Assemblyman Hevesi, Senator Addabbo, and Queens Borough President Richards Call for Review of Traffic Conditions Along Penelope Avenue in Middle Village

Middle Village, NY – Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr., and Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi reached out to the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Waze mobile driving application (Waze) this week, raising notice after they received concerns from local residents about reported increases in traffic congestion and incidents along Penelope Avenue in Middle Village.

The elected officials’ inquiry comes after the offices were presented with a petition signed by more than 80 Middle Village residents, which requested that Penelope Avenue be converted from a 2-way street, into a one-way road with traffic directed westbound towards 69th Place.

In a letter to DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez on Monday – Richards, Hevesi, and Addabbo noted the local concerns of traffic has purportedly being redirected to Penelope Avenue from Juniper Valley Boulevard and Metropolitan Avenue. The officials noted the latter two streets as better suited for high volumes of traffic, opposed to Penelope’s narrow and residential design.

In addition to requesting an assessment from DOT, Assemblyman Hevesi’s office requested that Waze review route patterns which direct traffic to Penelope, and in a Tuesday post on X (formerly known as Twitter) Assemblyman Hevesi indicated that safety should be the app’s top priority, stating “no one should be put at risk to save a few seconds off another’s commute.”

“One of our most important responsibilities is to identify hazards and prevent accidents before they occur. Just because a road can accommodate two-way traffic, doesn’t mean it should be treated as a thruway – especially when it’s tightly lined with parked cars and family homes,” said Assemblyman Hevesi. “If traffic is being routed as we’re told, Waze should correct it as quickly as possible. We’re also in contact with DOT, who have been responsive, and we’re confident that if any corrections are possible municipally, that we can collaborate towards that end.”

“The recent influx of traffic along Penelope Avenue is extremely concerning and is a serious potential safety hazard,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. “Both the DOT and Waze must take urgent action to see what can be done to prevent a tragedy from occurring along what until recently had been a quiet street. All of our city's thoroughfares need to be safe for all who use them, no matter if they are driving, biking, or walking.”

Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. said, “We must prioritize the safety and well-being of our residents. The concerns raised by the local community about increased traffic congestion and incidents along Penelope Avenue are valid and must be addressed. Converting Penelope Avenue from a 2-way street to a one-way road with traffic directed westbound towards 69th Place could help alleviate the current issues, and work towards preventing possible future accidents or fatalities instead of reacting to them. We urge the New York City Department of Transportation and Waze to take these concerns seriously and work towards finding a solution that ensures the safety and quality of life for the residents of Middle Village.”