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PR- 088-06
March 27, 2006


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the preliminary recommendations presented to the Staten Island Transportation Task Force.  Co-Chairs Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Iris Weinshall and Department of City Planning (DCP ) Director Amanda Burden presented preliminary recommendations on easing traffic congestion on Staten Island to the Task Force.  In his State of the City address, Mayor Bloomberg charged these two agencies with the job of developing initiatives that when implemented will help alleviate Staten Island's overcrowded streets and intersections.  Today, sixty days later, the Task Force received over 40 recommendations that are guided by four themes: taking pro-active engineering and enforcement steps to relieve congested bottlenecks, moving forward with roadway capital projects, improving mass transit options, and strengthening cooperation between city and state agencies.  Seventeen of these recommendations are short term actions that the City and State will begin immediately. 

"Staten Island is our fastest growing borough and its infrastructure has not kept up with its phenomenal growth," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "In my State of the City address, I promised that we would tackle the problem of Staten Island's transportation infrastructure using the same successful formula that was used for the Growth Management Task Force.  We have reached out to local community leaders, brought all the stakeholders to the table and developed a short term action plan, along with medium, long term and other recommended solutions.  We will begin immediately to implement the short term plans to address traffic and congestion problems, which will start to make it easier for Staten Islanders to get to work, school and around town."

"Traffic on Staten Island is impacting the quality of life for residents and visitors," said DOT Commissioner Weinshall. "The Mayor's leadership in confronting this problem and creating the task force has led to the development of ideas that I believe will deal with this serious problem head-on."

"Staten Island's traffic problems are a result of rapid growth in the absence of a transportation infrastructure, and I am confident that with the Mayor's leadership, our partnership with the Department of Transportation will yield practical, comprehensive solutions to complex planning issues," said City Planning Director Amanda M. Burden.

This renewed commitment to aggressively implement transportation upgrades on Staten Island would not be complete without residents having a voice in this ongoing process. To ensure that the public has a seat at the table, the Task Force is working with the Staten Island Advance to invite readers to inform the Task Force about the Island's transportation problems and suggest solutions to improve their daily commute.

Since Staten Island's transportation network is comprised of local streets, highways, bridges and mass transit controlled by city, state and federal agencies, the Task Force brought together representatives from each entity to begin a new era of partnership and cooperation. There were several members of the Task Force that helped to put the proposal together.  Commissioner Weinshall and Director Burden are the Task Force's Co-Chairs.  Other members include U.S. Representative Vito Fossella, Borough President James Molinaro, Councilmembers Michael McMahon, James Oddo and Andrew Lanza, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce President Linda Baran, Chairman of Community Board 1 Sean Sweeney, Chairman of Community Board 2 Dana Magee, Chairman of Community Board 3 John Antoniello, Parks and Recreation S.I. Borough Commissioner Thomas Paulo, NYPD Inspector Joseph McKeever, Mayor's Community Assistance Unit Assistant Commissioner Christie Huus, Peter King of New York State DOT, John Gaul and Keith Hom of MTA, Lou Venech of the Port Authority, and Raheel Shagih of NYC OEM.

Once the Task Force was formed, DOT, City Planning and representatives from City Hall met individually with each member to compile a list of their traffic and mass transit concerns.  They also consulted city, state and regional transportation authorities and held meetings with local stakeholders including the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and Community Board Transportation Committees to get feedback from the community.

Today, the task-force announced a number of immediate remedies, while additional enhancements require further study and discussion.  The recommendations have been split into four categories: short-term projects that can be addressed in less than a year; medium-term projects that have a timeframe of one to four years; long-term projects that all have five or more year timeframes; and proposals for further consideration.  The short-term action plan will be implemented this year.  The Task Force will meet every 90 days to discuss findings on the medium and long term recommendations. 

Short-Term Goals:

  • Within the next year, at least ten high priority intersections will be analyzed for design modifications. Using the model of the intersection of Hylan Boulevard & Quintard Street, where traffic flow and safety enhancements were implemented last year, the Task Force will do a comprehensive analysis of the locations listed below to review adjusting signal timing, adding left turn only phases, changing parking regulations around the intersection, and improving traffic flow. These intersections are expected to include:

    • Victory Blvd & Richmond Avenue
    • Forest Avenue & South Avenue
    • Victory Blvd & Jewett Avenue
    • Victory Blvd & Manor Road
    • Bay Street & Victory Blvd
    • Clove Road & Tioga Street
    • Ocean Terrace & Todt Hill Road
    • Ocean Terrace & Manor Road
    • Rockland Avenue & Richmond Rd
    • Arthur Kill Rd & Richmond Ave

  • DOT will improve vehicle movement by prohibiting parking (daylighting) at certain intersections, and twelve intersections a month will be evaluated beginning in April. DOT will also increase right-turn on red opportunities.

  • DCP and DOT will identify corridors for public/private road development in Charleston area.

  • The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) will complete capital construction projects on two key intersections: (1) Travis Avenue & Victory Boulevard and (2) Amboy Road & Seguine Avenue.

  • DOT and DDC will coordinate plans to ensure that these and other future capital projects proceed on schedule and are made a priority by the agencies and City Hall.

  • DOT will be consulted early in the process when builders apply for permit waivers.

  • DCP will coordinate adjacent parking lot designs to allow cars to switch between adjacent lots without re-entering the roadway.

  • NYPD will enhance its presence on key corridors to facilitate movement of traffic, particularly along Hylan Boulevard.

  • MTA will increase South Shore Bus Service.

  • MTA will and add limited stop service on the North Shore to St. George and Brooklyn.

  • MTA will assess demand for Staten Island bus service over the Bayonne Bridge that will link up with rail service in New Jersey.

  • MTA will enhance the Staten Island Railway (SIR) train schedule by providing more frequent and faster trips during the rush hour.

  • DOT is building a Park and Ride facility to improve access to SIR at Great Kills Train Station.

  • The City's Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and the Port Authority will soon re-activate eight miles of rail track around the Arlington Yards Freight Terminal, which will remove 100,000 trucks a year from the road. Currently containers are taken off ships and transported by trucks on Staten Island. Transporting goods by rail and connecting them to the national freight grid in New Jersey will help to ease congestion on the roads.

  • DOT will complete an analysis of left-turn movements on the Hylan Boulevard Corridor and begin to implement recommended changes this year.

  • DOT will move forward on the implementation of key safety projects including: (1) Forest Avenue and Bard Avenue - modification of a raised concrete median to prevent illegal turning, (2) Henderson Avenue Corridor Safety Improvements, (3) reduce speeding by installing two speed boards near intersections of, and (4) intersection improvement at Bard and Henderson, installing peg-a-tracks and additional markings.

  • The public can check on the status of projects and will have opportunities for input through the Task Force website at and through regular communication with the Community Boards.

Medium-Term Goals:

  • New Arthur Kill Station and Park and Ride for the SIR.

  • Widen Forest Hill Road to 4 lanes from Willowbrook Road to Richmond Avenue to increase vehicle capacity.

  • Realign Rockland Avenue from Meisner Avenue to Richmond Road to create safer driving conditions and improve traffic flow.

  • Widen and realign Richmond Hill Road.

  • Determine feasibility of implementing a contra-flow lane on Hylan Boulevard to facilitate traffic flow.

  • Study effects of Bus Rapid Transit, or a dedicated lane for buses, on Hylan Boulevard.

  • Signal prioritization pilot program on Victory Boulevard

  • MTA will add a third bus depot.

  • Study the feasibility of a 17 mile Greenway route.

  • Widen Arthur Kill Road from Mid-Island to the Outerbridge Crossing.

  • Construct Fresh Kills roads and connect them to local roads.

  • NYS DOT will improve operations along the West Shore Expressway.

  • Improve security at 20 SIR stations including intercoms and closed circuit television cameras.

  • NYS DOT to extend Staten Island Expressway bus lanes further west and reconfigure off ramps at Clove Road and Hylan Boulevard so that exiting traffic does not back up onto the expressway.

  • Expansion of Motorist Information System including displays of expected travel time.

Long-Term Goals:

  • Continue Bloomingdale Road improvements, realign Manor Road, widen Woodrow Road and other planned capital projects.

  • Build out of Englewood Avenue.

  • Build out further Charleston area improvements.

  • NYS DOT to improve Korean War Veterans Parkway connections to local road network.

  • Port Authority to reconstruct Goethal's Bridge.

  • Improve access to SIR and enhance coordination with bus and ferry service.

  • Study feasibility of South Shore Fast Ferry Service.

  • Utilize new facilities to improve bus service.

Projects for further consideration include:

  • Extension of Father Capodanno Boulevard.

  • Explore building Willowbrook Parkway.

  • Create continuous Staten Island Expressway service roads.

  • Reactivate North Shore rail right of way.


Stu Loeser/Jordan Barowitz   (212) 788-2958

Kay Sarlin   (Dept. of Transportation)
(212) 442-7033

Rachaele Raynoff   (City Planning)
(212) 720-3471

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