March 14, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
The much-anticipated town hall on the Department of Transportation’s proposal to install bike lanes on Skillman and 43rd Avenues has been scheduled for the end of the month.
The town hall, organized by the DOT, will take place on March 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at PS 150. The school is located at 40-01 43rd Ave.
The DOT is expected to reveal an updated proposal for the two avenues during the meeting, and will speak to corridor-wide safety improvements, which include traffic calming initiatives like protected bike lanes and improved school crossings.
The city’s first plans for the two avenues were presented in November, which saw an initial proposal that implemented protected bike lanes and removed a combined 158 parking spaces through the corridors.
The initial plans alarmed community residents and businesses who were fearful of losing parking spaces. But groups on both sides of the issue soon began petitioning either in support of the bike lanes, or against losing a single parking spot due to DOT measures.
While the DOT had already began working on an updated proposal for the two avenues, and was ready to present it at a December town hall, the event was abruptly called off after an emergency meeting PS 11’s PTA had with the DOT.
The emergency meeting saw parents lash out at the agency for introducing a plan that failed to include the safety measures they demanded, like stop lights and cross walks by the school. Some even claimed the DOT’s plans would bring more danger to students.
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said the town hall would be postponed indefinitely until the city came up with a plan that addressed safety concerns called for by PS 11.
Earlier this month, the DOT announced that two traffic lights would be installed by the school, which paved the way for the agency to once again kick off town hall proceedings for the two avenues.
Van Bramer has not taken a position on the issue, and said he will reserve judgement until he hears from the community at the town hall.
For questions, contact the DOT Queens Borough Commissioner’s office at 212-839-2510. Those needing accessibility accommodations should provide advance notice.
Update 3/15 1:28 p.m. – The DOT announced today that the location of the town hall was changed to PS 150. It was originally scheduled at PS 11.