Staten Island, NY -- As part of City Hall in Your Borough, Commissioner Polly Trottenberg today joined Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo at an intersection in Sunnyside where traffic changes are scheduled to be completed in the coming weeks by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The planned changes will reduce congestion and increase safety at the busy, high-crash intersection near Wagner College.
“We were happy to work with the Borough President to make really solid fixes to this intersection,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “We know that left turns are far more dangerous than right turns, and so changes that can eliminate those turns, keep traffic moving and not inconvenience a very large number of drivers are a win-win for everybody.”
“City Hall in Your Borough brings government to the grassroots, so we can see problems firsthand and fix them. That’s exactly what we’re doing at this corner,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Working with Borough President Oddo, we’re going to begin construction this fall to make this intersection safer and less congested. We’ll continue working across Staten Island to reach Vision Zero.”
“This is an issue I have been working with DOT to find a solution for since 2014, so I’m pleased to see these changes implemented,” said Staten Island Borough President Jimmy Oddo. “Eliminating the left turn lanes to create extra through lanes will help traffic flow more easily and safely through this intersection. This is a tangible step to offer Staten Islanders some relief, but we know there is more to do. With Lorraine Grillo now heading up the New York City Department of Design and Construction, I am confident, along with Commissioner Trottenberg and the leadership of Wagner College, we can begin genuine discussions on a capital project that would provide even more assistance to motorists and pedestrians using this corridor. Thank you to the Administration for heeding our call on this and working with us to improve these conditions.”
The intersection of Clove Road and Howard Avenue is only a block away from the Staten Island Expressway, and serves as a major entrance for drivers headed to Wagner College. The fixes to be undertaken by DOT will include:
- Eliminating left turns from Clove Road to both Tioga Street and Howard Avenue
- Re-aligning the intersection itself — removing dedicated left-turn lanes, which will allow two through lanes in both directions on Clove Road.
The removal of left-turn lanes will allow freer flowing traffic to and from the Expressway along Clove Road, which is among Staten Island’s busier through streets. According to DOT analysis, fewer than 100 drivers per day make the left turns planned for elimination into the Sunnyside neighborhood, and those streets remain easily reached by other approaches, including via right turns from nearby Little Clove Road.
“For years I have advocated for a solution that would allow two through lanes on Clove Road to alleviate the extreme traffic that backs up on to the service road every afternoon,” said Councilwoman Debi Rose. “I applaud these traffic changes from DOT, as I know they will make commutes easier for the hundreds of Staten Islanders who use this intersection daily.”
According to DOT data, no fatalities have occurred at this intersection in recent years, but it does have a notable crash history: crashes at the intersection in the five-year period ending in 2016 have resulted in a total of 12 injuries, one of them serious. Of the twelve injuries, eleven were motor vehicle occupants and one was a pedestrian.
DOT is also in the beginning stages of examining the feasibility of a capital project to construct a right turn lane on Clove Road with acquired land.