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Vallone Calls For Emergency Services Lane Along Queens Boulevard

FILE: Queens Boulevard (credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

FILE: Queens Boulevard (credit: Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It could be a matter of life and death.

Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. is asking the Department of Transportation to create an emergency services lane along Queens Boulevard.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

“Lights are no longer synchronized; the service road has been shut down to one lane; in other areas there are pedestrian plazas and bike lanes,” Vallone said. “These slow down traffic but they also slow down emergency vehicles.”

Vallone, the chair of the Public Safety Committee, said emergency lanes are nothing new in the city.

“They exist in Manhattan, but for some reason, I guess people think that emergencies don’t happen in Queens, even though Queens Boulevard is as congested as any street in Manhattan,” Vallone said.

He wants to designate one emergency lane in each direction along the entire 7.2 mile length of the boulevard.

“We’re trying to act proactively here so that someone doesn’t die because an ambulance is stuck on Queens Boulevard,” Vallone said.

He argues that when drivers hear the sirens, it’s unclear which lane they should leave open.

WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports

Vallone believes having a designated lane would clear up any confusion and cut response times for fire trucks, police and ambulances.

“That’s the lane that you leave clear when you hear a siren,” Vallone said.

He is waiting for a response from the DOT.

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