April 1, 2015 By Christian Murray
The DOT has unveiled plans that aim to transform the “Boulevard of Death” into a safer roadway that incorporates bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly upgrades.
The DOT plans to tackle the 1.3 mile stretch between Roosevelt Ave and 73rd Street first since it is the most dangerous section of the boulevard. From 2009-2013, six people were killed in that area and there were a significant number of severe injuries.
That corridor, however, is just the beginning of the DOT’s plan to redesign the entire 7 mile Queens Blvd thoroughfare, which is one of the most dangerous streets in the city—with 38 deaths and 448 severe injuries from 2003-2013.
The DOT presented a detailed preliminary plan (see below) of the 1.3 mile stretch last night before Community Board 2’s Transportation Committee. The DOT plans to implement the changes in August.
The plan essentially focuses on re-configuring the service roads.
The DOT aims to keep through traffic in the center lanes and reduce the tendency of drivers to cut back and forth to the service lanes to avoid congestion. The design calls for right-turn lanes with “STOP” signs placed on the medians.
Therefore, instead of high speed slip lanes, vehicles transitioning between the main roadway and service road will be subject to ‘STOP’ controlled right lanes, which will slow speeds and allow for safer bicycle and pedestrian crossings.
The plan also seeks to include a protected bike lane that will be incorporated into a widened service road median, with new pedestrian space and median crossings that allow for a linear park-like area, similar to Eastern and Ocean Parkways in Brooklyn.
The bikeways will be initially striped on the boulevard’s service roads but will be later cast in concrete.
“After decades of crashes, many of them fatal, this corridor has been re-imagined and will be redesigned to become a safer, greener and more attractive corridor for residents and businesses,” said Polly Trottenberg, the DOT Commissioner.
The plan follows years of requests to redesign the stretch and the changes are based on the feedback the DOT received when it held a workshop at PS 11 in Woodside this January.
The attendees identified concerns about speeding, an uncomfortable bicycle environment and conflicts between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
The Community Board is going to have another Transportation Committee meeting to discuss the plan later this month before presenting it to the full board.