The group, "Making a Better and Safer Queens Boulevard," first launched on June 12. Since then its size has increased to nearly 200 members. Peter Beadle, the group's creator, says that the surge in membership is due to a common desire among Queens residents to fix the street known as "The Boulevard of Death."
"Everyone will tell you the same thing about Queens Boulevard," Beadle, 41, says. "It's horrible, and it's dangerous."
Queens Boulevard has long been notorious for its dangerous crossings. On the group page, members recounted their experiences with the street and expressed hope for a safer future.
"This is a serious issue and my dad was hit by a car and permanently injured while crossing Queens Boulevard when we were kids and it drastically changed all our lives and well-being," one member said.
"It just boggles my mind that this is known as the Boulevard of Death, yet there hasn't been much done to change that."
Fixing Queens Boulevard is a difficult task, Beadle says, because it cuts across so many different political jurisdictions. "It runs through a lot of city council districts, assembly districts, neighborhoods, community boards, and it's a state highway."
Members have different ideas on how to make the street safer. "How about thickly planting Queens Boulevard from one end to the other. Let's plant those concrete traffic dividers with a variety of trees, shrubs and perennials, chosen for drought resistance and appearance," a member said.
Another suggested slowing down traffic. "The road needs to be redesigned with the intention of limiting travel to the speed limit of 30," the member said.
Beadle, a lawyer and an avid cyclist who regularly bikes to his office in midtown, sees the Facebook group as the first step toward making change.
"The only way we're going to get this done is to shake the tree and show that there's a will and a desire in the community to make the street safer," he said.