The Queensboro Bridge exit ramp has unfortunately been a site of many car accidents. Recently a 36-year-old off-duty New York police officer was killed after she struck a guardrail, plowed into a barrier and flipped the car while coming off the ramp. The vehicle ended up hitting a storefront at Crescent Street and Queens Plaza South.
As part of the Queens Plaza Pedestrian and Bicycle Improvement Project, the ramp was structurally improved in 2011. However, it hasn’t made much of a difference in curtailing accidents. In fact, the changes force vehicles to merge at a sharper angle when exiting the bridge onto Queens Plaza South.
Shortly after the bridge was redone, in March 2011, a drunk driver lost control of his vehicle while speeding. He and a passenger were injured but tragically, a pedestrian was killed. Not even two weeks later another driver was injured and a passenger was killed.
This led to the city installing a concrete barrier, designed to keep vehicles from landing on the sidewalk. Yet, this hasn’t necessarily solved all the problems and it’s likely these aren’t the only accidents that have occurred there. In fact, cracked spots with skid marks on the barrier shows evidence of other crashes. So far, the Department of Transportation (DOT) hasn’t provided any statistics on the number of accidents that have occurred since reconstructing the ramp in 2011.
Along with other government employees, State Senator Michael Gianaris has requested the DOT redesign the ramp. Meanwhile, several lawsuits have been filed against the engineering company, which designed the roadway, and the city. Businesses have had to close down because they were impacted when the vehicles crashed into them while other ones in that vicinity worry that they will eventually be affected.
Faulty roadway designs can be a contributing factor in an accident. Although it’s clear that driver behavior was an issue, it’s important to consider the role this may play in a serious or fatal crash. It is possible to hold an entity like an engineering company partially or fully liable for an accident. The Gacovino, Lake and Associates newsletter keeps you apprised of major lawsuits against large entities, sign up for Torts & More Monthly.