2010-05-07 / Editorial/Opinion
An Unnecessary Response By The DOT
The city’s Department of Traffic (DOT) is nothing but consistent. Faced with a problem of speeding cars and accidents, the city agency’s response is always the same – make the road smaller. Traffic lights do not control speed, the agency tells us. Speed bumps do not do the job. Stronger enforcement procedures do not work. Make the road smaller. That is what the DOT did on Shore Front Parkway after a young boy on a bike was hit and killed. And, that is what will happen shortly to Cross Bay Boulevard north of Broad Channel after a woman and her dog were hit and killed along the Bird Sanctuary last year. The DOT plan calls for eliminating the bike path on the southbound side, although walkers, joggers and bike riders can be seen on that path almost any day of the week. Then, the agency will eliminate one lane in each direction, turning the six-lane road into a fourlane road by adding two 10-foot buffers to the southbound side and one to the northbound side of the road. The DOT calls the southbound bike lane “redundant,” but we are sure that no Broad Channel resident would term it likewise. In fact, the entire plan will tie Broad Channel and Rockaway into knots, especially during the summer months, when the traffic traditionally lines up from the Cross Bay Bridge past the northern boundary of the small town and then back to the Visitor’s Center in the Wildlife Sanctuary. If that occurs on a three-lane road, think of what one less lane will mean. There is no doubt that the boulevard is dangerous because people speed up when they hit the open stretches. Cutting lanes will not stop that. We are not traffic experts, but there has to be another way. We call on the DOT to find that other way and leave the lane
“ structure as it is.