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‘Something needs to be done’: Queens legislators call on DOT to enhance traffic safety conditions in Richmond Hill

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.  

Residents ask for better traffic conditions in the neighborhood of 115th Street between Park Lane South and Babbage Street, where drivers are often seen speeding and taking advantage of a lack of signage, according to the letter sent to DOT by Queens legislators.Photo by Anthony Medina

“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. 

Facing 115th Street on the corner of Babbage Street, a long stretch of road is unencumbered by street bumps or further signage to prevent reckless driving.Photo by Anthony Medina

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. 

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