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Flushing gets safer signals for seniors

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The city Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that new safety measures for senior citizen pedestrians have been installed in Flushing as part of a pilot program being introduced citywide.

The DOT has altered the signal patterns at 25 different intersections in a broad and heavily trafficked area in Flushing to give seniors more time when crossing the street.

"Senior citizens represent only 12 percent of our population, but they are nearly 40 percent of those killed or seriously injured in traffic accidents," said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "The disproportion is alarming, but under our strategic plan, we are recommitted to improving pedestrian safety."

Other improvements implemented as part of the plan, announced by Sadik-Khan and City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing) Tuesday include realigning crosswalks, extending sidewalks and the installation of a "leading pedestrian interval system at Parsons and Northern boulevards, which gives pedestrians a head-start at the intersection before vehicles get a green light.

"Our parents and grandparents contributed their blood, sweat and tears to build our country — the least we can do is ensure they live with the dignity and security they deserve," Liu said.

The focus area in Flushing includes several major corridors with boundaries of Northern Boulevard to the north, Sanford Avenue to the south, Main Street to the west and Parsons Boulevard to the east, along with a section of Kissena Boulevard extending to Holly Avenue.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e-mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, ext. 138.

Posted 6:38 pm, October 10, 2011
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