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Work Starts on New Northern Boulevard Bus Lane, Busways in Downtown Jamaica Made Permanent: DOT

The DOT has announced that construction has begun on new bus lanes along Northern Boulevard running from Woodside to Corona (Photo: DOT)

Nov. 14, 2022 By Michael Dorgan

The DOT has announced that construction has begun on new bus lanes along Northern Boulevard running from Woodside to Corona.

The new bus lanes – which will stretch both ways from Broadway to 114th Street — aim to speed up commuting times for riders and improve the reliability of bus services on the corridor, the DOT said Monday.

When completed, the 4.6-mile corridor will serve 15,000-weekday riders along five different routes – Q66, QM2, QM3, QM20, and QM32.

The new layout will also offer better connections to other bus services as well as to subway stations that are served by the M, R, and 7 subway lines, the DOT said.

Work on the bus lane got underway Monday with the project scheduled for completion in the spring of 2023. The city has allocated $79 million for the project, the DOT said.

The new bus lanes will stretch from Broadway to 114th Street from both ways (Photo: DOT)

The agency also announced Monday that a pilot busway along Jamaica Avenue and Archer Avenue in Queens has become permanent.

The DOT said that having a bus lane along Northern Boulevard will improve service times which will in turn boost ridership numbers.

“When buses have dedicated space on the street separated from general traffic they move faster, and when buses move faster, riders benefit and more people choose buses,” said Frank Annicaro, the MTA’s senior vice president for buses.

“The MTA is extremely pleased to be working…. to attract more riders to this environmentally friendly, congestion-busting form of transportation.”

The new project will compliment a suite of pedestrian safety improvements and traffic calming measures previously installed along the corridor by the DOT. For instance, pedestrian islands, lead pedestrian intervals, and painted curb extensions have already been put down along the route.

The changes along the Northern Boulevard route forms part of the city’s Vision Zero initiative of reducing traffic injuries and fatalities while enhancing public transit.

The new Northern Boulevard bus lane, the DOT said, came about after the agency engaged in a four-year outreach process with various stakeholders and community groups.

The process included a number of public workshops as well as the DOT hosting an online feedback portal and surveys. State Senator Ramos also solicited feedback from businesses along the route, the DOT said.

The DOT then presented its plans to Community Board 3 over the summer.

A map of the new Northern Boulevard bus lane between 89th Street and 90th Street (Photo: DOT)

Councilmember Julie Won welcomed the beginning of the project and said that many residents depend on bus services for transportation.

“The Northern Boulevard bus-priority project will ensure that our neighbors in Woodside have access to faster, safer, and more reliable bus service,” Won said Monday.

“Thousands of New Yorkers take these buses every day and building 4.6 miles of new bus lanes along Northern Boulevard will provide more alternatives to driving and help us to create a greener city.”

Meanwhile, the DOT also confirmed that two pilot busways in Downtown Jamaica – along Jamaica Avenue and Archer Avenue – have been made permanent. The busways serve 26 bus routes.

The DOT said it made the decision after average bus speeds along the routes improved following the implementation of the busway. For instance, bus speeds along Jamaica Avenue increased by up to 34 percent, the DOT said.

The busway along Archer Avenue will remain in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the DOT said.

Jamaica Avenue’s busway will operate between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week, according to the agency.

The busways will be enforced by the NYPD using bus lane cameras. A single-vehicle violation will cost $50 with fines increasing to as much as $250 for additional offenses. Violations are issued against vehicles, not drivers.

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12 Comments

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No one said you can’t drive

Implementing mass transit and alternative transport options are not only massively popular, they actually do nothing to prevent you from driving to healthcare, school, and work. Therefore, your idea is non-sensical and reeks of entitlement and egocentrism at the cost to society. Your solution to take those things away for your benefit is telling. Also, have you seen the chaos cars cause? It’s out of control and is the reason you need to register your vehicle, carry insurance, and get it inspected. These things should be pretty evident, but some people can’t see or properly ascertain the world around them outside of their immediate concerns. This, Paul, is why it’s a great thing we are represented by Julie, and not by someone like yourself or Robert Holden.

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Paul

How about Rules and Regulations? Right now it’s the wild,wild west – any direction, on sidewalks, disregard for traffic laws; and, many alt transportation devices exceed posted speed limits.
Get off your Elitist High Horse – laws and regulations are in place for a reason. How is that centered around my “immediate concerns”? Broaden your perspective ye who chooses not to provide a name.
Wokefully yours

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No one said you can’t drive

It’s pretty simple, there are already rules and regulations against everything you say. Yet your brilliant idea is to take away the one legal space for them to operate. Think about that a bit harder. Not your forte, now, is it? I’m no elitist, just an informed voter who, I reiterate, is glad to be represented by a thinking woman like Julie Won, as opposed to uninformed dolts like the Common Sense caucus who seem to have a similar grasp of policy to yours, Paul. Toss another word salad, bud! You’re out of your depth.

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Paul

No one is an appropriate name for you. I’ll think of you when another alt transport whistles through a red light or when I have to step aside on a sidewalk when alt transport feels entitled to ride on said sidewalk. Julie is biased and does not represent
everyone – she doesn’t even try to reachout to the whole
community. Will you ever woke up?

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Paul

Dear Julie – I’m your constituant too and hard working people need their cars as well. You can’t just wave your wand and make all the cars people need for healthcare, work and school go away.
Here’s an idea:
Get rid of the Bike Lanes which have caused nothing but chaos. You implemented them under the cover of night with no rules or regulations in place. As a result, illegal off-road bikes, mopeds, electrical bikes obey none of the traffic laws and use the side walk as if it was a right. No plan was put in place to control this OUT OF CONTROL USE.
Why do I have to register my vehicle, get it inspected and carry insurance while these other modes of transportation are allowed to wreak havoc?

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Hal

Your wasting your time she doesn’t care. She cares about herself. Julie won doesn’t look at how much money it cost to drive in traffic. I drive for a living. Between the extra gas, the summonses, the closure of Avenues , it cost more money, so the consumer pays more. Not to mention I have to pay more overtime. Why not open 34th Avenue for just buses and bike riders and leave northern alone.

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Anonymous

Correct. All of these younger progressive democrats do not listen to anyone with another point of view. So stubborn and defiant to what the voters say. It is all about themselves and their own agenda. We are now electing Czars.

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Peter

Paul it sounds like you’ve been priced out. Car culture is affordable and alive and well in the Poconos. Learn to live within your means. NYC has not been car “friendly” place since the 60’s especially the overwhelming majority of western Queens.

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Woodside Resident

Thank you to the DOT and to Councilmember Won for supporting this. I’m a constituent and I, like the majority of New Yorkers, depend on public transport. I support anything we can do to make buses move faster. Commuting to Manhattan for work, I’ve have seen first hand the amazing success of the 14th street busway. Very glad we’ll be making bus transportation viable in our part of Queens too.

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