Calling the the DOT’s approach "deeply problematic," the association implored the agency to assemble outside experts to plan a "21st century solution" that will benefit the whole region.
The plaza has been widened, and additional trees have been added to the space along with new seating and bike parking racks.
The city is taking the first steps to relieve congestion on insanely popular Brooklyn Bridge.
The Department of Transportation released a safety proposal for the Astoria intersection of 32nd Street and Astoria Boulevard North, adjacent to the exit ramp of the Grand Central Parkway. The 114th Precinct identified this particular intersection as the most accident-prone location in the area. According to Assemblymember Aravella Simotas, who has pushed for streetscape improvements here, “The DOT proposes extending the median between Astoria Boulevard North and the Grand Central Parkway in order to separate local and expressway traffic. Local vehicles traveling west on Astoria Boulevard will no longer be able to make a left turn at 31st Street, and motorists exiting the GCP will no longer have the option to turn right at 31st Street.” (Check out the proposed rendering above.) As it exists now, the Grand Central Parkway exit ramp merges directly with Astoria Boulevard North. This creates a seven-lane intersection where vehicles attempt multiple-lane crossovers across very short distances.
The DOT will take its proposal to Community Board 1 next week and will be looking for community input. Check out four more images from the proposal after the jump.
Although Queens Boulevard — also known as the Boulevard of Death — is getting a slow zone, the speed limit won’t be any slower. DNAinfo reports that the DOT will keep the speed limit at 30 mph, despite lowering the speed limit in other slow zone areas from 30 to 25 mph. Instead, Queens Boulevard will receive new signs to identify the slow zone, changes in signal timing to discourage speeding, and increased NYPD enforcement. The slow zone on Queens Boulevard will begin at Jackson Avenue and end at Hillside Avenue, a 7.4 mile stretch. The DOT plans to install it in July.
According to a DOT spokesperson, “While we will not be further altering the speed limit at this time, we are not ruling out taking a look at a reduction at a later date.” Transportation Alternatives continues to push for a lower speed limit alongside other design improvements along Queens Boulevard, like wider sidewalks, bike lanes and benches.
On Friday Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer announced that Sunnyside will receive two new public plazas as a part of the Department of Transportation’s NYC Plaza Program. The Sunnyside Shines BID submitted applications to install plazas at both 40th Street and Queens Boulevard (pictured) and 46th Street and Queens Boulevard. The DOT approved the applications this month and selected the Sunnyside Shines BID as the nonprofit partner to maintain them.
Both future plazas are located under the 7 train in areas currently closed to vehicular traffic. They’ll get outfitted with planters, benches and moveable tables and chairs open to the public. Sunnyside Shines will be in charge of programing events and activities in either space. But before the plazas are installed, the BID and DOT are looking for design and programming suggestions from the public. The first community outreach meeting to discuss these matters is happening on Wednesday, April 30th at 6:30 pm. It’s at Sunnyside Community Services, 43-13 39th Street.
Photo via Google Maps
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.
Rendering via the DOT
This morning, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer joined Long Island City residents to call on the Department of Transportation to install crosswalks and additional signage on 49th Avenue. The Council Member, in particular, is looking at the intersection of 11th Street and 49th Avenue (adjacent to the off ramp of the Pulaski Bridge) where two large housing complexes are located. Residents have found that the intersection is the site of an increasing number of vehicular collisions. The DOT hasn’t yet implemented any safety improvements for the area. Council Member Van Bramer tweeted the above photo of this morning’s rally, saying “It’s unacceptable to wait for a tragedy to occur. Residents who live on 49th Ave in #LIC deserve safety improvements.”
The Department of Transportation is testing out different safety initiatives for Woodhaven Boulevard, a highly-trafficked thoroughfare that is the site of many accidents. Queens Courier reports that the DOT is three years into a five-year study. So far, the DOT added extended sidewalks and medians from Queens Boulevard to 62nd Road, made southbound traffic on the service road at the intersection of Union Turnpike and Woodhaven Boulevard a “must turn right” lane, and shrunk the two lanes of the service road into one. At a community meeting held this month, the DOT reported that since the improvements, crashes are actually up on Queens Boulevard to 62nd Road. Accidents at Union Turnpike and Woodhaven Boulevard decreased 29 percent.
The DOT will continue to implement safety changes — the service roads between Atlantic Avenue and Rockaway Boulevard will be changed into one lane of traffic and one parking lane. They also hope to create a northbound dedicated bus lane from the Belt Parkway to Liberty Avenue.
Woodhaven Boulevard Safety Still in Flux [Queens Courier]
Photo via Google Maps