The Queens Activist Committee, a leg of Transportation Alternatives, is pushing hard for streetscape improvements throughout the borough of Queens. The Committee is focusing on three initiatives: bike lanes on the Pulaski Bridge and 11th Street, traffic calming on 21st Street, and a “Complete Street” revamp for Queens Boulevard. Miller Nuttle at Transportation Alternatives updated us on the recent headway gained for each of these proposals. 1,392 residents signed the petition to bring protected bike lanes, pedestrian safety improvements and Select Bus Service to Queens Boulevard. (Transportation Alternatives took to the streets this weekend to gather more support from residents and business owners.) Nuttle says that the DOT has been receptive to some changes, although Transportation Alternatives is primarily engaging with community boards and local pols for now. On a related note, last Friday Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer held a press conference (pictured) calling for streetscape improvements for Queensboro Plaza. He, along with local pols, community residents and Transportation Alternatives, called on the DOT to extend the pedestrian countdown clocks along Queensboro Plaza, install additional street signage that will make pedestrians aware of cycling lanes, and make Queensboro Plaza an essential focal point of the DOT’s Western Queens Transportation Study.
As for the Pulaski Bridge bike lanes, it’s happening. Nuttle expects plans for a dedicated bike lane across the bridge to hit the community board as soon as this fall. The plans also call for a bike lane on 11th Street, to help riders access this bridge safely and to reduce speeding on the approach to the bridge.
Finally, the Committee is making moves on safety improvements for 21st Street. The proposals, for 21st Street between Queens Plaza and Hoyt Avenue, include speed humps by schools or senior centers, bike lanes and pedestrian refuge islands. There are close to 1,000 signatures on a petition asking for these improvements. Transportation Alternatives will present its full plan to the Community Board 1 Transportation Committee next Wednesday, October 9th. The meeting will be held 6:30 pm at 45-02 Ditmars Boulevard, LL Suite 1025. “The organization is more energized that ever before,” Nuttle told us. “I think the campaigns really set a new tone for what can happen in the borough.”