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Van Bramer, Transit Advocates Rally for a Safer Northern Boulevard

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and transit advocates rallied Wednesday morning on Northern Boulevard. (Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer / Twitter)

Dec. 13, 2019 By Allie Griffin

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer and Queens transit advocates rallied for a safer Northern Boulevard on Wednesday morning.

The advocates called for a dedicated bus lane, a protected bike lane and safer street designs along the road, where 1,200 people have been injured since 2014, according to Van Bramer’s office.

Community members have expressed dissatisfaction with the Q66 bus line and asked for service improvements. They say bus stops are frequently blocked by personal and official vehicles.

Q66 Bus Route

“If we are going to fix Northern Boulevard and tame this wild-west roadway we must have a busway, we must have bus lanes, and we must make it safer in every possible way,” Van Bramer said.

He noted that many children go to schools along the dangerous roadway.

“We want more people riding buses, but we must make bus service work,” he added. “The buses cannot be blocked by cars, delivery vehicles and other commercial vehicles.”

The snowy morning rally was one of several across the city organized by the Riders Alliance and Transportation Alternatives. They launched the #BetterBuses day of action to encourage the City to improve bus service, add more designated bus lanes and create more busways like 14th Street in Manhattan.

Northern Boulevard was chosen as it has a high number of traffic crashes and several pedestrians have been killed along the busy corridor over the past few years.

However, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has run into obstacles in the past when planning ways to make Northern Boulevard safer.

The DOT organized a series of workshops in 2018 to brainstorm safety improvements for the roadway after two pedestrians, including a 9-year-old boy, were killed crossing Northern Boulevard that year.

At the workshops, DOT representatives said one of the major challenges the agency faces in redesigning the stretch is the boulevard’s limited width — which at 70 feet is about half that of Queens Boulevard.

The stretch consists of two moving lanes either way, although a third lane is available for rush-hour traffic. Meanwhile, the roadway is a truck and bus route. There are also schools and small businesses along the roadway.

The smaller space makes it difficult from a redesign standpoint, officials said.

Northern Boulevard (Google)

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14 Comments

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Oscar

I know two of those bozos show up at every Queens event where there are politicians to take photos with them. Pictures of them with Jimmy, Danny Dromm, Melinda Katz and you name it. The others are Jimmy’s staff and other kiss asses.

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VelvetKnight

Toddddd: I’ve heard a lot of arguments against bike lanes, but a 7 lane road “not being wide enough” is definitely a first!

Anon: There are roads bikes aren’t allowed on. They’re called highways. But even if we ban bikes from Northern Blvd., how does that stop all the pedestrians from getting hit by cars there?

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JVB for Borough President

JVB really puts his neck on the line with his causes. It really takes guts to come out in favor of a safer Northern Blvd. He’s showing that he is willing to stand up to those who are against it. He’s just type of leader Queens needs for Borough President.

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LIC Direct

Why does Jimmy Van Bramer look so somber when he has to share a photo-op with others? Did not want to get wet? Did not want to be there? Look at that face! No Queens Borough Presidency for youuuuu!!!!!

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Much needed

Thank you for your work Jimmy and transit and safety advocates. Once congestion pricing is in effect there will be much more opportunity on Northern.

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Toddddd

Bike lanes will not make it safer. It does need some kind of redesign, but it’s not wide enough for bike lanes. It would be too dangerous for everyone, especially the bikers. But I doubt common sense will prevail here.

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