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Hillside Avenue to get new traffic light

The intersections of Hillside Avenue at 210th Street and Hollis Court Boulevard at 90th Avenue will have a new look by July 31, Councilman Sheldon Leffler (D-Hollis) said earlier this month.

Leffler said he was advised by William Baire, the Department of Transportation's Queens commissioner, that traffic signals will be installed to coincide with the much-awaited reconfiguration of the exit ramps of the Clearview Expressway. The work is scheduled to start in the spring.

"Hollis Court Boulevard is an extension of the expressway," said Joseph Gormley, past president of the Bellaire/Bellville Civic Association and a member of Community Board 13. "It is the only street between Hillside Avenue and Jamaica Avenue with no stop signs, and people are encouraged to speed."

The locations for the new traffic lights are just blocks away from the terminus of the Clearview Expressway.

According to Leffler, residents of the Bellaire/Bellville Civic Association and the 211th Street Block Association had expressed concern and made numerous complaints about accidents and traffic congestion. Many of the traffic problems in the area are due to cars entering and exiting both the Clearview Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway, he said.

Gormley said the residents of the area have voiced anger at the dangerous intersections, which are known as the sites of many accidents, and requested traffic lights and the reconfiguration of the exit ramps to prevent speeding along Hollis Court Boulevard.

"The community board has complained for a long time about the traffic jams, accidents and the way the streets are being used for racing and speeding, which causes accidents," said Sally Martino-Fisher, district manager for Community Board 13. "We want to make it a safe intersection."

Gormley said the reconfiguration of the area was necessary because when cars exit the Grand Central Parkway, drivers are forced to go eastbound along Hillside Avenue. If commuters need to travel west along Hillside Avenue, they are forced to drive a few blocks down Hillside Avenue and make a U-turn in order to reverse direction, which is dangerous, he said.

The reconfiguration of the Clearview Expressway exit ramp, Hillside Avenue and Hollis Court Boulevard will add a westbound exit, said Leffler.

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