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Queens Blvd. at 66th Ave
Looking West
Photo Gallery: Queens Blvd

Death Blvd

a pedestrian was killed crossing here1Can you get your kicks on Avenue 66?
Of all the good standing members of the Dark Legion of Killer Crossings, 66th Avenue seems the most unlikely; sort of like the mass killer that once caught, everyone who ever knew them cries in disbelief, "But he was such a nice guy!"
Well, 66th Avenue has NOT been such a nice guy. It is perhaps quite fitting that this corner plays host to the Riverside Memorial Chapel Funeral Home. Maybe part of the problem is that the walk signals, like the one sharing a bracket with the traffic light in the left hand shot, are being mounted too high. The most vulnerable crossers, the very young and the elderly, who are all too often stooped from osteoporosis, probably can't see up that high from as close as the next median island. Walk signals didn't used to be elevated like that, and I suspect that they've been set ever higher over the years to discourage vandalism and the tendency for kids to use their support brackets as monkey bars when they are within low enough reach.
west wide
Looking wider afield from 66th towards the west, across the boulevard is Blair Hall, the apartment house my family lived in when I was born. The two yellow brick LeFrak office towers follow a couple of blocks down. 66th Avenue is the first such boulevard crossroad east of the Long Island Expressway to be directly across from itself . The Pedestrian Killed sign stands at the ready by the cut in the median for crossers, to deliver its macabre message.
Zooming in some towards the next corner to the west, 65th Road-Avenue/98th Street, and a closeup of the two LeFrak office tower brothers. The angular one with the green panels is the elder, dating from the late 1950s. The all yellow brick job went up early in my lifetime, in the early 1960s. Between them sits a CompUSA store, in a relatively new building built over what was for many years a car rental agency.

© 2001, Jeff Saltzman.