This is from Maura McCarthy, DOT:
I am following up on the implementation of the Maspeth By-Pass project. Following briefings in your offices and meetings at the Community Boards, we incorporated many suggestions into our final plans and received approval to proceed from the Community Boards. AS you know, we distributed flyers to the businesses along the corridor these past two weeks.
Attached is a copy of the last presentation detailing the plans. We have already installed many of the curbside regulations. Road work was completed on Thursday night with the elimination of the concrete island, relocation of a smaller island which will hold a stop sign and resurfacing of the 5-legged intersection. We will be converting the following streets to a one-way direction tomorrow:
• 58th Street - converted to one-way SB between 55th Drive and Maspeth Avenue (the five leg intersection). This is within CB 2.
• Maurice Avenue - converted to one-way NB between Maspeth Avenue (the five leg intersection) and 55th Drive. This is within CB 5.
• 59th Street - converted to one-way SB between 55th Drive/Maurice Avenue and 56th Avenue. (Within CB 5)
Depending upon the weather, the line markings may go in tomorrow or on the next non-rain date. The multitude of signs that will be installed with continue throughout the month.
I cannot thank you enough for all your help, feedback and input into this important project. Please don't hesitate to call me if you have any questions.
Queens Borough Commissioner
NYC Department of Transportation
CB5 sent out the following notification relating to road work in our area.
Attached is what NYC DOT is proposing for the Maspeth Bypass and asking Community Board 5 to vote on at their meeting on the 11th. Thanks to those of you who attended our follow-up meeting, DOT did listen. Some of you are getting what you want - others will need to continue to fight and COMET will help if you let us know what needs to be changed. Please make an effort to attend. You will be given 3 minutes to comment.
COMET wanted the meeting held in Maspeth but I suppose the board didn't think it was necessary. In case you forgot what transpired at our follow-up meeting, I'm attaching the concerns that you raised and you can compare them to what is being proposed.
CB5Q BOARD MEETING Wednesday, MAY 11TH, 2011 at 7:30pm in the Cafeteria of CHRIST the KING HIGH SCHOOL, 68-02 Metropolitan Avenue, Middle Village
The New York City Department of Transportation Division of Bridges will fully close the Grand Street Bridge over Newtown Creek on Saturdays from April 2nd through May 14th, from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Trucks barreling down Grand Ave
When residents in Maspeth walk along Grand and Flushing Avenues, near the LIE, they make sure to look both ways before crossing and to look out for large trucks zipping through their neighborhood.
“It’s very bad and very dangerous, too,” said one local woman.
That’s why the City’s Department of Transportation is changing the traffic pattern so that trucks can no longer take shortcuts to Brooklyn through these streets. Trucks making local deliveries will be the only exception.
A study conducted by the local community board in 2001 found that nearly 1000 large commercial trucks use Grand Avenue every day between 6am and 5pm. If the proposal is approved at a public hearing within 2 months, the changes will go into effect immediately. In the meantime, DOT is working on a more permanent solution. By January, they are expected to announce design plans to build a bypass route along Maurice Avenue, through Maspeth’s Industrial Business Zone.
“I don’t know what they’re coming up with, it may be a series of one way streets, it may be a traffic circle,” said Assemblywoman Marge Markey (D-Maspeth).
Others say the changes have taken too long to implement and that this plan will just move the problem somewhere else.
“They’re going to be wandering through our side streets, which they do now. You know, truck drivers have this incredible habit if taking the path of least resistance, or the shortest route,” said Maspeth activist Manny Caruana.
“We’ve been fighting for 10 years to get these trucks off the commercial strips of Maspeth and Grand Avenue,” said Robert Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association.
Elected officials point out that DOT is the agency responsible for implementing the changes. A DOT spokesperson says that before making changes to the traffic pattern, they needed to study existing conditions, collect more data.
“Things don’t happen overnight even though we want them to happen overnight. And I can understand the frustration,” said Congress Member Joseph Crowley (D-Queens/Bronx).
The permanent bypass project will also have to go through a public review process. If approved, it could take several years to complete.
by Assembly Member Marge Markey
There are hopeful signs that, at long last, this will be the year that we get a commitment to mve dangerous truck traffic out of the main commercial area of Grand Avenue.
Everybody knows that big trucks don't belong on local shopping streets. They kill retail business; they create hazardous conditions for pedestrians, and they pollute the air. It is important to do everything possible - as soon as possible - to reduce truck traffic on Grand Avenue.
Getting those big trucks off this street has been the community's goal for more than a decade. Frank Principe and Community Board 5 developed a Maspeth Bypass Plan a decade ago to reduce dangerous truck traffic through the heart of the community.
We have now been notified that the long-awaited "Maspeth Bypass" may finally be implemented by the city Department of Transportation (DOT).
A decade of pressure and lobbying by elected officials and community leaders is finally getting us results as the city has announced a timetable for completing its engineering analysis of alternatives for the bypass, including the Community Board 5 proposal. The City will present a final plan to the community in September. In October, the agency will make a final recommendation of a plan for implementation.
With community frustrations over the long delay in resolving the long-standing threat to the community posed by the dangerous truck traffic, I joined other elected officials and civic leaders at a press conference on Grand Avenue earlier this year to suggest a change in the designation of the street south of 69th Street to a "local route" for truckers. This is something the city can do right now to reduce the number of big trucks that cut through the heart of Maspeth on their way to other boroughs and the DOT has promised to give us an answer to the proposal this Spring.
But changing the designation of the street immediately to make it a local route for truckers will require more than signs if it is to be successful; the regulations must also be vigorously enforced. It's up to the police to catch truckers who violate the ban and make sure they are fined.
To help do this I am sponsoring a bill in the Assembly that will permit the City to place cameras at key intersections - like Grand Avenue and 69th Street - and make it possible for the police to track down owners and operators and fine them when they break the law.
In these tough economic times, it is important that we do everything we can to help neighborhood businesses survive. Getting trucks off this street now will make a difference to Maspeth and I join with my colleagues in asking the Department of Transportation to support the request we are making - and to enforce it.