Residents Infuriated By Motorists Backing Up To Avoid Back-Ups On The LIE

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There’s a one-way street in Queens where you’d better look both ways before crossing. That’s because traffic may come from both directions.

CBS 2’s John Slattery recently witnessed many cars going the wrong way on 39th Street in Sunnyside.

“What’s really bothersome, some of ’em go fast,” Heike Hinch said.

Hinch said he has lived on 39th Street for 30 years, a one-way street where vehicles that are supposed to head south often look confused.

“At 8:30 in the morning, 2:30 in the afternoon, it’s like the Indianapolis Speedway here. People going up in reverse,” resident Sam Vargas said.

The location is just north of the Midtown Tunnel Expressway. It happens when drivers on the service road faced with a backup on the Long Island Expressway, decide to bail out.

Living in one building, in the middle of the block is professional photographer Steve Grande.

“I got fed up.  I saw people getting hit.  I saw trucks going back, and forth, cars …dodging other cars, so I made a video,” Grande said.

After calling 3-1-1, he contacted Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who said the problem is about to turn critical with school kids on the street.

“Even the most well behaved and taught child is not expecting a tractor-trailer back up the wrong way on a one-way street. It is a recipe for disaster,” Van Bramer said.

The Department of Transportation responded with the following statement for spokesman Nicholas Mosquera: “We are currently designing a treatment to narrow this area, which will be installed in the next month or so.”

Until something is done, it will continue to look like a free-for-all on wheels.

The remedy may well be a dog-leg shaped peninsula that allows traffic to go out of the intersection, but not in.

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