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More Queens Streets Will Be Made Car-Free as Part of City’s Open Streets Initiative

Queens Council Member Daniel Dromm and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg at 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights, which is part of the open streets initiative (DOT Twitter)

May 22, 2020 By Allie Griffin

More Queens streets will be turned over to pedestrians and cyclists beginning tomorrow, as the city expands its open streets initiative during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new streets announced today put New York City above its goal of closing 40 miles to car traffic by the end of May, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

“New Yorkers deserve space to safely enjoy the outdoors in their own neighborhoods,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Thanks to hard work from a host of City agencies, we’ve beaten our Open Streets goal for this month – and made our city a national leader in expanding public space as we fight COVID-19.”

Over the course of the month, the city has rolled out multiple waves of street openings as part of the initiative, first announced on April 27.

De Blasio hopes to open 100 miles of city streets for pedestrian and cyclists’ exclusive use over the course of the pandemic.

All open street locations can be found on the Department of Transportation website.

The purpose is to provide more outdoor space for New Yorkers looking to get some fresh air amid stay-at-home orders. The additional mileage of open space will make it easier for people to follow social distancing rules as they venture outside to enjoy the warm weather.

Several streets in Queens were announced today and will close to traffic daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. beginning tomorrow.

The streets include:

120th Street between 94th Avenue and Liberty Avenue in South Richmond Hill

99th Street between Horace Harding and 66th Avenue in Rego Park

50th Avenue between 48th Street and 44th Street in Sunnyside

66th Road between 110th Street and Grand Central Parkway in Forest Hills

Ascan Avenue between Queens Boulevard and Austin Street in Forest Hills

60th Street between Laurel Hill Boulevard and 47th Avenue in Maspeth

107th Avenue between 159th Street and 160th Street in Jamaica

108th Avenue between 159th Street and 160th Street in Jamaica

159th Street between 108th Avenue and 109th Avenue in Jamaica

109th Avenue between 159th Street and 160th Street in Jamaica

Officers from local police precincts will monitor the open streets.

Several streets adjacent to Queens parks will also close to traffic, beginning tomorrow including:

Center Boulevard between 57th Avenue and Borden Avenue near Hunters Point Park in Long Island City

169th Street between Northern Boulevard and 43rd Avenue near Plaut Triangle in Flushing

85th Street between 25th Avenue and 30th Avenue near Gorman Playground in East Elmhurst

68th Road between 108th Street and Yellowstone Boulevard near Yellowstone Park in Forest Hills

Dieterle Crescent between Alderton Street and 65th Drive near Painter’s Playground in Rego Park

Barron Street between 116th Avenue and Foch Boulevard near Baisley Pond Park in Jamaica

Lakeview Boulevard East between 118th Avenue and 122nd Avenue near Baisley Pond Park in Jamaica

155th Street between 119th Avenue and 125th Avenue near Baisley Pond Park in Jamaica

Lakeview Lane between 122nd Avenue and Baisley Boulevard near Baisley Pond Park in Jamaica

122nd Avenue between Lakeview Boulevard East and Lakeview Lane near Baisley Pond Park in Jamaica

 

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27 Comments

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gag

The only issue with building a park over the Sunnyside yards is that decking over a rail yard is super super super expensive. So any park space would have to be subsidized in some way by residential/commercial development.

It’s good that they’re restricting car use since most of the neighborhood doesn’t own a car and it seems like most of the ones that do just leave it on the street perpetually. I’d like to see a lane reduction on Queens Blvd to discourage commuters from Long Island from speeding through our neighborhood. Originally there were trees along the 7 train viaduct (with a sidewalk) when it was initially constructed, but they were ripped out to add a car lane. A single lane reduction from both sides with sidewalk extensions into the parking lane would make the Blvd far nicer and safer.

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mike

Most cyclists are lunatics who dont follow rules
ban them also from these areas

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Carlos rodriguez

This was a great thing to do, thank you mr.diblassio, mr.dromm, and ms.trottenberg for making it possible, its great for the communities..

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Mac

Hashtagger as Meg- Just repeating things don’t make them happen or become truth.

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Sunnyside needs a grass park

Sunnyside is an asphalt desert. We need a park with grass. Cemeteries do not count as green space in my opinion. They are private properties and who wants to sunbath or have a picnic at the cemetery. We should have a grand scale project like Central Park over the Sunnyside Railyards not more skyscrapers to improve the quality of life in the Sunnyside.

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Linda

The city needs a food drive for people who are in need of food that drive and cant find parking space at food banks.

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Meg

My boyfriend and I have been out of state for a few weeks. I miss my apartment in Sunnyside! Hopefully things get better soon for you guys! We also want to feel safe to return so we can empty our place and give back our house keys to our landlord.

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Greta

I have not been to a beauty salon in over three months and I hate going out in public with my hair being a mess and in need of a dye job. My daughter is sending me a wig so i can enjoy the nice weather and open streets. Hopefully I will lose all the extra weight I gained. I also want to look my best once church resumes service.

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SuperWittySmitty

A cyclist is a disaster for the country’s economy – he does not buy a car, does not buy car insurance, does not buy fuel, does not send his car to service and repair, does not use paid parking services. They don’t cause serious accidents, don’t require highways and interstates, do not become obese.

Healthy people are not needed for economics. They don’t buy drugs, they don’t go to hospitals and doctors. They don’t add anything to the country’s GDP.

In contrast, a new McDonalds creates at least 30 jobs –
10 cardiologists, 10 dentists, 10 weight-loss experts, and the people who actually work at McDonald’s.

Choose wisely: Do we want cyclists or McDonalds? It’s worth thinking about

P.S. walkers are even worse. These people don’t even buy a bike.

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CeeCee

This is got nothing to do with the virus and everything to do with the green New Deal.

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Kathy

Nice 🚶 without cat congestion. The Big 🍎 is getting healthy again. Let’s play ⚾ !

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Michaela

It’s a very rainy day this Saturday so not a great walk day anyway. ☔ I am home cooking the last cup of white rice I have left. Would be nice if the restaurants donated some food to local residents in Queens for Memorial day.

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Jenn

The city is also thinking of ways trying to get people especially the younger working generation who came to places like Queens due to gentrification and who typically do not own cars to stay by opening streets to pedestrians and cyclists. Many that i know are moving out of this city because they do not want to pay the high rent without the city life they sought after. Banning cars may help the restaurant and bar industry cater to their customers.

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Trump wiped out the economy

Who can afford a car? Maybe the taxpayer money he’s redistributing and giving away for free will help

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Cindy

Hopefully they will leave the tamale and flower sellers alone in these areas. Walking opens up your appetite and all street vendors should be considered essential. Some people also eat flowers. Happy memorial day.

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Talitha

Close a bridge or two to cars and open them to pedestrians and cyclists only.

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Meridius Latium

The people don’t need permission from tyrants to go back to work. You know the risks, wear a mask and gloves and get on with your lives. Open up yourselves! They can’t arrest everyone especially when they’re outnumbered.

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Gilligan

Today I saw how some numerous families go outside, always in troop and they really need the whole street to walk together.

Also our 420 friendly and beggars need a place to stay and do their urban stuff.

It would be like 46th block but bigger! I’m eager to stay home and never put a foot overthere.

I can’t believe how inteligent are our elected public servants! Kudos for your supporters!

And I’m happy because my street is not closed.

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Queens Streets for the Prioritization of Motor Vehicles and Free Parking

Why can’t they do this without menacing senior citizens who need their cars!? Kids shouldn’t be allowed on the roads until they’ve turned 18 and passed their road test. Little Timmy, that scooter may seem fun now, but wait until you’ve got the full power of a V6 at the twitch of an ankle!

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Rosie O'Donnell' Dietician

Might as well. Pretty soon, nobody will be able to afford a car…

or subway fare,

or a place to live,

or food.

Unless you’re a billionaire or a politician.

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