FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2003
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSIONER IRIS WEINSHALL ANNOUNCE PILOT PROGRAM TO ALLEVIATE TRUCK TRAFFIC IN ASTORIA, QUEENS
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Iris Weinshall, Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Assemblymember Michael Gianaris and Councilmember Peter Vallone Jr. announced that starting November 17th, 2003 many trucks will be allowed on the Grand Central Parkway between the Triboro Bridge and Brooklyn Queens Expressway. This will reduce truck traffic along 29th Street, Hoyt Avenue and Astoria Boulevard by providing a direct link between the Triboro Bridge and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway (BQE). Commercial traffic currently is banned on the Grand Central Parkway and for years the streets of Astoria have been clogged by heavy trucks forced to exit on Hoyt Avenue and take local streets to the Brooklyn Queens Expressway.
“This pilot project is designed to reflect the needs of the Astoria area community, who expressed a desire to reduce truck traffic along their local streets,” said Commissioner Weinshall. “We will monitor this pilot project closely.”
“Today’s announcement will provide great relief for the residents and businesses along Astoria Boulevard. It will relieve traffic congestion, reduce noise and improve safety,” said Borough President Marshall. “I want to thank Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Weinshall for their cooperation and assistance. They heard the concerns of the community and elected officials and will now implement this plan in November. This neighborhood will now have another reason to celebrate Thanksgiving.”
“The Astoria community owes thanks to Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Weinshall for heeding our calls to alleviate the massive traffic problem on Astoria Boulevard,” said Assemblymember Gianaris. “I am proud to have played a role in reducing congestion on our residential streets and improving safety for residents as a result of this new traffic pattern.”
“This is something the community has been asking for some time and I thank the Mayor for helping to get this done, said Councilmember Vallone. “It will go a long way towards making Astoria streets safer and less congested.”
Trucks with three axels or less and ten or fewer tires will be permitted to travel east and west between the Brooklyn Queens Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway. Overpasses along the Grand Central Parkway prohibit taller trucks on the route. Allowing large trucks on the parkway will allow approximately 3,150 (or 70%) of the 4,500 commercial vehicles that currently exit on Hoyt Avenue to remain on the Grand Central and bypass local streets. In addition keeping traffic off of Astroria’s streets should also mitigate the number of accidents at the Astoria Boulevard and 31st Street intersection.
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz (212) 788-2958
Tom Cocola (DOT)
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