Photo Courtesy of Edwin Torres/Mayoral Photography Office
“Blocking the box is one area where focused NYPD enforcement can and will make a big difference to keep traffic moving around hotspots in every borough,” Mayor de Blasio said.
By Forum Staff
The City Police and Transportation departments have prepared enhancements to dozens of intersections across NYC—including 12 in Queens—where block- the-box violations will now be aggressively enforced, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday.
As part of Clear Intersections, DOT has installed special markings and/or updated signage at 50 key crossroads to make drivers aware of the restrictions. The City chose intersections along major routes leading to river crossings, highway on-ramps, and commercial centers.
Members of the administration warned drivers this week that block-the-box violators face minimum fines of $115 and possible points that can lead to the loss of a license.
“Drivers who block intersections are contributing to overall congestion, and their disregard of this particular traffic rule comes at the expense of other drivers including emergency vehicles. Additionally, pedestrians are endangered when they have to navigate between vehicles that are blocking crosswalks,” said NYPD Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan. “The NYPD’s enforcement efforts will reduce congestion and improve pedestrian safety. Motorists should be advised that officers will be out in force issuing summonses to those who block the box.”
NYPD will increase enforcement at these locations to keep traffic moving, hiring an additional 50 uniformed officers to enforce block-the-box violations.
The targeted Queens intersections are:
• Queens Boulevard & Skillman Avenue
• Northern Boulevard & Queens Boulevard
• Queens Boulevard & Roosevelt Avenue
• Astoria Boulevard & 31st Street
• 21st Street & 49th Avenue
• Laurel Hill Boulevard & 65th Place
• Queens Midtown Expressway *Northbound service road & Grand Avenue
• Main Street & Roosevelt Avenue
• 71st Avenue & Austin Street
• 37th Avenue & 138th Street
• Metropolitan Avenue & 60th Street
• Queens Plaza South (service road) & 28th Street
“Ask any commuter from Queens and the Bronx and they’ll tell you that New York City gridlock is a major impediment to their daily lives,” said U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens & Bronx). “Mayor de Blasio’s initiative to increase enforcement of block-the-box violations will provide tangible relief to New Yorkers who commute in and out of Manhattan every day.”
De Blasio noted that Clear Intersections is one of a series of five “Clear” congestion-easing proposals he unveiled last October. The other four are: Clear Lanes, Clear Curbs, Clear Zones, and Clear Highways. According to the mayor, these efforts will help keep traffic moving, clear curbs during rush hours, ensure intersections are kept clear of congestion, limit curbside access in crowded corridors, and bring coordinated attention to recurring traffic hotspots on local highways.
Clear Zones, for example, features measures aimed at reducing congestion in commercial districts outside Manhattan, including infamous borough traffic black holes in Downtown Flushing and Downtown Jamaica.
“New Yorkers have been telling me loud and clear about the quality-of-life problems created by traffic where they live and work,” de Blasio said in October. “With a targeted effort to help clear travel lanes, delivery zones, intersections and highways, these initiatives will address these concerns head-on, using established and new tools that will keep our city moving, from midtown to all of our neighborhoods.”