2005-03-04 / Letters

Beach 116, BCD An Accident Waiting To Happen

When Duane Reade first opened its store at Beach 116 Street and Beach Channel Drive (BCD), there were more than several accidents at that intersection. After more than a year, the Department of Transportation (DOT) responded by putting up a new traffic light and changing the timing on the other traffic lights in the area. Unfortunately, the DOT did not fix the basic problem and actually created other traffic problems in the area. There are so many problems that we do not know where to start. First of all, the intersection of the Duane Reade parking lot and Beach Channel Drive remains dangerous, with cars coming west on that road meeting cars turning from the parking lot, cars making a left turn off Beach 116 Street and cars coming from the parking lot at the Rockaway Sunset Diner. A woman was hit by a car crossing from Duane Reade towards the diner last week, although she reportedly had the light in her favor. The car, making a left from Beach 116 Street believed that he had the light as well. Perhaps, they are both right. In addition, cars exiting from the Blockbuster parking lot often use the green light to cut across the traffic moving north on Beach 116 Street to go straight on Newport Avenue or to go west on BCD. All of this creates an inordinate traffic problem. There are some solutions. Mandate that cars exiting from the Duane Reade parking lot may only make a right turn on BCD. They can then come back to BCD to go east or access Beach 116 Street by turning left on Beach 117 Street and then left again on Newport Avenue. Is that out of the way? Sure it is. Is it safer? There is no doubt. In addition, make the entrance to the Blockbuster parking lot from Beach 116 Street one way going into the lot. Do not allow cars to exit on Beach 116 Street. One more change. The traffic light on Beach 116 Street and Newport Avenue must be retimed to allow the traffic making a left on Beach 116 Street from BCD to continue through to Newport Avenue without hitting a red light. What happens now is that the red light piles up traffic on that short section of Beach 116 Street between BCD and Newport and forces the trailing cars to stop in the traffic coming east on BCD. Perhaps a left turn signal for cars moving from Beach 116 Street to Newport Avenue would help as well. The entire area is an accident waiting to happen and we hope it will not take a deadly accident for the DOT to make the necessary changes.

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