Work, which started last month and should be complete in mid-November, will remove service road medians to create three dedicated lanes of north and south traffic on Woodhaven Boulevard, along with a dedicated, curbside bus-only lane.
The project would restrict southbound left turns from Woodhaven Boulevard to Union Turnpike, and create a turn bay to allow for U-turns at 81st Road for access to Union Turnpike.
A spokesperson for DOT said they are reconstructing the intersection to improve safety and vehicular flow and to support the Woodhaven SBS project.
Some residents have taken to social media to criticize DOT, but Toby Sheppard Bloch, a Glendale resident and co-chair of Community Board 5's Transportation Committee, is a supporter of the project.
“This project needs to happen because Woodhaven Boulevard is broken,” Bloch said. “It doesn’t work for motorists, it doesn’t work for pedestrians, it doesn’t work for mass transit riders.
“People that are familiar with the intersection of Woodhaven and Union know that, on almost a weekly basis, there’s a car crash there that causes significant disruption to the flow of traffic,” he added.
Bloch said anyone judging the value of a project during construction can’t possibly know what the final impact will be.
“I think everybody knew that the work had to happen and Woodhaven and Union was going to be really painful and disruptive, and it has been,” Bloch said. “I think DOT’s been responsive to community concerns. I think they’re acutely aware that the disruptions being caused by this construction are really painful, and it needs to be concluded as quickly as possible.”
Bloch said he also believes the rhetoric that DOT and the de Blasio administration are “anti-car” loses sight of the fact that the city is focused on improving the transportation network for automobiles.
“They’re not doing anything that they think will reduce the capacity of Woodhaven for cars,” he said.