March 16, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge
The DOT will build more than a dozen pedestrian islands and implement other safety upgrades along a 1.3-mile stretch of Northern Boulevard.
The agency presented its plan to improve the corridor from Honeywell Street to Broadway at Community Board 1’s monthly meeting Tuesday, which was approved by the Board.
DOT statistics indicate that this stretch of Northern Boulevard is particularly dangerous. More than 260 vehicle occupants, 40 pedestrians and 20 cyclists were injured here between 2010 and 2014. Ten pedestrians have been killed or severely injured on this road.
A major element of the DOT’s safety project is the construction of 14 pedestrian islands at intersections on Northern Boulevard between Honeywell and Broadway.
At these intersections, the existing 10-foot buffer between east and westbound traffic will be converted into pedestrian islands to shorten crossing distances.
The DOT will also change traffic flow on a handful of streets.
48th and 49th Streets, which currently run southbound and northbound, respectively, will both switch directions between Northern Boulevard and Broadway in order to reduce conflicts at 48th Street and Northern. A short leg of 37th Street will be converted from two-way to a one-way entrance onto Northern Boulevard.
For safer pedestrian crossing, curb extensions and expanded triangles will be implemented at Northern Boulevard’s intersections with 37th Street, 48th Street, Newtown Road and Woodside Avenue.
CB 1’s transportation committee chair Bob Piazza called the planned upgrades “long overdue.”
The project is expected to start in July 2016 and to be phased over the next two years, according to the DOT. A spokesman could not immediately say where on the road construction will start.