2010-06-25 / Editorial/Opinion

The DOT Does It To Rockaway Again

Let us count the ways that the city’s Department of Transportation has impacted Rockaway: closed lanes, no parking signs, bike lanes, shared bike lanes, no-turn lanes, a mish-mash of white painted lines that control our motoring lives. Of all the ways that the agency has impacted Rockaway, however, perhaps last Monday was the worst of all. Without much warning, the DOT shut down a large chunk of Beach Channel Drive in the west end, from Beach 116 Street to the Cross Bay Bridge. It did not warn the community that the closure was coming. It did not post signs. It did not place road workers to move the traffic through vital intersections. It simply shut down the entire roadway. In some communities it may not have mattered, because there are alternative roads that motorists might use. In the west end of Rockaway, however, there is Beach Channel Drive and there is Rockaway Beach Boulevard. Period! With BCD closed, all of the traffic gravitated to the boulevard, causing a nightmare thirty-block traffic jam of epic proportions that lasted all day long. We shudder to think what would have happened if a fire engine or ambulance needed to get through. It would have been impossible. On Tuesday, the DOT opened one side of the road to two-way traffic and placed workers to help motorists. It should have done that on Monday. We have to wonder what the DOT was thinking on Monday, or if it even cared what its work wrought.

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