NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The signs on a street in Sunnyside, Queens make it clear that it is for one-way traffic only, but some drivers are ignoring it.
As CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported, residents say they are scared for their lives. Living on what should be a quiet one-way street is like living on the edge, they say.
“They go the wrong direction all the time,” said Amy Lococo-Alvarado.
They say too many drivers are using 39th Place in Sunnyside to short cut away from an often jam-packed service road alongside the Queens-Midtown Expressway.
CBS2 spotted the driver of a sport-utility vehicle and a white van backing up the wrong way. More brazen was the driver of a blue minivan who moved forward illegally against the traffic.
“We have to make sure that we’re aware of people going backwards,” said Jillian Alalvarado.
“Somebody missing me by maybe 6 inches — it was bad; I was shaking,” said Richard Stefan.
Drivers trying to shortcut out of expressway traffic over to Queens Boulevard are not the only lawbreakers. Others set aside safety in a crazed competition to find parking.
Residents said another problem is that drivers see in the rearview mirror that a parking space opened up behind them. But instead of going around, they back up this one-way street.
“You have to circle over and over again, and to let that spot go until you circle back again is tough for some drivers, so they back it up back it up on the one-way street,” said Brian Franklin.
Queens City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-26th) wants the Department of Transportation to add plastic partitions and pavement markings to prevent wrong-way right turns.
He called it a quick, cost-effective solution.
“We have had the situation exist on other streets here in Sunnyside, and were able to fix it,” he said.
CBS2 contacted a DOT representative, who said the area will be inspected and a remedy will be found.
Until that happens, the NYPD is expected to step up enforcement and turn around the wrong-way mess.