Co-sponsors Workshop to Address Dangerous Maspeth

Intersection design training workshop May provide safety improvements for Grand Avenue area.

Acting on a request from the Juniper Park Civic Association, on May 29th Transportation Alternatives, a not-for-profit traffic safety group, organized a 4 hour workshop with some of the leading transportation experts and civic leaders attempting to address the problems of the intersections around Grand Avenue and 69th Street. Over the year several pedestrians and motorists have been killed or injured in the area. Most recently the death of Daniela D'Angelo, a student at Christ the King High School killed while walking home from school, shocked the community.

The workshop, organized by Michael King, an Urban Design & Transportation expert, was co-sponsored by the JPCA and Community Board #5's Public Safety Committee and Transportation Committee.

Real Intersection Design (RID) is a focused training workshop which pragmatically addresses the complex issues that urban street designers face in providing for the needs of various street users. In essence a problematic intersection is redesigned from six points of view: walkers, wheelchair users, transit riders, cyclists, drivers, and pedestrians with visual impairments. The six plans are then compared and contrasted with the goal of identifying which elements are common to all and which are problematic for others. In addition each team is led by a recognized expert in the field which allows for intensive information exchange. The intended audience is practitioners who want to sharpen their skills and knowledge of various intersection users, and others who want to get a better understanding of the complexity of urban intersection design.

Each team was given scale drawings, aerial maps, speed, crash, volume and other available data. The team leaders bring pertinent guidebooks and props (AASHTO Green Book, SmartLevel, a bicycle, a wheelchair, a white cane). Before the site visit each team leader offers a short presentation on the specifics of their user mode.

Each team then went back to the meeting to present their recommendations. A frank and often lively discussion followed. A plan to improve the Grand Avenue- 69th Street area will be presented from Transportation Alternatives to the JPCA in the near future. The JPCA has asked Congressman Anthony Weiner, who is a member of the Transportation Committee to help fund the improvements.