REGO PARK, Queens (PIX11) — Speeding, traffic jams and dangerous crossings are all the problems one street in Queens is causing neighbors.
Rego Park’s 62nd Drive is identified as a “high crash corridor“ by the New York Department of Transportation (DOT). More than a dozen people have been seriously hurt on the road over the last five years.
The DOT’s solution was to add a bike lane on the side, with parking in the center. Unfortunately, neighbors say it came with new problems.
“My main concern is people’s health,” neighbor Arsen Gurgov said.
Gurgov has lived on 62nd Drive in Rego Park for the past 25 years. He says the new bike lane and parking configuration have made things worse than ever.
“My son was having an allergic reaction and I called for an ambulance. It took them too long to get here because they were stuck in a jam,“ he said.
Speeding in the Rego Park area is also still a big problem. A very big problem.
Year to date, police have written more than 3.5 times as many speeding tickets as they did in the same time last year; 1,577 speeding tickets compared to just 434 the previous year.
Moving violations are also up 40%.
A DOT spokesman says they presented the idea about the bike lane to the community board a year ago as a way to fix the dangers.
“These bike lanes improve safety for all road users, providing much-needed traffic calming while adding important protected bike lane connections between Queens Boulevard and Flushing Meadows Park,” spokesman Vincent Barone said.
Rego Park neighbors disagree with the DOT. Nearly 100 of them have signed a petition to have the bike lane and center parking adjusted or removed altogether.
“It’s either or,” Gurgov said. “They either get rid of the side parking, or they get rid of the bike lane. You can’t have both. It’s too narrow of a street.”
PIX11 News spoke to both the NYPD and DOT. They say they are well aware of the various issues on 62nd Drive, and they are working to find a permanent solution.