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Queens Blvd at 50th Street
Looking South and West - Sunnyside
Photo Gallery: Queens Blvd

Death Blvd
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Is the outgoing Queens Borough President Clare Shulman, and the NYC Dept. of Education crazy? I believe they are if they go ahead with their balmy plans to build a major high school complex here. As shown by the distracted passenger in the maroon car, these signs placed upon this commercial building by concerned community activists definitely get noticed. Steven was once a major appliance chain in Queens, but fell on hard times competing with deeper pocketed competitors, such as PC Richard, which had arranged with Steven's owner to lease this property a couple of years ago. Then in stepped the Board of Lousy Education, so desperate for new schools in inundated neighborhoods like Sunnyside, that many students attended class in converted bathrooms and closets, some with desks pressed right up against the urinals.These lunatics decided, with the backing of the senile borough president, that one of the most traffic clogged sections of the infamous Boulevard of Death would be the perfect place to stick a new school, and placed a claim on the property via eminent domain. It should be noted that there is not one other public school fronting anywhere on Queens Boulevard, save for Aviation High School further down in Sunnyside by 35th Street, a vocational school where most students arrive practically to its doors via the 7-Train, only four boulevard lanes need be crossed and traffic tends to move at a more civilized pace. Here at 50th Street, nearly all students will arrive on foot, many crossing the full 15 lanes worth of blacktop from the north side of the boulevard.
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Above is the scene awaiting these students as they prepare to brave the current of the boulevard's eastbound lanes. Here, a stampede of impatient vehicles come charging out of the cramped, undivided four lanes of the boulevard's Sunnyside stretch. They are winging out now as the boulevard expands into separate service and express lanes, transforming into the megalane monster that so many envision when they think of Death Boulevard at its worst. They've just been sitting at long red lights and are ready to charge. 50th Street was never given the familiar Pedestrian Killed or Be Alert signs. Supposedly this is because it has not been the scene of enough calamities to qualify for them. Locals will tell you different; it would appear that the accident tallies for this intersection are being covered up and suppressed, in the interests of pushing this insane school project forward. One thing is for sure; if this school is built, those signs will eventually follow, and nearby Calvary Cemetery will likely get some unwanted new business.
Speaking of the dead, the eminent Claire Shulman issued the following senile retort to those opposing the school. "Who will it bother?" she asked with unconscionable stupidity, "The dead people in the cemetery?" How wonderful that she's lived three quarters of a century and has no common sense to show for it. Good going to all those in Queens who kept this miserable old bat in office all these years.
I guess it doesn't matter to politicians if a neighborhood full of less than upper middle class children have to attend a school where their closest neighbors are gas stations, a cemetery, a strip joint and the world's deadliest road for pedestrians.

©2001, Jeff Saltzman. All right reserved.