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City to Redesign Queens Blvd, to Incorporate Bike Lanes and Public Space

Key design features

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.

page-3The 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.

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Vision Zero Plan by sunnysidepost

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14 Comments

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Robin

Yay! They did such a beautiful job with the access to the Queens Borough Bridge, I”m really excited about the new bike lanes, Roosevelt Avenue and Queens Blvd are so unpleasant to ride on, the dedicated bike lane will be a dream come true for me.

Reply
Ilikedumplings

Yes! Finally they have done something about that awful part of Queens Blvd. Now we can bike to yummy restaurants in Elmhurst or Jackson Heights. I wonder if they could take it all the way into Forest Hills. A nice protected lane going through the middle of Queens will get more people on their bikes and make the commute of infinite biking legions of latino kitchen workers going to Manhattan safer, too.

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Sunnysideposthatesme17

Queens BLVD deals with lots of traffic because there are large stretches of double parked idiots. When busses try to go in and around them everything gets backed up. It becomes more of a problem when you get down to the Queens Center Mall area . Narrow the roads, cut the double parking and you’ll see things move

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Sunnyside Cyclist

You want less people on the 7 train, less traffic, less pedestrian deaths? This is how you do it.

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PG

If we invested more on our highways and freeways our local streets wouldn’t need redesigns nor vision zero. People just use them as shortcuts to avoid all the traffic.

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Sunnysider

You want safer roads for pedestrians, build overpasses for them and stop this nonsense of narrowing roads. Same thing on most of queens crossing, turn them into 1 lane overpass for cars arriving Queens Blvd at side streets, instead of trying to slow down traffic to 25mph which nobody follows anyway, make it 45mph and let peds cross using overpasses without disrupting traffic or putting their lives at risk (by jay walking most of the time).

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Seal

I like the idea of more over passes, like we have in the area over Horace Harding / LIE. Qns Blvd has already lost lanes to parking, causing more vehicle congestion in the local lanes.
But …. it is not easy for the elderly to walk up and down the large ramps. And being enclosed, not so safe late at night vs. on the Blvd, near stores and restaurants.
Hopefully somehow there can be some compromise. I like the idea of an overpass for cars…. not so sure how the people in the apartment buildings directly Qns Blvd would though. …

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Southside Johnny

No, slowing down traffic is a better solution, with total stops every few blocks to keep the flow safe and peaceful. Building overpasses every few blocks, and inevitably installing elevators, will be ugly and expensive.

The future of Queens lies in more pedestrians and fewer motor vehicles. Too many drivers on QB don’t even live around here and are just passing through. Make it LESS attractive to those drivers and safer for the people who live here.

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Chan

This is awesome news. I love the idea of having a healthier and safer alternative to get to shops and restaurants in Elmhurst, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Woodside. As we’ve seen in the past 5-7 years, conversion of public spaces and the addition of bike lanes improve commerce and enhance the neighborhood.

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Marc

This is great! It’s going to make pedestrian crossings much safer, and so many people in Eastern Queens rely on their bikes to get to work in Manhattan. Any idea when our stretch of the boulevard will get some much needed improvements?

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