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More Streets in Queens Will Be Made Car-Free

Open Streets on 39th Avenue in Sunnyside (Photo: Asha MacKay)

June 24, 2020 By Allie Griffin

More Queens streets will be shuttered to traffic as the city introduces another wave of the Open Streets initiative first announced in April.

Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled an additional 23 miles today that will be open to pedestrians and cyclists through the course of the pandemic.

The shuttered streets allow New Yorkers to get fresh air, while having space to practice safe social distancing.

The new open streets cross several neighborhoods in Queens.

Three newly announced streets are near parks:

.28 miles of 35th Avenue from Corbett Road to dead end by Crocheron Park

.33 miles of Shore Boulevard from Ditmars Boulevard to 20th Avenue by Ralph DeMarco Park

.12 miles of Ditmars Boulevard from 19th Street to Shore Boulevard by Ralph DeMarco Park

Five will be enforced by local precincts:

.09 miles of 165th Street, from Chapin Parkway to 85th Avenue in Jamaica Hills

.2 miles of Onderdonk Avenue, from Starr Street to DeKalb Avenue in Ridgewood

.29 miles of 77th Street, from Atlantic Avenue to 101st Street in Ozone Park

.27 miles of Rockaway Freeway, from Ocean Crest Boulevard to Regina Avenue in Far Rockaway

.07 miles of 60th Street, from Queens Boulevard to 43rd Avenue in Woodside

Five streets will be opened in partnership with local community groups:

.24 miles of 37th Avenue, from 75th Street to 80th Street on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Thai Community USA)

.15 miles of Newtown Avenue, from 30th Avenue to 31st Street on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Central Astoria LDC)

.15 miles of 32nd Street, from 30th Avenue to Newtown Avenue on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Central Astoria LDC)

.52 miles of Reads Lane, from Empire Avenue to Jarvis Avenue on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (JCCRP)

.25 miles of Beach 12th Street, from Central Avenue to Dinsmore Avenue on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (JCCRP)

No through traffic is permitted on the streets from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day, unless otherwise specified. Local deliveries, pick-ups/drop-offs, necessary city service, utility, and emergency vehicles only are allowed.

Temporary Bicycle Lane

The city will also install a temporary protected 3.6-mile bike lane along Northern Boulevard, from 34th Avenue to Queensboro Plaza.

The lane will be phased in through the summer by using markings, barrels, signage, and other barriers, to implement both permanent and temporary connectors to existing bike lanes.

With the new open streets, New York City now has 67 miles of car-free roads for pedestrians and cyclists to enjoy.

“As the school year ends and a hot, challenging summer begins, New Yorkers will need more options to play outside,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement. “New York City now offers more car-free street space than any other city in the country, and we’re proud to build on that progress in all five boroughs.”

A full list of streets closed to traffic can be found on the Department of Transportation website.

A bicyclist taking advantage of “open streets” on Skillman Avenue between 39th Place and 43rd Street (Photo: Asha MacKay)

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19 Comments

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Jason HT

Not sure how much safer the streets have been, since they opened up to pedestrians. I frequently walk along 39th ave. People constantly shifting around the fencing, forcing cars to maneuver around or get out of the car to continue moving the fence. Once cars have clearance, they tend to zoom down the road at high speeds. Add cyclists and double parked delivery trucks to the mix and the roads have become even more unfriendly, than before. Not to mention fire trucks and EMS trying to navigate these kinds of streets.

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Queens Streets for LOL

Why do they try to divide us in drivers vs. non-drivers? Streets should remain divided for drivers on the street, pedestrians on the sidewalks, and bikers in suburban parks only. ALL bikers and pedestrians should also have to be licensed and carry insurance. Parents should register and pay insurance for all strollers, scooters, and tricycles as well. Fair is fair. LOL

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OpenSpaceFastCars

While it’s nice to have some open space I have observed several speeding cars in these open streets with ZERO enforcement but when you have numerous lawmakers including JVB calling for defunding the police it’s no surprise.

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The price is wrong

It’s great to see the dozens of community groups that are stepping up to the plate to partner with the city on this great initiative. Meanwhile the never quite official “Skillman Project” have two social media posts in the calendar year and the disgraced Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce have flatlined in the wake of their dishonest campaign against street safety improvements.

And yet somehow they still consider themselves the be all and end all of “the community?” The wheels have continued turning for well-managed groups advocating for and participating in the positive change in their communities, while the NIMBY troglodytes that continue grousing about and protesting change in any form are starting find that the price they’ve paid for their poor organizing looks more and more like an utter lack of relevance in the community they claim to represent.

Was it worth it?

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TheBard

“Brevity is the soul of wit”
I know this is not Twitter but
Do you really need to write a short story comment.

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Woodsider

I can see only comments approving of this nonsense are getting approved. Ridiculous.

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Thomas Payne

I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a step closer to those Autonomous Zones like in Seattle… people just setting up tents in the street… taking over neighborhoods. The democratic party is crumbling on itself. They’re pushing people to vote Trump.

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Wow you actually believe that...

Trump lovers are so gullible!

opening a street for pedestrians to enjoy = taking over the city 😂

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alma

Why are streets next to parks being closed off to traffic? They have the whole park to socially distance! This is causing more problems than you can imagine in the neighboring streets. Either, this was not well thought out or they just don’t give a damn about the residents.

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SuperWittySmitty

The public parks are closed. This is to supplant the inaccessibility of the park.

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A bright spot in the darkness

These have truly been a blessing in the neighborhood and am glad to see other areas will get the same. Let’s make these permanent!

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Carbie Barbie

Yes, enough giving all this space to cars. More car free streets, please.

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