Community Issues – December 2000 - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the December 2000 Juniper Berry Magazine

Community Issues – December 2000

JPCA: It's time to change south Elmhurst to Middle Village.

In a long anticipated move, the Juniper Park Civic Association has formally requested a name and zip code change for the area just south of the Long Island Expressway and north of Eliot Avenue from 74th Street to 86th Street. The area, currently known as (south) Elmhurst, has long been referred unofficially as "Middle Village," by most residents and city officials. The JPCA is requesting that the area should be officially named Middle Village and designated with the 11379 zip code.

"For decades, our small piece of Elmhurst has long been confused with Middle Village and it's time to clear it up," said Bob Holden, president of the Juniper Park Civic Association.

Civic leaders argue that the Long Island Expressway acts as a natural boundary, and the neighborhood would be more appropriately defined if called Middle Village. Currently the L.I.E. in that area does separate Community Boards 2 & 5 as well as the 110th and 104th precincts. But the small strip of Elmhurst that spills over on the Middle Village side of the L.I.E. is still called Elmhurst which creates confusion.

Aggressive Drivers Cause Most Pedestrian Deaths in NY

A report by Right of Way, a grassroots organization based in New York City, found that nearly 90 percent of pedestrian deaths in the Big Apple are caused by aggressive and careless drivers.

Using the Freedom of Information Act, the organization obtained the crash reports of 1,000 pedestrian fatalities in the city from 1994 to 1997. Among their findings:

Driver's are at fault in almost 90% of pedestrian fatalities. Automobiles kill more than twice as many elderly New Yorkers as murderers do. Aggressive turning through crosswalks is the single-biggest known cause of pedestrian deaths. Speeding and driving through red lights and stop signs are the next most frequent causes. Cars kill 250 pedestrians in New York City each year, including a dozen on sidewalks. Buses kill three times as many pedestrians as heavy trucks, per mile driven. "The crux of pedestrian safety is making drivers respect pedestrian rights," said Charles Komanoff, the report's author. "Most pedestrian fatalities are caused by drivers' failure to observe traffic laws, particularly the laws protecting pedestrians."

The report was released amid claims by city agencies that pedestrian deaths fell sharply during a crackdown on drunk driving. However, crash reports analyzed for the study showed drunk driving to be a factor in only 4% of pedestrian fatalities during the four-year period studied, suggesting that drunk driving never was a major factor in pedestrian deaths.

The organization condemned city officials for failing to focus on what they described as the far bigger problem of aggressive, violent, or otherwise irresponsible driving.

For more information, write to: Right of Way, 305 Broadway, Room 402, New York, NY 10007

Transit = Savings for Families in NYC

A NY Times article that looked at salary needs for a single parent with two children found that New York City residents pay less for transportation than people elsewhere in NY State. Although New York City is 20% more expensive to live in than places like Plattsburgh, the city's transportation costs are one-third of those upstate – $63 compared to $190 dollars/month.

NYC DOT Intersection Camera Program Stalled

The New York Daily News reported in September that the City Department Of Transportation (DOT) department charged with installing more cameras to bust stoplight running motorists is mired in a drawn out investigation of the contractor the agency proposed last year. Agency officials announced they would add 20 more cameras to the 30 already in place around the city by May, but now put the new start date at April or May of 2001.

The camera program is one of the City's best hopes for reining in the rampant traffic signal abuse and increasing driver and pedestrian safety. According to DOT, roughly 1.5 million summonses have been issued under the program since 1994 and a 1998 report found that accidents at corners where cameras are installed dropped by 41%.

With the dramatic 20% increase in traffic accidents in our community this year, the Juniper Park Civic Association is insisting that red light cameras be installed at problem locations in Middle Village and Maspeth.