Woodhaven Boulevard Plan Sparks Concerns

Street changes along Woodhaven Boulevard are deadlocked on the road to approval. The transportation committee of Community Board 6 will meet Thursday night to discuss the Department of Transportation (DOT) Woodhaven Boulevard Congested Corridors Project and a particularly contentious street change that may also need to be reworked.

The survey, which began in 2008, covers a 3.2 mile stretch of roadway from Elmhurst south to Ozone Park. While many of the improvements are minor, such as re-striping pedestrian crossings and adjusting signal timing, some are more significant, like changes to the busy intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Union Turnpike.

The proposal would eliminate left turns from Woodhaven Boulevard onto Union Turnpike from both directions except for buses, since the Q23 makes that turn on its route. Transportation Committee Chair Fred Arcaro said the change would only cause more drivers to use Metropolitan Avenue.

“Union Turnpike is far better served for heavy traffic,” he said, adding that the change would only exacerbate congestion on Metropolitan Avenue.

Discontent over smaller elements of the Woodhaven Boulevard plan, such as the Union Turnpike change, led CB 6 members to question DOT methods in gathering community input.

Arcaro said it seemed the DOT was using a “divide and conquer” approach to the Woodhaven plan, since they were meeting with each community board individually.

“They used to meet with all of us together, this way doesn’t make sense,” he said at June’s CB 6 board meeting before inviting any interested board members to attend the transportation committee meeting on July 23.

by David J. Harvey

Corrections: This article originally stated that CB 5 met with the DOT on Tuesday, it should have read that CB 6 is meeting with DOT on Thursday.


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