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Opinion: Yellow Brick Boulevard

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, 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.

Queens Boullevard

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

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Written like somebody who’s never actually biked down Queens Blvd. It’s always fun when people think politics is a meaningful balance to personal experience.


Forgot to add:

Also, he’s commenting on a meeting that he didn’t attend? This guy is the very definition of “low information.” Why let a lack of information or research stop anyone from writing an opinion article, right? Sheesh.


Maybe the Sunnyside post could have sent someone to the community meeting instead of letting this “reporter” ramble on with rhetorical questions.

America, seemingly the only country where people get ticked off when their tax dollars get spent on infrastructure.

$100 million sure sounds like a lot of money, but in reality is less than it costs to build one new skyscraper in manhattan.

And Queens blvd needs bike lanes.


@HK Great post! Right on target. Short and sweet too…I can’t believe Christian Murray gave space to this long winded “whinny” buzz word filled rant with absolutely no attention to facts, truth or history. The author of the opinion piece seems more concerned with peppering his rant with Fox buzz words than he is with discussing the details of the facts and history behind the cities decision to go forward with its plan.

Dino velvet

I think they should restrict all cars from queens blvd and bring the horse & carriages that they’re banning from the city to transport you country folk around the neighborhood.
PS: I think the smell of horse shit will be an improvement over the Mexican urine smell we have now.


abbreviation for
1. (Classical Music) accelerando.

What’s your point?


@David I know @seth can’t see the word “accell,accelerate or accelerator ” in the related word. He’s not much for linguistics or “creative writing” hell he can’t even read a simple opinion piece on a local blog and discuss it for it’s content. This is his attempt to dance out of his weak JVB attack in an article about Deblasio. He refuses to own or stand behind any of his feeble posts. He is truly a waste of time.


Sick of the developers who will force people out and jimmy van Beamer and deblasio are in their pocket


It seems like the mayor’s solution is to reduce the number of lanes to make more congestion and therefore reduce speed. Not a great article but is right to ask questions about how/why this money is spent


The goal is to get traffic onto the highways. This would be guaranteed if the tolls were removed from Triboro, Brooklyn battery, Queens midtown. All empty out on to highways. They’re creating a “misery factor” to force people on to the highways and keep the revenue stream from the tolls intact.


I hadn’t thought of that one. Maybe you are right. That would be nice, actually. Keep long distance traffic on the highways and leave the neighborhood streets for people in the neighborhood. Something to ponder.


Thank you for taking a stand, Mr. Riley. I am on your side in terms of the waste of money. However, I believe the current project is just on in a long line of changes the city is making to this area in order to put more people here and force them out of cars.

It’s been my opinion for a long time that those of us who have had relatively stable and happy lives in the neighborhoods in Western Queens are being quietly buried in favor of developers and people who don’t live here yet. The PR machine run by the Mayor’s office with facilitation by JVB makes it all look like “progress,” when in fact they are forcing us all out one by one.

I remember way back to Councilman Gioia, that’s when I first heard the moniker “Boulevard of Death.” There was no sudden increase in pedestrian fatalities, there was no grassroots movement to save ourselves. It was real estate/city initiated, priming us all for the step-by-step changes they have been carrying out since then. It won’t end for another twenty years either. Not until all the open places are built to the limit, people who drive have died or moved away and no one remembers when it was fairly low-density here.

Then, when all the developers take their profits elsewhere, all the political careers are made, all the big chains are raking in money, the neighborhood will begin its next long, decades long decline.

The circle of life, as they say.


This article is so poorly written. This guy must be a friend or relative of somebody over at SP.


@seth and Angela No ideas from either of you 2 Fox watching idiots either. Just whining. Try to discuss an issue once in a while instead of always labeling good bad, liberal neo con, dem republican. It’s always fun talking to weak minded nitwits who can’t deduce a simple argument. It makes me feel proud to have accelled in academics. I actually thought the opinion was about Deblasio and his so called vision of Queens Blvd. design and pedestrian safety..Seth read another article about JVB and figure he’d post his comment about that article in this forum and retardart Angela cheers him on. Birds of a feather. Hahaha


@luvu2 I’m as obsessed with Fox News nearly as much as your obsession with other peoples sexual and birth control methods. We both rise well above interest and concern and well over the bar of obsessive. At least I admitt it unlike Seth and his obsession with JVB.


Mac you are a very rude individual and I do not appreciate you calling me retarded — I am a very smart and intelligent individual — and YES I do watch Fox News that is my choice — maybe someone should report you for what you say about people


@angela isn’t funny how I never met you in person but can instantly tell you were a Fox News viewer. It’s your ignorance that makes this determination. Maybe someone should report you for your constant gay smears and weak minded attacks on Van Bramer. You’re an obsessive weak minded fool who honestly believes what you “feel” and “believe” trumps truth fact and history. You were made for Fox News or should I say Fox News was made for you.


@mac wow you touched a nerve with Angela. She’s obviously been called this word before. My take on people like Angela, they always accuse everyone else of being out of line when their baseless rants are struck down. I have seen this woman’s posts and the over whelming majority are just angry rants without a shred of fact. I did find it hilarious when she admitted to supporting a less than credible source of information and news. With conviction no less. Lol. Strange she never said why she chooses to watch A news source that deliberately misinforms, Maybe it’s because they tell her what she wants to hear regardless of the truth.

Joe at the Berkley

This can’t be for real. Angela doesn’t dispute Mac’s claim that Fox News is the source of her idiocy? Instead she proclaims proudly with all capital letter YES with an exclamation point that she chooses to watch Fox News. “Ignorance is bliss”. George Orwell was right.

spaz! spaz! spaz! spaz!

Looked at the DOT proposed maps – streets still look wide as hell – you gotta be a 25 yr old sprinter to make it to the other side at some points. Good luck, Grandma!! Good thing Calvary runs next to it..


This opinion is poorly reasoned and poorly written. It presents no factual evidence and reads like an 8th grade essay for remedial English.

I award you no support, and may God have mercy on your soul.


He seems to be proposing an overpass for 58th St.

I think the questions listed above are excellent and I am doubtful that anyone from the CB asked them.

I don’t like that he called the TA folks ‘lunatics’ – takes away from your other points.


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