Residents: accidents validate safety concerns
by Salvatore Isola
Jul 31, 2019 | 332 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The past week was deadly on Woodhaven Boulevard, and residents are saying the city is to blame.

On July 24 at 1 am, a cyclist was struck by a car at the intersection of Woodhaven Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue. The victim was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Less than 24 hours after, there was a fatal hit and run early Thursday morning at Woodhaven Boulevard and 91st Avenue. The victim was struck and dragged by a speeding sedan.

“They’re still looking for cameras to get the full information of the car that hit him,” said Steve Forte, president of Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association. “All I know is it’s some sort of BMW.”

The community has raised over $6,500 for funeral expenses on GoFundMe. On Saturday, the Woodhaven Cultural and Historical Society held its annual Penny Auction and all proceeds went to the family.

Incidents like these have been happening more frequently, residents report.

“I hate to say it, but a lot of this is on the fault of the city,” Forte said.

Forte said the problem got worse when the Department of Transportation redesigned the roadway in 2017 to install bus lanes for the Select Bus Service on Woodhaven Boulevard.

“We told them before it ever happened that there were going to be problems, and they went totally against the recommendations of the community,” he said. “They gave us three possible ways to do it, and everybody in the community voted against this one way. That’s the one they implemented.”

“Ever since they’ve done SBS, it’s been nothing but hell,” added Janet Forte, a board member of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association.

She said that the slip lanes between the main and service roads were poorly executed, adding that as a driver, “you do not know which way you are going.”

According to Giedra Kregzdys, Woodhaven Boulevard’s setup “frustrates drivers and they get to where they don’t care and want to get wherever they want to go.” He said drivers go into bus lanes.

“There’s no enforcement, there’s no ticketing,” Kregzdys said.
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