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Dangerous outer lane of Queensboro bridge to be closed at night

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

One of the Queens-bound lanes of the Queensboro Bridge will soon be off-limits at night.

Sunday was the last night for the foreseeable future when drivers will be able to take the outer roadway to get to Queens.

The exit ramp of the outer lane has proved deadly in recent years and the Department of Transportation says it is making the move to reduce the potential for speeding and other unsafe nighttime driving.

Earlier this month, off duty NYPD officer and mother of two children, Elisa Toro, was killed when driving off the Queens-bound outer roadway ramp of the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge, her car struck a safety barrier and flipped onto its side, ejecting her.

It was the third traffic fatality at nearly the same spot in a little more than two years.

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer represents Long Island City and has long been calling for solutions to slow down drivers exiting from this ramp.

“I don't think you have any other area in New York City where cars are flying off a bridge careening into sidewalks and storefronts on a regular basis,” Bramer said.

In recent years, the Department of Transportation has installed cones, barriers, rumble strips and speed warnings, but accidents have persisted.

Now the department, in partnership with the NYPD, has decided to shut down the roadway altogether.

The closures will take place 9pm-6am daily.

“It’s a dire situation and it's calling for a drastic solution to a severe problem” Bramer said.

Several businesses along Queens Plaza have been victim to speeding drivers over the years.

The Department of Transportation says the outer roadway lane is underused at night, and says the closure and won't impact the traffic capacity, but some drivers aren't too sure.

One driver we talked to says whenever they close it, all the bridges and tunnels are backed up.

Others say the inconvenience is a small price to pay for enhanced safety.

Again, the closure begins Monday night at 9pm and will continue every night indefinitely.

Councilman Van Bramer says it’s a good temporary solution but ultimately says a redesign of the exit ramp is needed.

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