DOT conducted area-wide study
By Jessica Meditz
Since late 2021, residents of Glendale have advocated that a select few streets in the neighborhood be converted from two-way to one-way.
They started a petition in favor of conversions of the streets, citing their 30-foot width with parking on both sides — making it difficult for cars to fit while driving in both directions and thus, causing sideswipes to occur.
In response, Queens Community Board 5 requested the Department of Transportation (DOT) perform an area-wide traffic study, from Myrtle to Cooper Avenues, and from 60th Lane to Cypress Hills Street.
Following their investigation of the area between January and June of 2022, the DOT recommended the following: that 60th Lane be converted to one-way northbound operation from Cooper Avenue to 75th Avenue, 75th Avenue to one-way eastbound operation from 60th Lane to 64th Street, 64th Street to one-way southbound operation from 75th Avenue to Cooper Avenue and 64th Place to one-way northbound operation from Cooper Avenue to Cypress Hills Street.
Eric Butkiewicz, chairman of CB5’s Transportation Committee, said that when the DOT presented their findings to the committee at a recent meeting, it was clear to them that the proposed north-south conversions are the right choice for the area.
“We didn’t find any significant impact on traffic flow, while also giving the residents what they’re looking for and seemingly reducing the risk of sideswipes and other accidents,” he said.
Butkiewicz noted that there was more debate among the committee in regard to the conversion of 75th Avenue to one-way eastbound operation from 60th Lane to 64th Street. The conversion of this street was not included in the initial petition started by locals, rather, was added by the DOT.
The committee was informed by the DOT that around 250 cars per hour, at peak hours in the morning, travel westbound on 75th Avenue. Therefore, if the street were to be converted to one-way eastbound traffic, those 250 cars would be rerouted to Cooper Avenue.
“This raised concerns in the committee that by routing 250 cars per hour to an already congested Cooper Avenue could pose severe problems, because Cooper Avenue is incredibly narrow also,” Butkiewicz said. “The concern is that we’re just going to take this problem, put it somewhere else and still be stuck with the same problem.”
As a result of the discussion, the vote was a six-to-six split for the conversion. Although it did not pass, Butkiewicz said the committee members who voted against the conversion of 75th Avenue committed to keeping a close eye on it going forward, recognizing the issues it faces.
On Nov. 9, CB5 held their monthly public meeting, where the whole board voted on the proposed north-south street conversions that were voted unanimously in favor by the Transportation Committee.
The board voted unanimously in favor of the north-south conversions with the acknowledgement that they will not recommend the eastbound conversion at this time, but will continue to monitor 75th Avenue and make changes if need be.
The Transportation Committee will pen a letter to the DOT with their decision, and it is ultimately up to them to take action and implement the conversion.
The DOT informed them that it could be a year-long process to put up the signs that would make these proposed streets one-way.