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Queens Blvd. at Yellowstone
Photo Gallery: Queens Blvd

Death Blvd
south 1
signa pedestrian was killed crossing hereThe 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 for decades.
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 right reserved.