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This is the intersection of Astoria Boulevard, 21st Street, 27th Avenue, and Newtown Avenue in Astoria. It's terrible.

The design of 21st Street encourages drivers to treat it as a small highway, not slowing or looking for pedestrians when making turns.

Pedestrians must constantly be on alert while using the unnecessarily-long crosswalks with little-to-no visibility of the drivers who might turn toward them.

Every day, especially after sundown, there are many close calls between crossing pedestrians and speeding drivers.

Here's what must be done to fix it.

First, re-route 27th Avenue away from the intersection, making it a separate turn off of Astoria Boulevard.

This extra curve will slow drivers on 27th Avenue and allow pedestrians to safely cross from the north side of Astoria Boulevard to the south side, something they currently do by walking into traffic mid-block where the crossing distance is short.

Then, close the slip lane to Newtown Avenue, making the parklet accessible and enabling a safe crossing from the south sidewalk of Astoria Boulevard to the intersection, which is currently impossible.

Now that there is only one route straight ahead for drivers traveling west on Astoria Boulevard, the three lanes on the east side can be reduced to two, shortening the crossing for pedestrians and simplifying the traffic pattern for drivers.

The last and most important step is reclaiming the unused space from the roadway wherever possible to shorten crossings for pedestrians and "daylight" the intersection (increasing pedestrian visibility to drivers.)

The results will be simplified traffic for drivers on Astoria Boulevard...

...shortened and more direct crossings for pedestrians...

... and greater visibility between pedestrians and turning drivers, making for much safer crossings.

The connection between Old Astoria and the rest of the neighborhood doesn't have to be this dangerous...

...but it can be fixed with some basic safe street design measures...

...and enhanced with future improvements to the whole 21st Street corridor, such as bus & truck exclusive lanes to calm traffic and keep transit and deliveries moving.

This proposal was created by Adam Fisher-Cox.

Send me suggestions, questions, and feedback:
@AdamFC on Twitter
hello@adamfishercox.com