Press Releases

December 14, 2023
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NYC DOT Completes Critical Pedestrian Safety Upgrades Along Conduit Avenue in Queens, Site of Multiple Pedestrian Fatalities

New Walkway and Traffic Signals Provide a Safer, Shorter, More Direct, and Accessible Crossing Connection Across “The Conduit”

A before image of a wide roadway with three vehicular travel lanes. A pedestrian crosses the street in between vehicular traffic.
A group of pedestrians cross a street, walking over new crosswalk under a traffic signal, while vehicular traffic is stopped.

North Conduit Ave and 79th Street before and after safety project

New York – New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today announced the completion of a critical new pedestrian safety upgrade along North and South Conduit Avenue in Queens. The intersection of Conduit and 79th St – the site of two pedestrian fatalities since 2018 – now features new sidewalks and a traffic signal to create a new, safe pedestrian crossing between North and South Conduit, where residents frequently crossed to access a nearby shopping plaza.

“One life lost to traffic violence is too many. New Yorkers deserve to have infrastructure that matches the way they naturally navigate their neighborhoods—for convenience and for safety,” said Meera Joshi, Deputy Mayor of Operations. “With a new paved walkway helping connect North and South Conduit Avenues, we are catching traffic infrastructure up to the ways that Ozone Park residents already navigate their neighborhood. These new pedestrian safety upgrades will help save lives.”

“Every New Yorker deserves to be able to cross the streets outside their homes safely—and this project helps Ozone Park residents do just that,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. “The new sidewalks and signals will help save the lives of those who are already crossing the Conduit at this location. We thank the area’s elected officials and community partners for their support of this important safety enhancement, especially the Ozone Park Block Association, the Howard Beach Lindenwood Civic Association, the Ozone Tudor Civic, the Linden Center Shopping Mall, and Our World Neighborhood Charter School.”

A before image of a wide grassy area in between roadways, with a dirt path where pedestrians have walked.
A pedestrian walks along a new concrete sidewalk that winds through a grassy area.

Pedestrian walkway before and after safety project

Developed through the agency’s Pedestrian Mobility Plan, this NYC DOT project installed a new concrete pedestrian walkway and traffic signals on both sides of “the Conduit” at 79th Street. The newly paved walkway enhances safety and accessibility of a popular footpath, formalizing a “desire line” worn into the grass across the wide median between North and South Conduit avenues. At the South Conduit Avenue crosswalk, NYC DOT has also installed a painted curb extension to further shorten the pedestrian crossing. The dirt path illustrated how pedestrians had regularly used the route of the new sidewalk, despite the prior lack of signals and crosswalks. The project builds on the agency’s prior safety efforts along Conduit Avenue, a major arterial street that connects Atlantic Avenue and Linden Boulevard in Brooklyn to the Belt Parkway and JFK Airport. Deemed a Vision Zero Priority Corridor, due to a high number of pedestrian fatalities, NYC DOT instituted several safety improvements along the corridor in recent years, including a reduced speed limit, new speed cameras, and several new pedestrian head-start signals at major crossings.

The Conduit Avenue project builds upon NYC DOT’s progress reducing pedestrian fatalities to historic lows this year.

Recognizing that the Vision Zero corridor has long served as a barrier to pedestrians trying to travel to and from Ozone Park and Lindenwood communities, NYC DOT and sister agencies applied for federal funding through the Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods grant program to make comprehensive infrastructure upgrades along the corridor. This funding would allow the city to explore ways to reconnect the street grid and prioritize creating open space for recreation, active transportation, and stormwater management. This important work ultimately aims to increase community mobility and promote access to jobs, education, and economic development.

“The historically dangerous Conduit corridor has been in desperate need of a redesign for years. It’s why my office, the office of Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso and many concerned local residents came together this year to push for new street safety measures, and it’s why I’m thrilled to see the creation of this new pedestrian crossing,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “This pedestrian walkway is a major safety improvement for the neighborhood and will help prevent needless traffic-related injuries or deaths, like the two tragic fatalities this community endured at this very intersection in 2018. Improvements like this show true commitment to making our streets as safe as possible, especially for vulnerable pedestrians.”

“The safety of my constituents is my first priority and through the partnership with our local civics and community leaders we were able to elevate our needs to the highest level,” said Assemblywoman Pheffer Amato. “The 2 tragic deaths at this location were 2 too many, and we honor their memories through this new sidewalk and a traffic signal. I thank DOT for listening to the concerns of the community and addressing the importance of pedestrian safety. I am hopeful that through these improvements we will never experience this situation again and residents can walk safely.”

“I’m glad to see safety improvements such as the crosswalk recently installed along North Conduit Boulevard,” said Majority Whip Selvena N. Brooks-Powers, Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. “This is a major step forward as we continue to work towards greater investments along the entire corridor to ensure safety for pedestrians, motorists, and cyclists. I commend the Department of Transportation for their partnership and look forward to next steps.”

“I have been advocating for these traffic safety measures for years, going back to when I was a member of Community Board 10 and President of the Civic that represents that area” said Councilwoman Ariola. “With these traffic safety measures in place, we can hopefully avoid any more preventable tragedies like the ones that have already devastated this neighborhood in the past.”

“Community Board 10 appreciates the work done in conjunction with the Board over a period of years to develop, fund, and implement needed safety upgrades in an area of our Howard Beach/Lindenwood neighborhood, “ said Betty Braton, Chairperson Community Board 10. “The North and South Conduit roadways between the Brooklyn border and Crossbay Blvd. have been roads where we have had many crashes as they are part of one of our districts Vision Zero priority corridors. This project is one more step towards making the corridor safer for pedestrians and drivers. It is the culmination of one segment of work that has spanned over many years that has involved the efforts of more than one city administration and much effort by DOT officials, DOT engineers, as well as other DOT staff, along with CB10, our former and current City Council members, shopping center tenants, and the local civic association. We look forward to additional safety upgrades along this dangerous corridor and on the other dangerous corridors in our district.”

"The Ozone Park Residents Block Association is proud to have led the fight to improve a bad crossing that took the life of Ozone Park resident Kimberly Ortega on March 4, 2021,” said Sam Esposito, President of the Ozone Park Residents Block Association. “We want to thank the Mayor's Community Affairs unit and all the divisions of DOT for their quick work to help prevent any more fatalities."