Senator Gianaris Pushes for More Safety Measures on Queensboro Bridge Ramps
LONG ISLAND CITY — The dangerous Queensboro Bridge off-ramp at Queens Plaza South near Crescent Street has long been called a “death trap,” and after yet another accident there this month, state senator Michael Gianaris (D-12) wants more to be done to ensure New Yorkers safety.
The latest traffic accident occurred on May 1 - the fourth in a series of wrecks within a little more than a year.
Two of the accidents occurred within nine days of each other in March and April 2011, claiming the lives of a pedestrian and a passenger in a car. The third one happened in May 2011.
This month’s accident caused no serious injuries, but it was a frightening experience for a worker at Panini Tozt Café, located on the corner of Crescent Street and Queens Plaza South.
“The car – it was a yellow cab – stopped just several feet from here,” said the man, who identified himself as Singh. “The driver was OK and no pedestrian was hurt. But people are scared. Everybody said the guy was lucky.”
James Taylor, 56, who sells hats and wallets from a little table along the street near the off-ramp was less worried.
“Right after the accidents last year they put the concrete barriers along the street,” he said. “No car can break them.”
Two serious accidents last year led to cars crashing into local businesses along Queens Plaza South. The storefronts - a restaurant and a hair salon - remain closed, and the owners have recently filed a $1 million lawsuit against the Department of Tansportation, the city, and the drivers involved.
After the last year’s accidents, DOT installed more traffic signs and erected the barricades. “But it is clear that more must be done to ensure everyone’s safety,” said Gianaris in a written statement.
Gianaris sent a letter to DOT demanding strengthened safety measures around all Ed Koch-Queensborough Bridge off-ramps. He also wants the bridge’s 30 mph speed limit to be more strictly enforced.