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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #06-45

Contact: Kay Sarlin (212) 442-7033
Chris Gilbride

Staten Island Transportation Task Force Announces Plans for Improvements at Four High Priority Intersections and Highlights Other Improvements

The Staten Island Transportation Task Force, co-chaired by Transportation (NYCDOT) Commissioner Iris Weinshall and City Planning (DCP) Director Amanda Burden, today announced plans for comprehensive improvements at four high priority intersections and presented progress reports on a number of other short term improvements the City has made since the last Task Force briefing in June, 2006.

In June, NYCDOT made short term improvements to 2 of the 10 intersections being analyzed for comprehensive design modifications: Forest and South Avenues, and Draper Place and Richmond Avenue. NYCDOT has since completed designs for improvements at three new high priority intersections and has planned for additional capital intensive improvements at Draper Place and Richmond Avenue. The proposed design modifications to the three intersections, Victory Boulevard and Jewett Place, Clove Road and West Fingerboard Road, and Victory Boulevard and Richmond Avenue, include short and medium/long term improvements aimed at reducing congestion and enhancing safety. The planned improvements are described below:

Victory Boulevard and Jewett Avenue
Victory Boulevard and Jewett Avenue form an irregular T-intersection that is also intersected by Watchogue Road and NYCDOT plans to make a series of improvements by early Fall to improve pedestrian safety and better organize traffic at the intersection. The most significant improvement planned for Victory Boulevard and Jewett Avenue is a new sidewalk and pedestrian island on the west side of Jewett Avenue between Watchogue Road and Victory Boulevard. The sidewalk extension will provide a safe route for pedestrians traveling from the west side of Jewett Avenue, where there is a bus stop, to Victory Boulevard. The island at the northwest corner of the intersection will narrow the pedestrian crossings on Jewett Avenue and Victory Boulevard making it safer for pedestrians crossing the street. To prevent the congestion caused by uncontrolled left turns from Victory Boulevard onto Watchogue Road, NYCDOT plans to install a series of water filled jersey barriers along the centerline of Victory Boulevard between Wheeler Avenue and Jewett Avenue. The barriers, coupled with a new dedicated left turn signal for eastbound Victory Boulevard will organize traffic turning at the intersection and result in less congestion.

Victory Boulevard and Richmond Avenue
At the intersection of Victory Boulevard and Richmond Avenue, Victory Boulevard has a dedicated center turn lane and eastbound bus service which causes traffic to backup behind stopped and turning vehicles. To address the congestion at Victory Boulevard and Richmond Avenue in the short term, NYCDOT plans to install left turn signals on Richmond Avenue in both directions and make improvements to the roadway markings to better guide turning traffic. In the medium/long term, NYCDOT plans to widen the southwestern corner of the intersection, adding a turning lane to Victory Boulevard and allow vehicles traveling eastbound through the intersection to do so without stopping.

Clove Road and West Fingerboard Road
The intersection of Clove Road and West Fingerboard is one of the most challenging intersections the Task Force has examined and NYCDOT has developed a plan to address congestion that includes short term improvements and a capital intensive widening/realignment of the intersection that will be completed in the medium/long term. In the short term, NYCDOT plans to repaint all of the double yellow center lines at the intersection and better align Clove Road. NYCDOT will also use improved roadway markings to delineate travel lanes, repaint crosswalks and install sidewalk ramps at all four corners of the intersection. In the medium/long term DOT plans to widen both Clove and West Fingerboard Roads and install two raised medians and slip ramps to provide additional pedestrian space, improve traffic flow and prevent backups caused by turning vehicles.

Draper Place and Richmond Avenue
In June, NYCDOT announced a series of improvements at the intersection of Draper Place and Richmond Avenue, including extended green time at the left turn signal on Richmond Avenue onto Draper Place and improved signage to prevent cars from turning left out of the Barnes and Noble parking lot on the south side of Richmond Avenue. NYCDOT has designed additional improvements for the intersection that will enhance safety and reduce congestions. Most notably, the left turn bay on Richmond Avenue will be extended by 200-feet to maximize the effectiveness of the extended left turn signal on Richmond Avenue and to prevent long lines of cars from blocking the travel lane. New markings will be installed on Draper Place to guide traffic traveling straight through the intersection towards Barnes and Noble and traffic turning left on Richmond Avenue. New markings will also be used to create an acceleration lane for vehicles turning right onto Richmond Avenue from the Draper Place slip ramp.

In a related project, Travis Avenue from Richmond Avenue to Draper Place will be converted to a one way and new parking spaces and crosswalks will be installed to narrow the roadway, creating additional parking for area businesses and enhancing safety for pedestrians.

Additional Short Term Recommendation Updates

48 Intersections Daylighted
To increase intersection capacity and provide motorists and pedestrians with better visibility, NYCDOT has installed parking prohibitions (daylighting) at 48 intersections on Staten Island. Since the Task Force convened in June, the following 12 intersections have been daylighted:

School Safety Improvements
NYCDOT recently installed a new traffic signal at IS-27 (Forest Avenue and Elizabeth Street) and plans to install another new signal at PS-54 (Willowbrook Road and Sheraden Avenue) by the end of August, 2006.

New SIR Schedule Released
On July 17, 2006 MTA NYC Transit introduced a new, enhanced weekday schedule on the Staten Island Railway which is designed to provide faster travel during peak periods, increase the reliability of service, add new local trips to accommodate school rider ship and improve reverse-peak ferry connections.

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