Urban planners call it “wayfinding.” Wayfinding is a bit of an art, by which pedestrians or vehicles can be intuitively guided through city streets or transportation hubs. A good example of bad wayfinding would be Manhattan’s Penn Station or Port Authority Bus Terminal, both of which assume that visitors will be familiar with their idiosyncratic floor plans. Pictured in today’s post are the street instructions governing bicycle and motor vehicle lanes at the corner of 39th Street and Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside, found on the southern extent of the truss bridge that overflies the Sunnyside Yards.

As my grandmother might have said – “Oy Gevalt.”


Today Queens transit advocates will present their first traffic safety presentation on Queens Boulevard, well known as the Boulevard of Death. The New York Daily News reports that Community Board Six will hear the safety suggestions, which include widening the center median to make a protected bike lane, as well as changing the timing on lights at crosswalks. Advocates want to particularly focus on safety for the stretch of Queens Boulevard running through Forest Hills and Rego Park. While the Department of Transportation already made some improvements — like adding parking lanes and fences to slow traffic — safety advocates call these measures “band-aid fixes.”

The presentation to CB6 today will be followed by two Vision Zero Workshops hosted by the DOT on May 21st and May 29th. At those meetings the DOT will accept safety suggestions from the public regarding Queens Boulevard, or any other street for that matter.

Group Wants New Safeguards for the Queens Boulevard of Death [NY Daily News]
All Queens Boulevard coverage [Q’Stoner]


The bike lanes along the Roosevelt Island Bridge are just not cutting it for Queens cyclists, reports DNAinfo. The lanes, which are essentially metal grates, are slippery, filled with gravel and debris and leave riders worrying that they will fall into traffic. According to DNAinfo, “There was so much gravel in the bridge’s bike lane last week that [one rider] resorted to riding in the heavily trafficked automobile lane.” The Department of Transportation claims that the bridge is regularly cleaned.

Bike New York plans to take these concerns to Community Board 8 next week in an effort to find solutions. And while a DOT spokesperson said they have not received any recent complaints about the conditions of the bike lanes, they plan to send someone to inspect the safety and maintenance of the lanes.

Roosevelt Island Bridge Bike Lane Too Dangerous to Use, Cyclists Say [DNAinfo]

Photo by Roosevelt Islander


This just in from Twitter: the Department of Transportation will announce expansion plans for Citi Bike in coming months. It’s time to bring the bike share program to Queens! According to earlier reports, we expect Long Island City (slated to be part of the first phase of implementation, then delayed by Hurricane Sandy), Astoria and Sunnyside to be the first Queens neighborhoods to receive the blue bikes.


Friend of the QueensWay is hosting a bike tour on March 15th that follows the path of the abandoned Long Island Rail Road tracks, from Rego Park to the Aqueduct Racetrack in Ozone Park. The organization is pushing to transform the rails into a cohesive greenway through the borough. Peter Beadle, of the Friends of the QueensWay, told DNAinfo: “We want to give people a sense of what this could look like if we were able to create the park and the bikeway and we want them to get a feel how this line can connect with other locations and amenities in the neighborhoods.” The ride will last about seven miles and include some hiking portions and a stop for lunch. If you’d like to RSVP for the event, do so here.

According to DNAinfo, initial designs for the proposed greenway will be presented to the community during an upcoming series of workshops in March and early April. (Here are some awesome ideas for the QueensWay reuse, as part of an architecture competition.) Stay tuned!

Photo by Jeff Liao for Friends of the QueensWay


Following approval from Community Board 5’s Transportation Committee, the full board approved a proposal for bike lanes in Ridgewood and Glendale with a 29-5 vote this week. Queens Courier reports that the DOT will implement the first phase – outlined in solid blue lines on the map above – this summer. According to the Courier, one set of lanes runs parallel on Woodward and Onderdonk avenues from Flushing Avenue to Cooper Avenue, with another set along Harman and Himrod streets from Evergreen Avenue to Metropolitan Avenue.

The DOT also promised to evaluate an even larger network of bike lanes in the area, particularly in Maspeth and Middle Village. Those lanes will not be implemented until 2015. CB5 had worked with the DOT on this extensive proposal for several years.

Board Approves Proposed Bike Lanes in Ridgewood and Glendale [Queens Courier]
Bike Lanes Look Likely for Ridgewood and Glendale this Summer [Q’Stoner]
Bike Lane Proposals Moving Ahead for Ridgewood, Maspeth, and Middle Village [Q’Stoner]

Map courtesy of NYC City Planning, via Queens Courier


A comprehensive proposal to bring 9.5 miles of bike lanes to Ridgewood and Glendale is making serious headway. Queens Courier reports that Community Board 5’s Transportation Committee unanimously approved the plan this week. The vote also included an approval for DOT to study Phase 2 of the proposal, which includes additional lanes throughout Middle Village and Maspeth. No big surprise on the vote since CB5 worked closely with the Department of Transportation on this proposal for several years. According to Queens Courier, “Bike lanes in Phase 1 will run along three sets of parallel streets as well as a portion of Myrtle Avenue between 61st Street and 65th Place and Fresh Pond Road between Myrtle and Catalpa avenues.” If the full board approves the proposal, the DOT will construct the first phase of bike lanes this summer.

The DOT plans to implement the second phase, including routes along Metropolitan, Eliot and Grand avenues, in the spring of 2015.

Bike Lane Proposal Making Headway [Queens Courier]
Bike Lane Proposals Moving Ahead for Ridgewood, Maspeth, and Middle Village [Q’Stoner]

Map via NYC DOT


We know the Pulaski Bridge Bike lanes are happening, and they couldn’t come soon enough. Streetsblog reported today that Brooklyn’s Community Board 1 voted unanimously to support the project, Queens’ Community Board 2 is waiting on some more design details before taking a final vote. Here are the exciting details about the reconfiguration from StreetsBlog:

The path will run on the west side of the bridge, replacing one of three southbound car travel lanes over Newtown Creek… On the Queens side, the new bike path will curve alongside the existing walkway, which hugs a one-lane ramp that drivers use to access the bridge. To make room for the new bike path on the existing ramp, DOT will trim back the size of a Greenstreets traffic island at the bridge entrance. Drivers using the ramp will merge with southbound traffic from 11th Street entering the bridge, instead of continuing in the same lane as they do today.

So when’s it all happening? The DOT is waiting for state approval but expects it to come in the next few weeks. The DOT will then include the project in a contract including ten other small bridge rehab projects, but they hope to push this one to the first in line. Once construction actually starts, it will only take a few months before the bike lanes are a reality.

Next Year, Peds and Cyclists Won’t Have to Fight for Scraps on Pulaski Bridge [StreetsBlog]

Rendering via the DOT


At last night’s Community Board One meeting, the Department of Transportation announced that it is beginning the planning process to install bike share in Astoria. “This is not an announcement that bike share is officially coming to Astoria,” explained Jon Orcutt, of the DOT. “This is the start of the planning process… and the first of many meetings.” The Citi Bike planning process takes 18 to 24 months before installation, and the DOT plans to work very closely with the Astoria community in that time. The DOT already spoke with Senator Michael Gianaris at his request in regards to potential locations; the city is considering a rough boundary that follows the N/Q line although nothing is set in stone. The final locations will not be decided until after significant community outreach, and an open web portal for residents to leave location suggestions will launch soon.

The Department of Transportation is also working with Community Board Two in Long Island City, where the preliminary planning process has already begun. At this rate, a chunk of Western Queens will have its very own Citi Bike set-up sometime in 2015. Exciting stuff!

Photo via NYC DOT


This week city officials told Community Board Two there are definite plans to install shared and buffered bike lanes on 11th Street, 39th Street, 49th Avenue and Skillman Avenue in 2014. The Daily News reports that the city wants to create north-south connections and east-west connections with the lanes, as well as connections to the Pulaski Bridge, Queens Plaza, Hunters Point, and of course to Sunnyside. CB2 asked for more bike parking locations in Long Island City and city officials said they’d look into potential spots. The board initially approved these changes over the summer, so there was no controversy at the meeting this week. Back then, the city aimed to install these lanes before the end of the year, but it looks like the timetable’s been pushed back.

City Announces More Bike Lanes for Long Island City [NY Daily News]
New Bike Routes, Lane Markings Coming to LIC, Sunnyside [Q’Stoner]

Map via DOT