76th and 77th Streets

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    Current Conditions

    Community input and DOT observation indicate that northbound and southbound movement in the Jackson Heights roadway network is congested, especially on 76th and 77th Street - which are one of the few streets that provide through connections. As a result, both streets are often congested.

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    Proposed left turn lane and signal

    A left turn lane and signal would help ease SB congestion in Jackson Heights. It should be noted that approximately 4 parking spaces would be removed for the safety of vehicles.

    Types of changes: Bus and driver mobility | Parking
    Location: 76th and 77th Streets

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    Proposed left turn lane and signal

    A left turn lane and signal on 77th Street would help to ease NB vehicular congestion in Jackson Heights. Please note that approximately 4 parking spaces would be removed for the safety of vehicles.

    Types of changes: Bus and driver mobility | Parking
    Location: 76th and 77th Streets

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Goals of these proposals:

  • Ease congestion
  • Improve north-south connections
  • Reduce bus delays
  • Reduce double and illegal parking
  • Improve intersection layout

The proposed changes:

  • Reverse travel direction
  • Improve intersection layout
  • Optimize traffic signals
  • Install Class III bike lanes
  • Introduce curbside parking management

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Comments

  1. Edmund Rosenbaum:

    This aspect was not mentioned in the presentations, it seems from the diagram that a turning bay will be on 77th Street, near the Jewish Center of Jackson Heights or PS 69, elimating parking in the area. If this is true, there is a major negative impact to community institutions.

  2. Katherine:

    Can someone please explain these changes in a little more detail — particularly I’m curious to understand how reversing direction of traffic on these two streets won’t just result in the same load of traffic traveling in the other direction??

  3. Willa, NYCDOT:

    Edmund, the improvements to ease congestion on 76th and 77th Street were not covered in the presentation in the interest of time, but are included on the Portal for complete viewing. The changes will result in bays that are about two car-lengths long. The specific bay that you are referring to on 77th Street will be on the PS 69 curbside and will affect one “No Standing” space and one school parking space. We believe that these small changes to parking will have a big effect on easing congestion by moving turning vehicles out of the way of vehicles going straight.

  4. Willa, NYCDOT:

    Katherine, there are no changes to traffic direction proposed for 76th or 77th Street in the study area. There is a reversal to street direction proposed for 75th Street, a change that has been proposed to comments that we heard from the community regarding the lack of southbound routes in the area. We have also confirmed, through data collection and modeling, that current southbound roadways are having trouble handling southbound demand. I hope that answers your question.

  5. Thomas Lowenhaupt:

    How is the review of the 75th Street one-way-all-the-way proposal going?

  6. Katherine:

    Hi I am sure you have heard this feedback from other sources but I have not found it posted here — the change in direction on 75th street has had an incredibly negative consequence on my block, 77th street between 37th and 35th avenues. We cannot handle the increased amount of traffic routed to us. I’ve witnessed cars backed up at the light the entire length of the block, and as a result there is incredible honking every time the light at 35th turns green and the cars in back get impatient with those in front of them, trying to get through it in one cycle. In addition it makes for angry drivers who step on the gas to zoom down to the light when they can, on a block which leads to the school and has many young children on it every morning and afternoon. My understanding is a DOT technician increased the length of the green light by a little bit in response to complaints, but that he was not either authorized or technically able to give us the bigger fix we really need. My block used to be a quiet one, now not at all! Please look into this and consider changing the light timing more radically, or implementing some other fix that I might not be aware of.

  7. Daniel Delehanty:

    I completely agree with Katherine’s post of 9/16. The traffic on 77th between 37th and 35th is now incredible. Cars are routinely backed up nearly the whole back and it is not possible to clear the light — ergo blaring horns. In addition, is such an influx of traffic a good idea for PS 69 and the already dangerous cross walks? In my opinion, it is an accident waiting to happen. Your changes, while well intended, have drastically worsened the quality of life on 77th Street and further jeopardized public safety. A response would be appreciated. A similar message will be communicated to the local electeds.

    Daniel Delehanty

  8. Fiona:

    I live on 77th Street between 37th and 35th and I agree that this has had an incredibly negative effect on our block. We never saw backed-up traffic before this change, and now there is regularly traffic that backs up 3/4 of the way down the block and the honking is unbearable. My 4 year old daughter has had issues napping and going to bed because the honking keeps her awake. PLEASE do something.

  9. Barrie:

    For those of us who actually use the bus service, the new stop on 35th Avenue between 73rd and 74th street is problematic. The sign is obscured, and cars are still parked in the area where the bus stops.

    Additionally, the Q47 bus drivers cannot see the sign as they are turning onto 35th Avenue and zoom past the stop. One has to run into the street to flag down the bus and this is dangerous. Some of the bus drivers said they were not even aware that there was a stop at this location.

  10. Bryce:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I live on 77th Street between 37th and 35th Avenues and the increase in traffic upon this block was not properly addressed. The concept is fine but when construction/garbage/oil/delivery trucks need to stop on this block the roads are not wide enough to let the flow of traffic by. The resulting build up of traffic and laying on of horns is truly unbearable.

  11. Greg:

    As others have mentioned, these changes have resulted in a dramatic increase in traffic heading north on 77th street (between 37th and 35th avenue). With so many cars backed up waiting for light on 77th by 35th ave to changes, a great many cars start honking their horns loudly. A better idea would be t0 change 77th into a southbound street. Is this possible?

  12. JOHNITA ANTHONY:

    The change in direction of 75th Street traffic has severely and negatively impacted 77th Street between 37th Avenue and 35th Ave. Throughout the day 77th Street routinely gets packed solid from traffic light to traffic light from 37th Ave to 35th Ave resulting in congested streets and honking and a major reduction in quality of life for residents. I have gone from having a relatively quiet street to a street inundated with beeping, fumes and angry drivers that speed to try to make it to the light, endangering our community. We have lots of children and elderly in our community. It seems as if the light at 35th Ave on 77th Street (heading Northbound) needs to be lengthened or another street needs to be reveresed to head Northbound. The traffic issue was not solved by changing direction of 75th Street. I have seen a bus unable to turn from 34th Ave onto 75th Street (SB) because of parked cars and it caused traffic and endangered people when it had to reverse and instead turn right down 76th Street and then go right onto 35th Ave to get back onto 75th Street. Things need to be reassessed and changed immediately.

  13. Willa:

    Thank you for your feedback. We did have a signal malfunction at 77th Street and 35th Avenue and we apologize for any inconvenience that this caused. In addition, the NYCDOT has been repaving nearby streets, which may have exacerbated conditions on 77th Street. The signal has been fixed and the effects of paving are temporary.

    The changes on 75th Street are part of an overall improvement package for Jackson Heights that will be fully implemented by October 2011. This includes revised signal timings throughout the area (including 77th Street) and other changes to the roadway network, such as turning bays. As with any major improvement package, changes to the network take some time to become fully operational. It may take a few months for drivers to become acquainted with the new patterns.

    As part of the Jackson Heights Study, we have collected existing data and will be performing follow up data collection to monitor the effectiveness of the improvements, especially on 77th Street where a lot of changes have occurred. Your suggestions about possible adjustments are good ones and will be seriously considered when it comes time to fine-tune the plan.

  14. Daniel Delehanty:

    Willa,

    The signal malfunction was two weeks ago and went 48 hours without repair (the attempt on Friday failed just after your truck left). The recent comments are on the “repaired” signal. Again, how is traffic going to get north when you remove one outlet, and where is the consideration for local residents who live here while the cars try(beep their way through) to get through Jackson Heights?

  15. Fiona:

    Yes, I agree with the comment that, while the problem was even worse with the signal malfunction, traffic is still an issue. When I left for work two days at 8:25 am, the traffic was more than 3/4ths of the way down the block. Traffic was just short (by about 3 cars) of being backed up a full block to PS 69. The issue with my daughter not being able to sleep persists after the repairs to the light.

    I appreciate that you are going to monitor, but we need a solution here QUICKLY.

  16. Stacey:

    OK ~ so the streets nearby 77th Street have been repaved, the signal malfunction has been repaired ~ yet the honking goes on. Throughout the day 77th Street routinely gets packed solid from traffic light to traffic light from 37th Ave to 35th Ave resulting in congested streets and honking and a major reduction in quality of life for residents. 77th Street has gone from a relatively quiet street to a street inundated with beeping, fumes and angry drivers that speed to try to make it to the light, endangering our community. We have already had two car accidents on the corner of 77th Street & 35th Ave since changes were made. It seems as if the light at 35th Ave on 77th Street (heading Northbound) needs to be lengthened. Things need to be reassessed and changed immediately. I’m all for the changes that have been recently made to 75th Street, we do need to reduce congestion ~ all I’m asking is that the green light on 77th St going North bound stay green a little longer!!

  17. Willa:

    Thanks to everyone for the feedback. Can you be specific as to the day of the week and the time of day when this problem is most prevalent? We’d like to document the extent of the problem at those times.

  18. Matt:

    It has now been over a month since the traffic direction on 75th Street was reversed, and the situation on 77th Street between 37th and 35th Avenues has only gotten worse. The fumes and constant iddling traffic are bad enough, but the honking makes the situation unliveable. This formerly quiet residential street is now a traffic choked nightmare. Something needs to be done immediately. Most concerning is the fact that the problem is particularly bad in the morning, just as all the kids swarm the intersection of 37th Ave and 77th Street. When 77th Street crosses 37th Avenue it shifts to the right, which means that drivers have limited visibility of the road ahead of them. Now that drivers are stuck in traffic and racing to make the yellow light, they cross blind and at high speed into a narrow street crowded with kids going to school. This situation is very dangerous. Either 75th Street needs to be switched back, of 77th street needs to be switched. The current situation is a tragedy waiting to happen. DO SOMETHING!!!!

  19. Andrew:

    I echo the comments above with regard to 77 St b/t 35 and 37 Aves. The honking is awful and disruptive. I can’t speak to every time of the day, but in my experience, during the weekday early evenings the honking and traffic is constant. I can’t live like this.

    I am willing to lose a few parking spots if a left turn lane at 35 Ave makes a difference. Lengthening the time of the green light at 35 Ave, 34 Ave and Northern Blvd would presumably improve the traffic flow. Impose a honking penalty and install signs.

  20. Daniel Delehanty:

    Willa,

    The problems times are morning and eveing rush hour (7-9:30 a.m.; 4-8 p.m. on Weekdays). Saturdays it is particularly bad — from 11 -7. Thank you.

    Daniel

  21. Marc:

    Like many who have posted here, I also live with my wife and two young children on 77th Street between 35th and 37th Avenue. We have noticed and been very adversely affected by the drastic increase in noise from the honking and increased traffic flow on our street over the last couple months. We also worry about the safety of our children with so much more traffic right by the public elementary school. I have emailed my local councilman about this issue, but he has only responded that he believed it was the result of a malfunctioning traffic light, which most of us on the block do not believe is the real issue. We would be very grateful if the DOT would address this issue in as short a time as possible, and would also appreciate communication as to any actions taken.

    Thank you.

    Marc

  22. Mike L:

    Willa noted in her 9/16 post that a traffic light malfunction @ 35/77, and repaving of nearby street were largely responsible for traffic backup, honking, etc. on 77th street. The paving has been done, and the light has presumably been fixed, and yet clogging and honking conitinue as before. These small remedies/explanations obviously do not clarify the picture or solve the problems. The key to all this, as should be obvious, is that directional change on 75th street has funnelled vastly more northbound traffic onto 77th. This can only be remedied by 1) reversing that decision, or 2) making radical light change so that 77 northbound traffic has a much longer green sigtnal (the present ratio varies between 4:1 and 3:1) and can thereby flow without causing the backups it’s been causing (akin to midtown Manhattan cross streets during rush hour). Willa also says needed changes will be implemented and problems largely resolverd by end of October. We are nearly there and traffic clogging is as horrid as ever (especially during weekday late afternoons and evenings; which, coincidentally, is a time when there are a lot of afterschool kids crossing these streets). Furthermore, there are no 2 entirely pointless “End Speeding Zone” signs posted on north side of 77/35. Just what are they supposed to mean and indicate? They are not only inappropriate here, but also dangerous, suggesting that traffic can no ‘speed up’ since it has now left a speeding zone.

  23. nick:

    I have to corroborate all the above comments about the excess honking, traffic congestion and speeding cars on 77th Street between 37th and 35th Avenues. This all came about when 75th street switched directions. You notice how consistent all the above comments are and that is because they are true. This situation has caused a marked downgrade of the quality of life for residents on this street and adjacent buildings.

  24. Karen:

    I am resident of 76th street and have noticed an increase in prolonged chorus honking which seems to be coming from 75th street and 37th ave between 76 and 74th. The corner of 75th and 37th can be blocked when the bus crosses the avenue and then immediately stops at the bus stop. The bus is not able to maneuver into the bus stop due to the angle of the approach, so it usually just stops in the road. (also immediately in front of it is an active ‘driveway’ that sometimes blocks traffic for a while while cars switch places) Often there are two buses back to back so the 2nd bus blocks 37th avenue while the 1st bus is stopped. Then no other cars get through the light. Since more than half the driver at 75th and 37th MUST turn (and wait for pedestrians) it makes sense to have a turning bay on both sides of 37th ave. The turning bay is working perfectly on 76th street. The buses should be able to pullover as far to the right lane so they can do that awkward swerve and get in to the bus stop without preventing left turners behind them from getting through. 37th avenie has a lot of businesses that get large -truck and time consuming double parkers (Brinks trucks, Soda distributors) so there can be large double-parked trucks in the traffic stopped for 15 minutes. Drivers should realize that it i snever going to be a breeze driving through 74 -77 between roosevelt and 35th avenue and should be penalized for honking. I think we need prominent “No Honking” signs on 75th street and on 37th avenue. This is a neighborhood of co-ops, with a large percentage of homeowners. It is not so easy to pick up and move when your apt suddenly becomes filled with honking noises night and day. (Although I do know of people who have decided to sell and move due to the constant sound of loud squeaky bus brakes they hear all day on 75th street. Because the traffic moves slow the two buses on 75th hit their brakes between 35th and 37th many times. I can actually hear this around the corner on 76th street.) After this long diatribe…my long list of suggestions are 1) turning bays at 75th street on both sides of 37th ave; 2) Penalties for honking and prominent “No Honking” signs; 3) a PSA campaign to educate drivers that honking in NYC is obnoxious. As you ‘yell” at a driver in front of you, you are disturbing roughly 4000 other people; 4) MTA needs to fix or get rid of the old buses with the lous squeaky brakes; 5) The large percentage of car service drivers should be instructed not to honk their horns. They are ruining quality of life for the residents who are their customers and finally (hopefully) 6) the food carts and vendors blocking Roosevelt Avenue 76th street near the subway entrance making it difficult and dangerous to cross the street and get in to the MTA entrance. At thi spoint with vendors and a bus stop there is no wher left for pedestrians to cross unless you are willing to walk in garbage or squeeze between taco carts. They shoud not have a permit for such a high traffic area. Sometimes there are 3 taco trucks in row. Lastly, this doesn’t matter to me either way (even though I am a cyclist) but if you add turning bays, you could replace those lost parking spots by taking back the one block bike lane on 37th road (75-74). It’s a nice idea but it’s actually not that helpful to cyclists and it removes about 8 or 10 parking spots. (People seem to be parking in it anyway) Thank you for listening – I hope some of these changes will alleviate the noise that’s been happening lately.

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