May 15, 2014

DOT Proposes Fix for Dangerous Astoria Intersection

This morning we received a press release about a proposal to fix one of Astoria’s most dangerous intersections—32nd Street and Astoria Boulevard North, adjacent to the exit ramp of the (…)

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This morning we received a press release about a proposal to fix one of Astoria’s most dangerous intersections—32nd Street and Astoria Boulevard North, adjacent to the exit ramp of the Grand Central Parkway. If you’ve ever taken that offramp and needed to turn right on 31st Street or get to the right of the bridge, you know how confusing and tricky it can be—you have to cross multiple lanes and that puts you at risk like the old Frogger video game; pedestrians are also at risk. We seriously do not heart the kind of maneuvering it takes to not get hit by another car, truck, or bus at that spot. In fact, the intersection has been identified by the 114th Precinct as the most accident-prone location in the area.

Here’s how things are now (click to enlarge):


Our Assemblywoman, Aravella Simotas, announced a DOT proposal to make the intersection safer. She says, “For too long, this intersection has been dangerous and confusing. This proposal will eliminate dangerous lane-changing maneuvers and guide traffic in a safer, easily-understood lane configuration. Motorists should never have to put their lives at risk crossing multiple lanes of traffic just to get home.”

Here is how the proposed DOT fix would work:

The DOT proposes extending the median between Astoria Boulevard North and the Grand Central Parkway (GCP) in order to separate local and expressway traffic. Local vehicles traveling west on Astoria Boulevard will no longer be able to make a left turn at 31st Street, and motorists exiting the GCP will no longer have the option to turn right at 31st Street.

And here is a visualization of the proposal (click to enlarge):


DOT is taking it to CB1 next week for consideration, public comment, and approval. If you want to share your thoughts, attend the meeting on May 20 and speak your mind.

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.


G Knight

I fail to see how this is going to do anything for the intersection at 31st and Astoria. People are still going to create that gridlock situation because not blocking the box is too difficult a concept for the selfish masses that drive around here.

I drive all the time and I have to be honest that I have never once – in 10 years living here in Astoria and 20 years in Western Queens – thought about the traffic coming from Astoria Blvd and the GCP exit feed at 33rd St there. My only concern has always been that hellish corner. I haven’t taken that exit in years because it’s not worth the aggravation and terror. I do, however, need to go through the intersection to access the RFK – and it irks me to no end that people sit there in their cars, blocking the box like it’s nothing.


Looks like a major improvement, especially for pedestrians trying to cross on 32nd.


that entire intersection makes me want to get on the GCP in jackson heights just to get to the bridge w/o having to deal with that clusterfuck. i have a minor panic attack each time we do it bc inevitably, it’s like tokyo drift trying to get to the bridge lanes.


Terrible news for the people living on 28th street. Every car that used to head northbound on 31st after exiting the Triboro is going to end up taking their first available right onto that fairly narrow residential street. It also does nothing to alleviate the confusion on the other side of the intersection with cars on the GCP side of the median trying to merge right to go north and the cars on the ABN side merging left to get on the Triboro.


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