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Dangerous Intersection Near Forest Hills School Could Get Safety Boost

 The DOT considers adding a pedestrian island in front of P.S. 220 in Forest Hills.
The DOT considers adding a pedestrian island in front of P.S. 220 in Forest Hills.
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QUEENS — A dangerous intersection in front of a Forest Hills elementary school could soon undergo several traffic safety improvements, the Department of Transportation said.

The agency is planning to install a pedestrian island in the crosswalk at 108th Street, near the Horace Harding South Service Road, in front of P.S. 220, which would significantly shorten the 62-foot-long crossing for students and seniors living in the area, the agency said.

The agency is also planning to install so-called "leading pedestrian interval" signals at the intersection, which would turn the light green for pedestrians 7 seconds before allowing drivers to turn, making them more visible to turning cars and lowering the risk of crashes, the agency said.

There were no injuries at the intersection in recent years, but the agency said the corner is considered dangerous because it's is right next to the highway and the schools, which serve more than 700 students in pre-K through fifth grade.

Currently, traffic lanes in both directions are separated by a 15-foot-wide buffer area which according to the proposal, would be shortened in order to build a 9-foot-wide concrete pedestrian island, the DOT said.

(Courtesy of the DOT)

The proposal would not affect traffic in the area and would not cause loss of parking, according to the DOT.

The agency presented the proposal to Community Board 6’s Transportation Committee earlier this year. The DOT is planning to return to CB6 "in the near future" to further discuss the proposal "following community feedback," the agency said in an email.