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Busy Area Around MacDonald Park Gets Pedestrian Safety Improvements

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | January 12, 2016 7:09pm
 Improvements near MacDonalds Park include enhanced crossings and new pedestrian ramps.
Improvements near MacDonalds Park include enhanced crossings and new pedestrian ramps.
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Department of Transportation

QUEENS — The busy area around the popular MacDonald Park in Forest Hills has just been made a little safer for pedestrians, who have often complained about the dangerous intersections near the green space, officials said.

The area attracts many residents, including seniors and families with small children, who frequent the park, as well as the nearby Forest Hills Jewish Center, post office and farmers market. There are also bus stops for the Q60 and Q64 along Queens Boulevard, which borders MacDonald Park.

In the past five years, there have been four pedestrian injuries at the intersection of Queens Boulevard and 70th Avenue, near the park, according to the Department of Transportation.

 The intersection of the Queens Boulevard Service Road and 70th Avenue before the new set of improvements have been installed.
The intersection of the Queens Boulevard Service Road and 70th Avenue before the new set of improvements have been installed.
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Department of Transportation

Is response to complaints, the agency has recently installed enhanced crosswalks on the Queens Boulevard Service Road at 70th Avenue and midblock, in front of the Forest Hills Jewish Center.

Each crossing has new ADA-compliant pedestrian ramps, the DOT said.

“These enhanced pedestrian safety measures are welcome improvements to this increasingly busy intersection of the neighborhood,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz who, along with local Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz and Community Board 6, have received multiple complaints about traffic safety in the area.

“In our work to make Queens Boulevard safer, easing access to popular spots like MacDonald Park in Forest Hills is a real priority,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg in a statement.

Queens Boulevard, nicknamed the "Boulevard of Death," after more than 70 pedestrians were killed in accidents there from 1993 to 2001, is one of the DOT "priority corridors," identified by the city as the most accident-prone streets which are targeted for safety upgrades under Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero plan.