Aug. 14, 2023 By Anthony Medina
Drivers who frequent Park Lane South in Richmond Hill may have to consider thinking twice before using residential streets to bypass everyday traffic congestion.
In a joint letter sent to the New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez on Tuesday, Aug. 8, Queens Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. and Councilwoman Lynn Schulman, called for better traffic safety measures for the residents between 115th Street and 84th Avenue in Richmond Hill.
The problematic traffic area between Park Lane South and Babbage Street causes concern for residents, as they’ve witnessed multiple instances of cars blowing through stop signs, reckless driving and cars driving at over 50 mph, according to the lawmakers’ letter.
“It’s clear that something needs to be done to improve safety here. These neighborhoods were not built to accommodate drivers far exceeding the city’s 25 mile per hour limit, and residents deserve better than to be constantly on the lookout for reckless drivers,” said Hevesi. “We have had great success improving safety with DOT in the past and hope we can work with them again toward another successful resolution.”
Legislators shared the suggestions of residents in their letter to the DOT, with calls to add more signage, speed bumps and stop lines in the impacted neighborhood.
“It is important that the roads are safe for pedestrians and motorists and that means obeying speed limits and installing proper traffic calming devices. I look forward to working with my colleagues in government and the DOT to ensure that we can prevent traffic violations, car accidents and pedestrian fatalities that have become such concerning hazards in our community. It’s time the city looks to prevent accidents and fatalities instead of reacting to them,” said Addabbo.
After visiting the problem area to see traffic conditions first-hand, elected officials asked local law enforcement to provide more patrols in the neighborhood.
When QNS went to the stretch of road on 115th Street off of Park Lane South, a patrol car was stationed nearby and gave chase to some motorbike riders doing wheelies and speeding. Babbage Street particularly featured very little signage or speed bumps.
“I am deeply concerned about reports of speeding in excess of 50 miles per hour in a residential neighborhood like Richmond Hill,” said Schulman. “I believe that working with DOT, we can take action to ensure that we are putting resident’s safety first and improving our streetscape to accommodate a positive experience for both pedestrians and vehicles.”
A spokesperson from the DOT confirmed the commissioner received the letter, and that it is being reviewed.