway for big trucks and more like the street that our seniors, families and residents need it to be every day.”
State Senator Michael Gianaris, who has been in contact with the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the governor about this issue, said the road to needs to be dug up so the overpasses are high enough for the large trucks. The DOT told him this is financially feasible and the next step is to put this in the budget for next year.
“It’s going to be pennies compared to the amount of money they spent to rebuild the Kosciuszko Bridge or Tappan Zee Bridge,” Gianaris said. “So it’s really a small dedication of resources at the state level for a certain peace of mind for an entire neighborhood.”
Several Astoria residents commended the pols for trying to combat the traffic problem. Matthew Weiss, who has lived on 33rd St. and Astoria Blvd. for 20 years, said he hopes the DOT will listen to the elected officials and make the proper changes.
“This is a pedestrian neighborhood and we’re dealing with giant machines rolling through here at all hours of the day and night,” Weiss said.
“I know that this intersection is one the most dangerous in all of New York City and a large part of that is these gigantic semi-tractor trailers that are competing with regular motorists.”
HAve no fear, Polly Tottenberg is on the case! The worst thing to happen to NYC traffic since pedestrian plazas.
Um, has anyone seen the backups that occur on the Hoyt Ave (last) exit? How about fixing that first?
In fact, it was bad for years, and that exit was “redesigned” and it was 3 times worse after the “redesign”.
That whole intersection sucks
It’s the worst intersection.
What you have are idiots who continually block the box.
Selfish and fearful idiots who jut into the intersection and again block the box. No one gets through. No cops to coordinate traffic.
Get a few officers there it would alleviate much of the headache we experience
How about fixing the 50,000 potholes in Astoria 1st. Idiot lawmakers!!!
you can report those on the NYC.gov website. They do come and fix them quickly
Use the 311 app. They will respond in a week or two…just as soon as they finish painting more bike lanes.
This might work . But why not also remove street parking on Astoria Blvd to open up the street to more lanes ?
Because that would be the thing that would make the make the most sense, cost the least, and be able to be implemented the quickest. And this all goes against the directive of Polly Tottenberg and the DOT. And don’t forget De Blasios “vision Zero”…get cars down to a crawl so if they do happen to hit someone crossing the street while texting, there will be no injury.
Good idea maaaaaaaaaan .! Put a bike lane too! And a bus stop.
LOL. What about a dog park?
Deck it over & make it green!
This will be causing more accidents. Out of state drivers don’t even follow the signs that state no trucks . If it’s only a stretch on parkway people will not notice when they go to far. This is a clusterf waiting to happen.
Great plan. Glad to see that this looks like its moving forward.