On April 27, a new traffic signal was installed between the intersection of 51st Street and Skillman Avenue in Woodside, Queens. Several NYC officials and local residents attended the event commemorating the installation, including New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer, New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Deputy Borough Commissioner for Queens Department of Transportation Nicole Garcia, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives Paul Steely White, FDNY Ladder 163, students from P.S. 11, and many local families.
“The new traffic signal at the intersection of 51st Street and Skillman Avenue is going to save lives,” said Council Member Van Bramer. “While the installation of one traffic light may not seem like it would make a difference to some, to us here in Woodside it makes a world of a difference. On top of Woodside’s new traffic signal we are expanding the Neighborhood Slow Zone program into Sunnyside and Woodside. With the combination of these two new Vision Zero traffic safety improvements we will also help put an end to reckless driving and speeding throughout our community. DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg has been a tremendous partner to work with. Working together with the Commissioner, the Queens DOT team, local residents and transportation advocates we have solidified major victories that will not only enhance traffic safety for our children and seniors but also make the neighborhoods of Sunnyside and Woodside better places to raise a family.”
“The installation of this traffic light will keep local residents and families moving safely through the area, which lies in a Vision Zero priority zone,” said New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We look forward to working with Council Member Van Bramer to implement several other safety enhancements, including a dramatic redesign of Queens Boulevard as part of Mayor de Blasio’s Great Streets initiative, later this year.”
“This new traffic signal and the introduction of a new Neighborhood Slow Zone in Sunnyside Gardens and Woodside are the latest in a series of positive steps toward Vision Zero in Western Queens,” said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives. “The traffic calming will help make the new Sunnyside Bike Friendly Business District even more inviting for residents and visitors who bike or walk. We commend Council Member Van Bramer for responding to local residents’ demands for street safety improvements. We also thank DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg for her commitment to safer streets in Queens.”
The traffic signal on 51st Street was put in place after two local pedestrians were hit by speeding vehicles along Skillman Avenue. “My biggest fear was that someone else or maybe even myself would be hit by a speeding car rushing down Skillman Avenue,” said Rosemarie Deptula of Woodside, who was struck on 48th Street and Skillman Avenue. “This traffic signal is going to save lives and make Woodside safer. I would like to thank Councilman Van Bramer and his entire staff for all their hard work in making this day possible.”
In other news, on April 18 families and residents of Queensbridge Houses received hundreds of free bicycle helmets from the office of New York City Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. The council member had allocated funding to the Department of Transportation towards providing needy families with free safety equipment. Families were also able to swap their children’s old bicycles for refurbished, better fitted upgrades provided by Recycle-a-Bicycle. It is hoped that all these efforts will result in the promotion of bike safety rules within the district.