Mayor fumbles another issue with Queens Blvd.
May 17, 2016 | 7084 views | 0 0 comments | 169 169 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Anyone that drives, walks or bikes down Queens Boulevard can immediately identify the hazards of the road locally known as the Boulevard of Death. Forcing protected bike lanes down the community's throat is not going to immediately remedy the problems.

Queens Boulevard is simply a nightmare. There are myriad hazardous intersections, anyone ever tried to get to the BQE from the Maspeth, Ridgewood or Middle Village area in the morning?

For example, the intersection of 69th Avenue and Queens Boulevard is a race of turns and cars stopped at a newly installed light that backs up the road and leaves cars strewn across all lanes.

What New York City needs is a full redesign of the roadway and that’s what the de Blasio administration is proposing, which is an admirable undertaking.

But as it seems so often with the de Blasio administration, it tends to move too quickly biting off more than it can chew to achieve quick results. In this case, it rushed to re-engineer one portion of Queens Boulevard without a comprehensive plan for the entire roadway.

It figured it would address the next set of challenges and the next chunk of Queens Boulevard at some point in the future.

Now that point has come, and Community Board 4 has thrown up a roadblock by voting against protected bike lanes like the ones that were installed in Sunnyside and Woodside.

And we don't necessarily seem it as a NIMBY issue - there are some real design problems with the protected bike lanes the city has already installed on Queens Boulevard, especially where vehicles and bicyclists must cross paths at the service-road exits.

The city has installed confusing red lights for the bicyclists, which they think are for the cars, but drivers actually have a flashing yellow light to access the service road. It's a dangerously confusing situation.

Some Community Board 4 members apparently recognized these issues, and given the choice, apparently decided to eliminate them by simply forgoing bike lanes.

Now the mayor and his administration have simply decided to ignore the community and move forward with the hastily engineered plan that it wants to move forward with.

If the de Blasio administration is insistent on bike lanes, there needs to be a fuller approach and not a piecemeal approach to the road redesign.

If it’s not one plan across all communities, then each community is going to provide input at different times and they won't always agree, like when Community Board 4 decided it didn't want protected bike lanes on the stretch of Queens Boulevard that goes through that district.

Whether its the redesign of Queens Boulevard or any other large-scale project, the de Blasio administration needs to get back to a community-based approach.
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