Subject: City of New York Auto Acknowledgment Correspondence # 1-1-434975332
Date: 19 Oct 2008 12:58:08 -0400
Dear CHRISTINA WILKINSON:
Thank you for contacting the City of New York. Your message has been forwarded to the appropriate agency for review and handling.
For future reference, your service request number is 1-1-434975332.
The City of New York
The information you have provided is as follows:
Form: Customer Comment
Topic: Construction Coordination
Name: CHRISTINA WILKINSON
Street Address: PO BOX 790275
City, State Zip: MIDDLE VILLAGE, NY 11379
Country: United States
Company: Juniper Park Civic Association
Work Phone: (718) 651-5865
The DOT is moving forward with plans to reconfigure the intersection of Flushing and Grand Avenues in order to facilitate the implementation of the Safe Streets to School Program for St. Stanislaus Grammar School in Maspeth. They have made cuts in the street and marked it with chalk.
We are concerned because the Grand Avenue Truck Bypass Plan has not yet been put into effect. We believe that this will cause the traffic backup to become more of a problem down Grand Avenue.
Sr. Rose, the principal of St. Stan's, is opposed to this reconfiguration because the trucks are already spewing toxic air into the windows of the school and she fears this will make the situation worse.
We are in favor of the reconfiguration of the intersection, but not until the Bypass Plan has been implemented.
Please do not move forward with this until the Grand Avenue Truck Bypass is in place.
Response from DOT, October 30, 2008:
I am responding to your October 19th e-mail concerning the school safety improvements for St. Stanislaus Kostka School in Maspeth.
The reconfiguration of the intersections of Grand Avenue, Flushing Avenue, Maspeth Avenue and 64th Streets resulted from a traffic safety study conducted around St. Stanislaus Kostka School in 2006. The study found excessive truck and bus traffic on Grand Avenue in front of the school. It also recorded an 85th percentile speed of vehicles of 37 mph on Grand Avenue. The safety improvements we hope to achieve by closing the slip and making one large triangle at this intersection include:
. lmproving conditions for students walking to the school by eliminating one leg of a complicated intersection and shortening the crosswalks.
. Reducing speeds on Grand Avenue near the school
. Discouraging trucks from using Grand Avenue
. Beautifying the community by planting this new triangular median with trees and plants
. Maintaining existing parking
After construction began, I received a number of traffic congestion complaints from residents and from the principal of the school. I visited the site personally on Friday October 24th at 2:30p m and again at 4:30 pm. There was no traffic congestion on Grand Avenue at that time. There was, however, some congestion on Flushing Avenue- traffic may already be adjusting its patterns. One of my staff visited the site from 7:15 to 7:50 am on October 27th and another visited it on October 28th at 8:20 am; neither employee observed any congestion. We will also be adjusting the traffic signal timing in the near future. Please know that we will continue to monitor the site. Construction should be completed by the end of November when traffc should reach a steady state.
These improvements do not reduce this agency's commitment to implementing the Maspeth ByPass. I am pleased to report that we have prepared the task order for our negotiations with the Engineering Service Contractor. Once the negotiations are complete, the contractor will assist us in identifying the engineering requirements to implement the bypass. Although this analysis will take additional time, we have taken the first steps to achieving our commitment to the community. We do not concur that the improvements should be delayed until the bypass is implemented. Safety measures around schools should be implemented in as timely a manner as possible as funding is identified. Incrementally achieving improvements is better than making no improvement at all.
I hope this information is helpful and thank you for your continued support in improving traffic safety.
DOT Borough Commissioner
In response to this letter and the traffic nightmare that has resulted from this project, the JPCA has issued a press release.