Press Releases

Press Release #17-067
October 2, 2017
Contact: Scott Gastel/Brian Zumhagen (212) 839-4850

DOT Makes Intersection in Bay Terrace, Queens, More Efficient With New Signal and Wireless Sensors

DOT and local elected officials unveil “smart” turn signal at 26th Avenue and Corporal Kennedy Street

DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia joined State Senator Tony Avella and City Council Member Paul Vallone in Bay Terrace, Queens today to unveil improvements that will make the movement of traffic more efficient at the intersection of 26th Avenue and Corporal Kennedy Street.

“This signal is now activated only when there are vehicles waiting in the left turn lane – if no one is waiting, the left turn phase is skipped,” said DOT Queens Commissioner Nicole Garcia. “That cuts unnecessary delay for pedestrians and drivers making other movements, which not only enhances efficiency, but also safety, since people subject to excessive delay can drive unpredictably. We thank the local elected officials for their determination to make these improvements a reality.”

“After working for almost twenty years on this — well before I was in elected office — along with the Bay Terrace Community Alliance, I am very happy to know that the heavily trafficked and very busy intersection of 26th Avenue and Corporal Kennedy Street will finally get a left turn signal that so many people have asked for,” said State Senator Tony Avella. “The new on-demand technology is exactly what Queens needs and ensures the safety of pedestrians and motorists alike. I’m happy that my district was chosen as the first location for this technology and hope to see it replicated throughout the borough.”

“The long awaited left turn signal at 26th Avenue and Corporal Kennedy Street is finally a reality. If you heard a unified cheer from the seniors in Bayside, it was a cry of victory,” said Council Member Paul Vallone. “This was one of the most common requests we've received and while it may not seem big in the grand scheme of things, this was a long overdue victory for the neighborhood. Combined with the additional safety enhancements that DOT will be installing along the Corporal Kennedy and 23rd Avenue corridor, we have made great strides towards improving pedestrian and motorist safety in Bayside.”

“Turning left onto Corporal Kennedy Street at 26th Avenue is difficult for motorists, which has created a hazardous situation for pedestrians, including seniors who visit Selfhelp Clearview Senior Center or reside at the Scheuer House,” said Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside). There was at least one fatal accident at this location in the past, and I am hopeful that the new left-turn signal installed by the Department of Transportation will improve traffic safety for motorists and pedestrians alike."

DOT’s signal uses roadway sensors embedded in the left turn lane to detect the presence of left turning vehicles. The wireless sensor, known as a “puck” for its shape, is drilled into the roadway. When a vehicle drives over the puck, the sensor surveys traffic in area and the signal is changed — or not changed — depending on traffic conditions.

The sensors are deep enough to survive milling and paving, are wireless and battery powered, and last 7-10 years. The “pucks,” which are in use in all five boroughs, are cheaper and last longer than the older alternative, known as a loop detector.