Civic Vice President Barbara McNamara details the myriad problems of the existing traffic triangle.
By Michael V. Cusenza
The Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic Board on Tuesday took a well-deserved victory lap during its meeting at St. Helen Catholic Academy as it touted the City’s new proposal to turn the Lindenwood traffic triangle into a safer “mini-roundabout”—a transformative project that the group has been working toward for the better part of a decade.
“This is six years in the making,” Civic Vice President Barbara McNamara beamed as she detailed aspects of the Department of Transportation initiative that finally addresses the infamous 153rd Avenue-88th Street intersection.
“This project would not be possible without this civic,” said Dan Brown, a community liaison in Queens Borough President Melinda Katz’s office, who also played an integral role in the process. “Because of your voices you’re getting a result.”
Earlier this month, DOT presented the plan to the civic board, Community Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton, and area elected officials. All gave it the green light.
“[DOT] took all of our input, all of our ideas and put them to good use,” Civic President Joann Ariola said on Tuesday. “We’re really excited about this.”
According to the proposal, the mini-roundabout features: new crossings with painted refuge islands and curb extensions; additional pedestrian space; flush medians; and striped parking lanes.
Benefits include: new shorter crossings clarify pedestrian paths and expand the pedestrian network; calms traffic on all approaches to intersection; reduces speeding by narrowing travel lanes with painted parking lanes and flush medians; large, painted pedestrian area provides a new public space to the community.
“We don’t see a lot of roundabouts in the city,” said McNamara, adding that they’re more prevalent on Long Island and in New Jersey. “So it’s going to take people a little while to get used to.”
Ariola suggested that perhaps the best part of the proposal is DOT’s pledge to transform, in her words, “the single most unsafe intersection in Lindenwood” into one of its safest in time for the first day of the 2018-2019 school year this fall.
“It’s a good project,” McNamara added. “We worked really hard on it and we think it’s going to work.”