Queens-Yellowstone Blvd intersection may well be the most dangerous
pedestrian crossing in New York City, mostly due to its exaggerated
angles and angular offshoots stemming from it, like Jewel Avenue
and yet a 5th section, the third going eastbound, of Death Blvd,
which slices around a tiny 2-block long sliver of parkland.
The apartment towers surrounding Yellowstone form the Parker
Towers complex, a late 1950's development. The giant orange and
white sign in front of us tells the sad tale of this intersection,
most of whose walk signals have been converted from text to hand/stick
figure graphics, which eventually will take over at all city
corners. Now here's where things like this flip me out! What
is wrong with this picture here? If the premise for putting up
graphical signals is that too many people either cannot read
English, or cannot read, period, then what is the point of complementing
the hand with another sign telling the illiterate to wait for
the walk signal. It should at least tell them to wait for the
stick figure. The other intersections around here still have
the old alphabetical signals. I still feel they should replace
both types of signal with a simple seconds countdown signal.
The 4 story office building in front
of Parker Towers was probably built as part of the Parker complex.
It betrays its 1950s roots with its Colgate-Palmolive Building
style architecture. A huge Key Food supermarket sits on the lefthand
corner across Queens Blvd, and is undoubtably a key target luring
many pedestrians across this danger zone.
Turning towards the east we see
the fencing hastily thrown up on the median strip to help dissuade
jaywalking. The brick edifice in the center background behind
the white truck is the Forest Hills Jewish Center. Just before
it is a long standing Chervrolet dealership that was called Luby's
UPDATE 4/1/2001: Another hit, this time
a local celebrity. 48 year old cross dressing fitness nut, Elliot
Offen, who is known for jogging through Forest Hills in lingerie,
was struck here by a speeding Toyota. Emergency doctors had difficulty
cutting through his stockings to get at his fractured leg. Hey,
I wouldn't make something like this up.
©2001, Jeff Saltzman. All