Proposal for Construction on Christopher Lane Awaits Approval
By Lucia Rossi
Councilman Steven Matteo and Staten Island Borough President James Oddo submitted a proposal to the New York State Department of Transportation for the construction of a new roadway through Christopher Lane on July 7.
While the proposal has not been approved yet, the project aims to alleviate traffic on Victory Boulevard.
“This project takes a chaotic, inefficient corridor and improves it by a measurable degree,” said Borough President James Oddo in an interview with the Staten Island Advance.
CSI President William J. Fritz also received the proposal and supports the project believing it will provide a smoother flow for the 15,000 students and 3,000 employees who commute to the campus every day.
“The impetus of this vital project will be supported by the college’s Traffic and Transportation Task Force, High Performance Computational Center, and faculty experts,” Fritz said.
“I look forward to continuing these discussions in service to our community in order to ultimately provide congestion relief to the 300,000 vehicles that travel this stretch of Victory Boulevard on a weekly basis, as well as the neighborhoods that call it home.”
Oddo and Matteo pitched the proposal to extend the lane southward through the Willowbrook Park woodlands and into the campus.
“We believe a new collector road and additional entrance drive to the College of Staten Island can be created adjacent to the southern map line of Victory Boulevard within the bed of existing mapped parkway. The parkway right-of-way adjoins the campus proper to the west,” the letter for the proposal stated.
This indicates that the land is the property of the Department of Transportation’s mapped unbuilt highway.
Oddo and Matteo believe this will help quicken the bureaucratic process.
“Government needs to learn how to get out of its own way and complete projects in a much more timely fashion,” Otto said.
“It should not take two decades to complete a project that everyone agrees on.”
With five pedestrian fatalities from 2008 to 2012 and a speed limit that was dropped to 25 mph as of last June, Victory Boulevard is known as one of the most dangerous roads on Staten Island.
An NYPD officer has been placed to handle traffic during rush hour, the Smart Lights have been added to cut down on speeding, and traffic signs have been added to prevent the blockage of the traffic box in front of the campus.
“The intersection is a problem not only for passing drivers but also for the local Bulls Head community,” Matteo expressed.
“The situation is so bad that it’s clogging residential streets with cars looking for any way to get around this area, makes some of these blocks dangerous.”
The cost of the project has no estimate and no discussions about how it would effect traffic at CSI have taken place.
“This [project] will take cooperation from city, state, agencies and CSI, but this is a very practical improvement to a longstanding problem,” said Oddo.