Feb. 22, 2018 By Tara Law
Upcoming changes to Steinway Street in Astoria aim to make it easier for pedestrians to cross the busy corridor.
The Department of Transportation plans to install three mid-block crosswalks and traffic signals along Steinway Street between 30th and 34th avenues this spring.
The changes aim to make it safer for pedestrians when crossing the bustling strip. The new design is part of Councilmember Costa Constantinides’ 2017 plan to promote Steinway Street as a shopping destination.
Currently pedestrians who want to cross Steinway Street either put their lives at risk by making a quick dash for it or walk to the corner, cross at the light and then walk all the way around.
“The blocks on Steinway are easily the length of two city blocks and walking to either end is a chore,” said Marie Torniali, executive director of the Steinway Astoria Partnership and the chair of Community Board 1. “Mid-block crossings will make it easier and safer for shoppers and residents to cross the street.”
Constantinides said that he has heard many complaints from businesses and residents about safety—since many pedestrians cross mid block. Many residents complain about the distance between crosswalks, given the size of the blocks.
The new design aims to discourage jaywalking, which the DOT says is a significant problem along the route.
The DOT will also make other safety enhancements as part of the changes, such as curb extensions and leading pedestrian intervals, which give pedestrians three to five seconds to cross before cars get a green light.
Several parking spaces will be eliminated to accommodate the redesign. Constantinides said that he doesn’t know the exact number since the project is still in the design phase.
Assemblymember Aravella Simotas said that she hopes the crossings will help businesses along the corridor.
“Mid-block crossings are a great way to preserve and grow the appeal of Steinway Street, which still has untapped potential as a go-to destination for shopping, eating out or simply sharing a great cup of coffee with friends,” Simotas said.
In Milwaukee, there are above-ground bridges that go from store to store to store. That way, you don’t have to cross any streets and also you can shop even when it’s snowing outside.
What we need is some good businesses and control these landlord increasing rental so high make businesses closed. Double parking is a big problem and eliminating parking and more traffic signs, lights are not the answer. It would create more traffic in the residential areas. 28th Avenue and Astoria Blvd is out of control with traffic and double parking.
I agree with the double parking especial between 28th avenue and astoria boulevard those people really have no respect or consideration for others ..WE DON’T NEED a crosswalks..
That group never gets ticketed! It is very unfair. I live near another area in Astoria where they congregate and they double park cars with bike lanes, on the sidewalks, on no standing zones (which narrow the street) and near fire hydrants but nothing is being done. I have seen the traffic police walk by or drive by and never stop. Complaints to 311 get you no where.
The majority of people who cross mid block are trying to get to their parked cars.
IMO, this is just being done to make it more appealing for future restaurants, bars and clubs to open up in that area. The retail business is no longer profiting and this has nothing to do with residents demanding more cross walks.
Did they consider that this will only make drivers avoid the Steinway area even further and cause more street traffic problems and congestion onto our residential streets? More cars and trucks will just drive through the residential areas as a result. I am tired of all the focus being on the commercial areas while the homeowners and renters in Astoria are not being considered. Why is it also that they get the sweepers and cleaners while residents are fined daily for dirty sidewalks.
Because they want to drive home owners away. The city and developers prefers apartment buildings over a single family or multi family home.
I hope they make a couple of crossing between Astoria Blvd N and 28th Ave on Steinway. This is one of the few areas that is predominately used by Astoria residents on Steinway with the mosque and school. Nowadays, who from Astoria shops on Steinway?
“Several parking spaces will be eliminated to accommodate the redesign. Constantinides said that he doesn’t know the exact number” – I mean, who needs parking when you can just use a Citi bike? Duh.
“Many residents complain about the distance between crosswalks, given the size of the blocks.” Darn Steinway street, with its blocks that are the same size as nearly every other street in Astoria.
Pretty stupid comment. On residential streets there’s no reason to cross in the middle of a block. When you’re crossing to get from one store to another, there is a need.
Mid-block crossings might also help people trying to get away from criminals on Steinway.
Jay walking is part of being a nyer … damn transplants
I definitely agree that we need more intense ticketing for double parking and u-turns. My only concern with this is that the extra stop lights will make the 101 bus a longer wait/ride, which is already a pain because of the double parking between Astoria blvd and 28th ave.
I Love Astoria! ❤️
intense ticketing of double parked cars and illegal u-turns would go a very long way towards improving the flow of this corridor. though, double parking would be the major culprit.
Yep Hoboken does this well.