Inconsiderate drivers

This is the Q38 bus stop on a Saturday morning. Inconsiderate drivers forcing bus passengers to get on and off in the middle of the street.

Barbara Thompson
Middle Village

A top publication

The Juniper Berry is not simply good.
It is extremely professional. 

Ben Haber
Kew Gardens Hills

Park maintenance lacking

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park has been called the “Jewel of Queens” and I’d say the jewel has lots of faults. More than 13 years ago I had concerns about serious conditions that existed in the park that were life threatening. I have letters from the Commissioner and other park officials and I had phone conversations, too, and talked with park workers. It was always the same story – yes, we know that there are problems, but there is a Master Plan and it will take time and funding.

Why should it take so long when safety should be a priority? Where is Vision Zero the city is striving for? Why are there funding issues when the park is home to the Mets and the US Open and other large events? Where is the funding going because it’s not going into improving the park? The roadways are terrible and not just for bikes – there are patches on top of patches and pot holes and sunken sewers along with deep ruts that extend the width of the road. There are no bike lanes or even signs telling motorists to share the road except for one near the tennis stadium. These roads are almost an extension of the highway and cars go fast. For large events, cars are everywhere and even park on the grass, something that wouldn’t be done in either Central or Prospect Park.

One of the most dangerous areas include getting to the Promenade at the World’s Fair Marina there are no crosswalks, no curb cuts, no traffic calming devices or traffic lights. Trying to cross a road with speeding tractor trailers and cars is neither easy nor safe. Yet there are two parking areas by the Marina and pedestrians, bicyclists and handicapped people all must cross this road.

I would think in a park where there is a bicycle concession more would be done to encourage bicycling. This is a large flat park, perfect for family biking.

Is there anyone in the Parks Dept. that rides a bike? I challenge them to take a ride with me and see what it is actually like to try and have a nice safe ride in our “Jewel of Queens”. Thank you.

Richard Polgar

Fresh Pond Road bus lane moving forward

The following is an excerpt from a letter sent to Council Member Holden from the NYCDOT regarding the proposed dedicated bus lane along Fresh Pond Road:

“While I realize that you still have ongoing questions, I would like to report that we have heard your concerns with regard to the hours of the bus lane operation and will be reducing the hours from 2- 8pm to 3-7 pm Monday through Friday. I have also provided a summary of our actions pertaining to the concerns you reported in your letter, as follows:

• Elimination of select parking spots in bottleneck areas: DOT does not plan to remove parking as several businesses have expressed the importance of available parking to their business, as well as to the entire community
• Lane widening by the bus depot: DOT has examined this recommendation and determined that this is not feasible on Fresh Pond Road. The concrete neck down at the bus depot entrance has no impact on the turning radius for exiting buses.
• Turning lanes at select intersections: DOT does not believe additional turning lanes are warranted. The bus lane already permits vehicles to exit the lane of traffic, thereby maintaining traffic flow while they make right turns. Synchronization of traffic lights: DOT will be adjusting the signal timing and sequencing
• Consolidation of bus stops: DOT is working with the MTA/New York City Transit (NYCT) to consolidate bus stops along the corridor that will ultimately provide additional metered spaces
• Increased enforcement: DOT is working with the 104th Precinct as part of a multi-agency effort to mitigate the ongoing congestion on Fresh Pond Road, including increased enforcement.

You can be assured that DOT will monitor the conditions along the corridor following the implementation of our proposed plan and will be ready to make adjustments, as needed. Please feel free to contact me if you wish to discuss this issue further. Thank you for your
interest in transportation issues in your district.”

Polly Trottenberg
Commissioner NYC Dept of Transportation

Never forget

Testimony before the Congressional Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, June 11, 2019:

I have been to many places in this world and done many things, but I can tell you that I didn’t want to be anywhere else but Ground Zero when I was there. We were part of showing the world that we would never back down from terrorism and that we could all work together. No races, no colors, no politics. Now that the 9/11 illnesses have taken many of us and we are all worried about our children and spouses and our families if we are not here. VCF has done a wonderful job and treated my family with greatest respect. But my life isn’t worth more than the next responder to get cancer. My family needs are not worth less than any others who have already died.

This fund is not a ticket to paradise. It is there to provide for our families when we can’t. Nothing more. You all said you would never forget. Well I’m here to make sure that you don’t. You made me come down here the day before my 69th round of chemo and I’m going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 responders. Thank you for your time.

Det. Luis Alvarez, NYPD (ret.)

[Det. Alvarez passed away shortly after his testimony. See story about his role in securing funding for 9/11 victims. – Ed.]

Scofflaw crosswalk car

This letter was sent to Council Member Holden’s office and copied to JPCA:

How often do I need to report illegally parked cars? This is the corner of 62 Drive and 69 Place. This car is in the crosswalk with 2-3 feet behind it. It usually is there overnight. I have seen many others parked like this. Parking at this corner as well as others occur day and night. It seems that the police are reluctant to ticket certain offenses. I have brought this up at the meetings many times and after continued prodding you may see one ticket and the issue is forgotten but the offense continues to occur.

Anthony Pedalino
Middle Village