July 26, 2015 By John O’Reilly (columnist)
Mayor Bill de Blasio came out as pro-life this week.
Pro “Boulevard of Life” that is. This creepy, progressive sounding label is attached to the $100 million rechristening of the Boulevard of Death, which will supposedly transform Queens Blvd. between Roosevelt Avenue and 73rd Street into a safe roadway.
This resurrection will add separate bike lanes and landscaped pedestrian paths to the service road alongside the cement medians; narrow the service roads to one car lane for much of the length; and will add pedestrian islands. Furthermore, it will re-do the cross-walks and roadways leading to the BQE entrances — and will place an elevated bike way in the narrow stretch of road below the underpass near 67th Street.
Further details can found at http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2015-06-04-queens-blvd-cb2.pdf, a frenzied, dizzying, motion-sickness inducing power point presentation that was reviewed by Community Board 2 on June 4th.
How did CB 2 respond to the presentation? What questions were asked and responses given? If like me you were unable to attend the meeting, you won’t know, most likely, until mid-September when the June 4th minutes will be placed on the long promised but still hasn’t happened reincarnated CB 2 website.
Hopefully someone at the June 4th meeting thought to ask, why we are doing all this and spending $100 million when the Vision Zero changes already made to the roadway seem to be working, as reported by Captain Travaglia of Commanding Officer 108th Police Precinct.
Travaglia recently reported that there have been no traffic fatalities within the confines of the precinct and that traffic accidents are way down since Vision Zero came to town.
Hopefully board members asked whether the $100 million plans would have prevented recent past traffic fatalities along Queens Blvd caused by motorists driving at excessive speeds or by pedestrians crossing against the light or jaywalking.
Maybe someone asked the Department of Transportation if it should construct pedestrian overpasses at key intersections, like 58th Street, with elevators to accommodate the disabled that would substantially eliminate pedestrians crossing across the Boulevard (the circumstance of almost all pedestrian involved accidents). The overpasses would improve traffic flow, and cost a whole lot less than $100 million.
Did someone ask for an average daily head count of pedestrians who travel more than one or two blocks east or west on Queens Blvd between 73rd Street and Roosevelt Ave (is it more than 100 per day?)?
Did anyone ask about the number of bicyclists?
Did the DOT representatives say to the Board and public something along the lines that this Boulevard of Life nonsense is really about two things: pleasing the Transportation Alternatives lunatics with the fanciest bike lanes east of the Hudson River pathway and creating a legacy project for our esteemed Mayor, He Who Brought Roadway Life To Where There Had Been Roadway Death?
Imagine a yellow brick, gold like roadway leading to the Emerald City, that includes de Blasio life centers, where public urination will be tolerated and welcomed and where free Zumba-like turnstile jumping classes are available around the clock
Vision de Blasio and all for just $100 million!
This is the opinion of John O’Reilly and does not reflect the views of this publication