Regarding Right Turn Land on Little Neck Parkway Southbound Near Intersection With Bates Road

September 27, 2020

Hon. Al Silvestri
Queens Borough Deputy Commissioner
NYC Department of Transportation
120-55 Queens Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Kew Gardens, NY 11424

Dear Commissioner Silvestri:

We write today regarding a concern about the Right Turn lane on Little Neck Parkway (LNP) southbound near the intersection of LNP with Bates Road in Little Neck, Queens.  Some time ago the NYCDOT added helpful painting on  LNP.  At this location, where LNP southbound bends about 40° to the right, NYCDOT established a Right Turn lane.  This improvement is very welcome.

 

However, there remains a safety hazard and traffic obstruction at this location, because parking is still permitted in the Right Turn lane itself.  Cars regularly park there, blocking the right turn lane entirely, and defeating the purpose of the Right Turn lane.  See attached map and photographs. The parked cars force the cars making the right turn to either avoid the right turn lane entirely and stay in the left lane (which is designated for both through traffic towards the right, as well as for left turns onto Bates); or they must veer back to the left as soon as they initiate the right turn.  This is awkward and unsafe.  Among other risks, cars in the left lane of the southbound LNP may also be making the same turn towards the right, in which case they may collide with cars forced to veer left from the Right Turn lane because of parked cars. 

We respectfully request that “No Parking” signage be installed in the Right Turn lane.  We strongly support the City’s “Vision Zero” initiative, and we believe this will help.

Sincerely,


Walter Mugdan
President

See map and photos on the next page

cc:    Community Board 11 Transportation Committee

ABOVE: Aerial photo shows the intersection of Little Neck Parkway (LNP) and Bates.  In this view, the southbound direction on LNP is from left to right in the photo.  The Right Turn lane (for through traffic on LNP) is designated with painted arrows both before and after the approx. 40° right turn on LNP southbound.  Parking is permitted in that right turn lane, defeating its purpose.

Regarding Right Turn Lane from Little Neck Parkway Southbound onto Marathon Parkway

  September 21, 2019

Hon. Nicole Garcia
Queens Borough Commissioner
NYC Department of Transportation
120-55 Queens Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Kew Gardens, NY 11424

Dear Commissioner Garcia:

We write today regarding a serious concern regarding the intersection of Little Neck Parkway and Marathon Parkway in Little Neck, Queens.  The NYCDOT recently added helpful painting on Little Neck Parkway in this area, including narrowing the travel lanes between Northern Boulevard and 39th Road in order to encourage cars to travel more slowly.  Also, on the southbound side of Little Neck Parkway, at the above-referenced intersection with Marathon Parkway, NYCDOT added a right turn lane.  These improvements are very welcome.However, there remains a serious safety hazard and traffic obstruction at this intersection, because there is one parking spot immediately beyond the newly established right turn lane, directly within the path of cars making that right turn.  See attached photograph. This forces the cars making the right turn to veer left as soon as they initiate the turn.  This is awkward and unsafe.  Among other risks, cars in the left lane of the southbound Little Neck Parkway may also choose to make the same right turn onto Marathon Parkway, in which case they may collide with cars turning right from the right turn lane who are forced to veer left because of the parked car. 

We respectfully request that this one parking spot be eliminated in order to resolve this issue.  We strongly support the City’s “Vision Zero” initiative.  We thank you in advance for your consideration of this request, which we believe will promote that vision. 

Sincerely,

   /s/
Walter Mugdan, President

Attachment - Photo

cc:    Hon. Paul Vallone, New York City Council
    Community Board 11 Transportation Committee

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Regarding Traffic Safety Concerns in the Westmoreland Community:

 

May 26, 2018

 

Hon. Al Silvestri

Deputy Queens Borough Commissioner

NYC Department of Transportation

120-55 Queens Boulevard, 2nd Floor

Kew Gardens, NY 11424

 

Dear Deputy Commissioner Silvestri:

 

We write today with continued and additional concerns regarding the stretch of 41st Drive between Little Neck Parkway (LNP) and Glenwood Street, within the Westmoreland area of Little Neck, Queens.

 

1.     We respectfully reiterate our past request that one or more of the intersections of 41st Drive between LNP and Glenwood Street be converted to four-way stop intersections.  There are three intersections along this stretch of 41st Drive; from west to east these are the intersections with Westmoreland St., Morgan St., and Glenwood St.  At present these are two-way stop intersections, with Stop signs on the named streets, but not on 41st Drive.  41st Drive thus serves as a through street, with cars often driving at excessive rates of speed.

 

We perceive that the amount of traffic on 41st Drive continues to increase.  Among other reasons for the increase is that “Waze” and similar traffic mapping applications guide motorists onto this street in order to avoid congestion on nearby Northern Boulevard. 

 

Accidents continue to be frequent along this stretch; we understand there was another accident within the past several weeks at or near the intersection of 41st Drive and Westmoreland. 

 

As we have pointed out in the past, elementary school PS-94 is located on the southeast corner of the intersection of 41st Drive and LNP.  Children routinely walk to and from school here,  alongside increasing numbers of motorists, many driving too fast. 

 

We believe that having one or more four-way stop intersections along this stretch of 41st Drive will slow traffic, reduce the frequency of accidents, and – most important – protect our children. (The last thing we want is for our warnings to be “proven right” through a tragedy.                                                                                         

2.   The “tee” intersection of 41st Drive and Little Neck Parkway is also problematical.  Visibility is poor for cars traveling west on 41st Drive and making a turn in either direction onto LNP.  Visibility to the right (north) is particularly poor because there is often a car parked on LNP too near the corner, as shown in this recent photo taken on 41st Drive looking west onto LNP:

 

We respectfully request that this portion of Little Neck Parkway, extending 15 - 20 feet north of the corner, be posted as “No Standing Anytime;” and, to make it crystal clear to motorists, we urge that this short section of street be painted with white stripes.

 

3.   In addition to these concerns about 41st Drive, we respectfully reiterate our request for speed humps on Morgan Street between 41st Drive and Northern Boulevard.  This long stretch (the length of three blocks) also serves as a throughfare for motorists avoiding Northern Boulevard traffic.  There are many families with children living here, and calming traffic with one or two speed humps will provide additional safety. 

 

We discussed this request with you in 2016 when you were kind enough to attend one or our membership meetings.  On January 23, 2017 you wrote me and advised that this request was under review, with an anticipated response date of January, 2018.  The reference number is DOT-324368-L3M9.   On April 10, 2018 you let me know this request was still “with the unit,” and that you would ask for an update; however, we have not received any further news about this request.

 

4.   We appreciate the installation of a speed hump on 39th Road between Glenwood and Westmoreland Streets.  We continue to believe that safety will be significantly improved by installation of stop signs on 39th Road at the intersection with Glenwood St., where there is a small park used by children.

 

We strongly support the City’s “Vision Zero” initiative.  We thank you in advance for your consideration of the above requests, which we believe will promote that vision.

 

Sincerely,

 

Walter Mugdan, President

 

cc:        Hon. Paul Vallone, New York City Council

            Andrew Arcese, NYCDOT Queens Borough Planner

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Regarding Traffic Safety in the Westmoreland Community

November 27, 2016  

                 

Hon. Albert Silvestri 
Queens Deputy Borough Commissioner
NYC Department of Transportation
120-55 Queens Boulevard, Room 285
Kew Gardens NY 11424

Dear Deputy Commissioner Silvestri:

Thank you for attending the November 21, 2016 meeting of the Westmoreland Association to discuss ways in which traffic safety can be improved in our community, in furtherance of the Mayor’s “Vision Zero” initiative.  We appreciate your attention to our concerns, your candid discussion of potential responses, and your willingness to further consider what improvements can be made.We expressed most concern about the speed at which some motorists move through our community, particularly the stretch of 41st Drive between Nassau Road and Little Neck Parkway.  We asked that four-way Stop signage be installed for at least one, and preferably all three of the intersections along that stretch – i.e., the intersections of 41st Drive with Glenwood, Morgan and Westmoreland).  You explained that the City uses federal Department of Transportation guidelines to identify intersections that are appropriate for 4-way Stop signs; these guidelines are focused on vehicular counts and are therefore volume-based.  We replied that our concern is not  with volume, but with speed.  This is important because there are many pedestrians in this area, including children attending the elementary school(PS-94) at the corner of 41st Drive and Little Neck Parkway, and commuters walking to and from the Little Neck station of the Long Island Railroad.  You replied that Stop signs are not designed to slow motorist speed, but we responded that in this case that is indeed how they would function, by causing motorists to come to a stop at least once (and preferably more often) along this four-block stretch of straight roadway.

We therefore asked that a deviation from the guidelines on 4-way Stop signage be approved here.  We note that guidelines are just that – guidance, not requirements. 

Another traffic calming mechanism for 41st Drive would be additional speed humps (there are two humps on the block between Westmoreland and Little Neck Parkway).  We did observe, however, that speed humps are significantly more expensive than Stop signs.  

We also requested that speed humps be installed on the very long block of Morgan between Northern Boulevard and 41st Drive, as was previously done on the comparable block of Glenwood.

Another area of concern that we discussed is 39th Road between Nassau Road and Little Neck Parkway.  This roadway runs parallel to and immediately south of  the LIRR station. We noted that there is no sidewalk on the north side of 39th Road, yet there are three points along this stretch where there are pedestrian exits from the station.  We urged that here, too, traffic calming mechanisms be installed to slow vehicles.  These could include stop signs at the intersections of 39th Road with either Glenwood or Westmoreland or both; and/or speed humps.  We are aware that a speed hump has been approved for somewhere along this stretch, but we do not know the location.  We suggest that more than one speed hump would be best – preferably one in each of the three blocks that make up this stretch of roadway.

Additional suggestions that were made for your consideration included the following:

•    Installation of “No Idling” signage on the north side of 42nd Avenue just east of Little Neck Parkway, and the south side of 41st Drive just east of Little Neck Parkway.  Many motorists stand here in the afternoon waiting to pick up children from the adjacent PS-94 elementary school, and most of them keep their engines running for extended periods (sometimes 30-45 minutes).  The emissions from the idling vehicles are harmful to the children and staff in the school, as well as to nearby residents.  (There is a No Idling sign on Little Neck Parkway south of the 41st Drive intersection, but this is directed primarily at the school bus drivers who stand on this block prior to the children’s dismissal time.  This is not where the passenger cars wait – they stand on the two side streets.)

•    Lane painting on Little Neck Parkway on the north side of the intersection with Northern Boulevard.  We believe there is sufficient room here for three lanes – one parking lane along the curb, and two lanes for northbound vehicles stopped at the traffic light.  At present, it is typical for motorists to line up single file when standing at a red light, which extends the line of vehicles unnecessarily and slows vehicular progress.  (If necessary to allow two lanes of cars to stand here, then one or two parking spots could be removed.)

•    Removal of two parking spots on the west side of Little Neck Parkway, south of the Northern Boulevard intersection, and just north of the intersection with Pembroke (which is one short block south of Northern Boulevard).  The eastbound Q-12 City bus turns right off Northern Boulevard, and then immediately turns left onto Pembroke.  (The bus continues east on Pembroke to Glenwood where it turns left towards Northern Boulevard, from which it commences its westbound run.)  The bus must often wait on Little Neck Parkway before being able to take the left turn onto Pembroke, because of traffic backed up on the northbound side of Little Neck Parkway.  While the bus is waiting to make its left turn, cars behind it are blocked from proceeding south on Little Neck Parkway.  Removal of the two parking spaces would allow cars to pass the bus and continue south.

•    Change the existing one-hour parking limitations on Northern Boulevard in the blocks east and west of Little Neck Parkway to two hours.  This would benefit local restaurants whose patrons are unlikely to be able to complete a meal in the one-hour period, but for whom two hours would suffice.

Once again, we thank you for your thoughtful attention to our concerns, and we look forward to hearing back from you regarding steps the Department will be able to take.

Sincerely yours,

    /s/

 

Walter Mugdan
President

 cc:      Hon. Paul Vallone, NYC Council
    Susan Seinfeld, Community Board 11

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Requesting Four-Way Stop Signs on 41st Drive

November 7, 2015

Office of the Queens Borough Commissioner
NYC Department of Transportation
120-55 Queens Boulevard, 2nd Floor
Kew Gardens, NY 11424

Dear Commissioner:

We respectfully request that the intersection of 41st Drive and Glenwood Road in Little Neck, Queens, NY be converted to a four-way stop intersection.  At present this is a two-way stop intersection, with Stop signs on Glenwood Road, but not on 41st Drive.  Given the frequency of accidents at this intersection we believe that a four-way stop is highly desirable.

 

We are a homeowners association representing the Westmoreland community in the northeast corner of Queens. Our community is bounded roughly by Northern Boulevard on the south; Little Neck Parkway on the west; 39th Road on the north; and Nassau Road on the east.

The source of the problem at this intersection is that both Glenwood Road and 41st Drive are used by motorists as thoroughfares.  Both streets, but 41st Drive in particular, are used by motorists seeking to bypass traffic on nearby Northern Boulevard.  Motorists on both streets frequently travel too fast.

 

The most recent accident at this intersection occurred on or about October 30.  A small school bus was traveling west on 41st Drive.  A Mercedes passenger vehicle was traveling south on Glenwood.  Both vehicles may have been traveling at higher than appropriate speeds.  The school bus moved into the intersection without stopping, because there is no Stop sign on 41st Drive.  The Mercedes failed to stop at the Stop sign on Glenwood, causing the accident.  The school bus and Mercedes collided.  The bus then hit a No Parking sign and an adjacent small tree (recently planted as part of the City’s Million Tree initiative) on the south side of 41st Drive [see photo below].  One or more children on the bus were taken to a hospital.  If there had been stop signs on 41st Drive, there is a good chance this accident would have been avoided.

Sincerely,

   /s/

Walter Mugdan, President

cc:    Hon. Paul Vallone, New York City Council

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Regarding "Children at Play" Signage on 41st Drive

September 27, 2014

 

Hon. Dalila Hall

Queens Borough Commissioner

NYC Department of Transportation

120-55 Queens Boulevard, 2nd Floor

Kew Gardens NY 11424

 

Dear Commissioner Hall:

 

The Westmoreland Association is a homeowners association representing the Westmoreland area of Little Neck in northeastern Queens. We respectfully request that the New York City Department of Transportation install one or more “Children at Play” signs in our community. Specifically, we ask that such a sign be installed  on 41st Drive between Morgan and Glenwood Streets.

41st Drive is a heavily traveled street used as an east-west thoroughfare across our residential community.  We have a significant number of families with young children living on 41st Drive and on the adjacent cross streets. Many of the children attend PS-94, two blocks away. Unfortunately, some cars on 41st Drive travel much too fast for a neighborhood like ours. We believe a “Children at Play” sign may help persuade some of them to slow down.

 

We previously requested that our entire small community be designated a Slow Speed zone with a reduced speed limit; however, this request was not approved. Installation of signage warning drivers that children may be nearby would be most helpful.

 

Sincerely,

   /s/ 

Walter Mugdan President

 

cc:        Hon. Paul Vallone, New York City Council

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Regarding Speed Humps on Glenwood Street

 

January 19, 2014

 

Hon.  Dalila Hall

Queens Borough Commissioner

New York City Department of Transportation

120-55 Queens Boulevard, 2nd Floor

Kew Gardens NY 11424

 

Dear Commissioner Hall:

The Westmoreland Association is a homeowners association representing the Westmoreland area of Little Neck in northeastern Queens. We write today to respectfully request that the New York City Transportation Department install one or two speed humps on Glenwood Street between 41st Drive and Northern Boulevard.

 

This block of Glenwood Street is often used as a thoroughfare by commuters and others seeking to bypass traffic on Northern Boulevard. The block in question is particularly long – as long as two standard blocks or more – and drivers tend to speed on this stretch. The street is home to many families with children who are endangered by the excessive speed of the cars.

.

Accordingly, at the November 18 general membership meeting of the Westmoreland Association a motion was passed to request installation of speed humps on this stretch of roadway.

 

We look forward to your early response.

 

Sincerely,

   /s/ 

Walter Mugdan

President

 

cc:        Hon. Paul Vallone, New York City Council Hon.

            Ed Braunstein, New York State Assembly

            Hon. Tony Avella, New York State Senate

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IIn May, 2013 the Westmoreland Association applied to the New York City Department of Transportation to have our entire community declared a "Slow Zone" where the maximum speed limit would be 20 mph.  A copy of the application can be viewed by clicking the .pdf icon:                       Unfortunately, our application was not approved.

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Regarding On-Street Parking in Westmoreland Community

 

June 4, 2011

 

Hon. Michael Bloomberg

Mayor of the City of New York

City Hall, New York, NY  10038

 

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

 

In March 2010, Peter Reinharz, a member of the Westmoreland Association wrote to you about the problems with parking in our section of Little Neck, Queens.  Mr. Reinharz asked your office to consider modifying the parking rules to have  no parking in the streets for several hours one day a week during daytime hours.  He also asked that you use police and parking agents to enforce current parking regulations, especially against commuters and others who use the area as long-term parking for their cars.

 

The Westmoreland section is a neighborhood straddling the border of Little Neck, Queens and Great Neck in Nassau County.  The Nassau side of the border has strictly enforced parking rules that ensure that commuters using the nearby Little Neck station of the Long Island Railroad do not leave their cars unattended. 

 

Although the City has long term parking prohibitions that forbid parking for more than 7 days, the law is virtually never enforced.  Since police will not take a report until at least 7 days have passed, they may then mark a tire and wait to see if another 7 days pass without the car moving.  In short, the 7 day restriction is, at minimum, a 14 day prohibition.

 

The parking also needs to be revised in order to allow for street cleaning and road maintenance and repair.  Street sweepers cannot come down the streets because cars are always present due to commuters.  Further, maintenance like tree pruning often cannot get done because cars park beneath the trees.  Commuters ignore the daily parking restriction as indicated in the photos that were attached in last year’s letter, copies of which are enclosed with this letter. 

 

Last year, a young man was seriously injured when a tree limb from one of our neighborhood’s old trees came crashing down on his vehicle.  While we cannot say that pruning would have prevented this accident, it is clear that that the old trees – when left unpruned – present a threat to the safety of people, as well as to our property and the overhead electrical and phone wires.

 

The responses to last year’s letters failed to address the problem of parking.  Your office referred the matter to the Finance Department and nothing came of it.  The police looked at the photos and, seeing the photo of the Nassau parking prohibition – included merely as an example – irrelevantly responded that they could not enforce on roads outside their jurisdiction (which was NOT our request).

 

A change in the parking rules would allow for cleaner streets and would also encourage commuters to use carpooling and public transportation.  This saves energy and serves a good environmental purpose.  Ticketing of vehicles that violate the law will generate  revenue for the City while improving the quality of life for local residents.

 

To summarize, we are requesting two simple items:

 

  • we want the City to enforce the current parking restrictions; and,

  • we want a modification of the parking rules to allow for one weekday with no (or limited) daytime parking.

 

Thank you for your attention to this matter and we look forward to hearing from you soon.  If your staff would like to discuss this matter further, please contact me at the above address.

 

Very truly yours,

   /s/ 

Walter Mugdan

President

 

cc:        Hon. Dan Haloran, NYC Council

          Jerry Ianecce, Chair, Community Board 11

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