BY LUIS GRONDA
Much like the rest of the City, drivers will have to slow down when commuting on Queens Boulevard.
The major thoroughfare, often nicknamed “The Boulevard of Death,” will have its speed reduced to 25 miles per hour, the Dept. of Transportation announced last week.
The speed reduction falls under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, which has reduced the speed limit for much of the City in hopes of reducing pedestrian fatalities.
DOT commissioner Polly Trottenberg made the announcement regarding Queens Boulevard at a Vision Zero symposium in Brooklyn last week. The change will happen by the end of this year, she said.
The agency’s Twitter page later tweeted out the news its Commissioner mentioned during the event.
“Commissioner Trottenberg announces DOT anticipates reducing Queens Blvd. speed limit to #25MPH the end of the year,” the agency tweeted.
The change comes after the major thoroughfare was not part of the Vision Zero plan to reduce its speed.
Earlier this year, the agency announced that Queens Boulevard was part of several avenues throughout the City that would be included in their Slow Zone program, which would have lowered the speed limit to that same number as well as retime the traffic signals to meet the new speed limit for drivers and pedestrians.
Just like the rest of the City, the lower speed limit aims to lower fatalities in a thoroughfare well known to be a danger for pedestrians.
According to advocacy group Transportation Alternatives there were 17 pedestrian fatalities between 2002 and 2011 as well as two cyclist fatalities as well.
Earlier this year, Community Board 6, which covers the Forest Hills/Rego Park portion of the boulevard, and the Queens branch of Transportation Alternatives called for a complete redesign of Queens Boulevard to make it safer for both pedestrians and drivers. The group circulated a petition for the initiative, which got more than 5,000 signatures.
Some of the improvements the group called for on Queens Boulevard are protected bike lanes and Select Bus Service.
Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, email@example.com, or @luisgronda.