Closing Bell: Analyzing Streetscape Changes in Downtown Flushing and Jackson Heights

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The Department of Transportation released its annual Sustainable Streets Index, in which it analyzes the streetscape changes happening in all five boroughs. The DOT focused on 11 different projects, two of which are in Queens. The first project is a comprehensive set of improvements for the heart of Jackson Heights (outlined above), beginning in 2011 and lasting into this year. The DOT reports that in the neighborhood, total crashes with injuries declined 26 percent; traffic queues decreased up to 75 percent; southbound travel time on 75th Street decreased by 25 percent during the morning peak and 13 percent in the evening; and traffic is moving faster in both directions on Broadway — 8.5 percent eastbound and 41 percent westbound. The Q47 bus speeds increased up to 25 percent and key crosswalks widened from 12 to 40 feet.

In Downtown Flushing, the DOT reorganized traffic and buses in the area to improve safety and reduce congestion for all street users. That meant relocating bus stops, sidewalk expansions to ease pedestrian overcrowding, and turn prohibitions to eliminate vehicle conflicts. They report that total crashes with injuries are down 10 percent; crashes with injuries to vehicle occupants are down 50 percent; crashes with injuries to pedestrians are down 30 percent; and crashes with injuries to bicyclists are down 51 percent. The travel times along the eastbound and westbound Northern Boulevard decreased by 16 and 15 percent in the PM peak hour and 34 and 37 percent in the Saturday midday peak hour.