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Queens Boulevard is a major thoroughfare in the New York Citymarker borough of Queensmarker, connecting communities from Long Island City to Jamaicamarker. It forms part of New York State Route 25.

Location

It runs northwest to southeast across more than half the length of the borough, starting at Crescent Street at the Queensboro Bridgemarker entrance in Long Island City and running through the neighborhoods of Sunnysidemarker, Woodsidemarker, Elmhurstmarker, Rego Parkmarker, Forest Hillsmarker, Kew Gardens, and Briarwood before terminating at Jamaica Avenue in Jamaicamarker . At , it is the one of the longest roads in Queens, and it runs through some of Queens' busiest areas. Much of the road is 12 lanes wide, and at its intersection with Yellowstone Boulevard in Forest Hillsmarker, it reaches a high point of 16 lanes. Along much of its length, the road includes both six express lanes (three in each direction) and a service road on each side. Drivers must first exit to the service road in order to make right turns or pull over; left turns must be made from the express lanes, but only at select cross-streets.

This street hosts one of the highest numbers of New York City Subway services in the city. At any one time, six services—the , , , , , and the —all use significant stretches of the right of way; only Broadwaymarker (nine services), Sixth Avenuemarker (seven), and Seventh Avenue (seven) in Manhattanmarker and Fulton Street (eight) and Flatbush Avenue (six) in Brooklynmarker carry more at any one time. In addition, the Q60 bus travels its entire length.

History

Queens Boulevard was built in the early 20th century to connect the new Queensboro Bridgemarker to central Queens, thereby offering an easy outlet from Manhattan. It was created by linking and expanding already-existing streets, such as Thomson Avenue and Hoffman Boulevard, stubs of which still exist. It was widened along with the digging of the IND Queens Boulevard Line subway tunnels in the 1920s and 1930s, and in 1941, the city proposed converting it into a freeway, as was done with the Van Wyck Expressway, but with the onset of World War II, the plan was never completed.

The combination of Queens Boulevard's immense width, heavy automobile traffic, and thriving commercial scene made it the most dangerous thoroughfare in New York City and earned it citywide notoriety and morbid nicknames such as "The Boulevard of Death" and "The Boulevard of Broken Bones." From 1993 to 2000, 72 pedestrians were killed trying to cross the street, an average of 10.2 per year, with countless more injuries. Since 2001, at least partially in response to major news coverage of the danger, the city government has taken measures to cut down on such incidents, including posting large signs proclaiming that "A Pedestrian Was Killed Crossing Here" at intersections where fatal accidents have occurred and installing more road-rule enforcement cameras.

In 2005, there was some hope that there had been a permanent reduction in pedestrian fatalities, because in 2004 only one pedestrian was killed crossing Queens Boulevard. That trend did not continue.

Popular culture references

  • Queens Boulevard is the name of a fictional movie starring Vincent Chase within the world of the television show Entourage.
  • Queens Boulevard is the name of a local band out of Annapolis, Maryland. [100098]
  • Queens Boulevard is the name of an Indie rock band hailing out of Colorado Springs, Colorado. [100099]
  • Queens Boulevard is the name of an alternative rock band from Buffalo Grove, Illinois.
  • Queens Boulevard (the musical) is the name of a musical by playwright Charles Mee. [100100]
  • In the movie Coming to America, the address of McDowell's restaurant is 8507 Queens Boulevard.
  • Dukes Boulevard in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV is based on Queens Boulevard


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