Access to the greenway in Joe Michaels Mile Park has long been a problem in our community. This park currently has very few children or limited mobility users because of the treacherous infrastructure surrounding the south side. Able-bodied adults are the only ones capable of using this entrance and even they take their lives in their hands, as we've seen recently when 78-year-old Michael Schenkman was tragically run over trying to get to the park. Not only is there poor infrastructure, but the area also lacks signage alerting drivers to the park or having them yield to parkgoers; at the mouth of the park there is just one sign that allows drivers to turn right on red, which often surprises pedestrians crossing with the light.
We need a protected route east connecting to Douglaston, an area without adequate park access. There is no parallel route available, and currently, Northern Boulevard acts like a highway, encouraging speeding with its long stretches without traffic lights and on/off ramps to the Cross Island Expressway.
We need a protected route south connecting Joe Michaels to the rest of the Brooklyn/Queens Greenway. This gives residents access to a variety of parks and neighborhoods.
For years multiple local organizations have been calling for safety improvements at this location. We need to work together to increase the quality of life for our community and make sure we don't have more tragedies.