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Residents Call for More Safety Measures On Queens Boulevard

By Nigel Chiwaya | October 5, 2012 12:46pm
 Queens Boulevard is the site of numerous fatal accidents.
Queens Boulevard is the site of numerous fatal accidents.
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DNAInfo/Nigel Chiwaya

KEW GARDENS — Queens residents are once again calling for improved safety measures along Queens Boulevard in the wake of yet another cycling death.

Speaking at Queens Borough Hall before a public meeting of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council, Rachel Beadle, a cyclist who lives in Rego Park, called for changes to the so-called Boulevard of Death.

"Queens residents need the boulevard to be addressed," Beadle, 42, said. "Its seems like year after year we bring this up, but not much happens."

Beadle's comments come one week after 38-year-old Alexander Martinez was killed by a hit-and-run driver on at the intersection of Queens Boulevard and Hoover Avenue — just two blocks from Borough Hall.

Four cyclists were killed on Queens Boulevard from 1996-2009, according to Transporation Alternative's Crashstat accident tracker. Hundreds more were injured.

The Metropolitan Transportation Council is a regional group that puts together a plan on transportation initiatives and area needs every four years. Garry Bogacz, the council's planning director, said that the council has heard numerous suggestions for Queens Boulevard on their planning website.

"Safety's been an issue," said Bogacz, who added that while the city has made improvements for pedestrian safety, bike safety is now becoming an issue.

"Now what we're hearing about is more of a need for a 'complete street' with bike lanes and green space."

Beadle, whose husband Peter launched an online campaign to create a safer Queens Boulevard, said that Queens boulevard was among a number of streets in central Queens that aren't safe for cyclists.

"I'm a mother of two teenage boys," Beadle said. "And with my oldest son riding in the street I really worry."