Pols particulars the “roadmap” for protected streets in western Queens
West Queens neighborhoods ought to get a community of protected bike lanes, extra space for pedestrians, a ban on parking close to intersections and extra — and it ought to occur by the top of 2029, in accordance with a avenue security plan that native elected officers and lawmakers are set to unveil. Defenders on Tuesday.
The Western Queens Avenue Security Plan (PDF), to be launched by 4 metropolis and state legislators representing the areas of Lengthy Island Metropolis, Astoria, Elmhurst, East Elmhurst, Maspeth, Sunnyside, Woodside, Corona and Jackson Heights, additionally requires extra space for the rising variety of small transit customers, and coverage adjustments to enhance security in an space that has develop into the middle of the town’s motion on livable streets.
Visitors deaths within the metropolis have surpassed gun deaths this yr, and the 4 representatives — Councilwoman Tiffany Cabán, Assemblymembers Zahran Mamdani and Jessica Gonzalez Rojas, and State Sen. Christine Gonzalez — famous that 13 of their constituents have been killed to date this yr Greater than 900 pedestrians and cyclists have been reported injured within the space as a clarion name to motion.
“Even one demise is simply too many, and these 13 tragedies have had a big influence on the residents of western Queens,” the elected officers wrote in a 20-page native transportation agenda. “Native advocacy and organizing for improved avenue security measures will increase after every demise, and advocates have develop into constant and vocal of their assist of neighborhood-level adjustments.”
The six-year timeline is a mix of beforehand introduced deadlines by the Division of Transportation and benchmarks that native politicians recommend shall be potential every year.
“There are numerous actions we will take now,” mentioned Laura Shepherd, an organizer of the Queens Transportation Options Undertaking. “Clearly we perceive the native bandwidth and we will not do every little thing this yr, however we will section issues in and get lots achieved over just a few years.”
The initiative echoes an analogous effort from 2019, when native advocates and then-Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer referred to as for a first-of-its-kind community of protected bike lanes in Lengthy Island Metropolis.
Just lately, there was a resurgence of exercise in that a part of city, with residents utilizing Reddit organizing tons of of individuals to come back to DOT Workshops and police division board conferences to demand safer streets.
The plan begins with initiatives scheduled for subsequent yr, together with lastly opening the southbound outer carriageway of the Queensboro Bridge as a separate pedestrian path, and redesignating thirty first Avenue into a motorbike boulevard.
The town should create an open avenue and plaza on Newtown Highway in 2025 and 2026, to make the road safer the place a driver killed 7-year-old Dolma Nadhun in February.
The lady’s demise sparked a wave of activism to crack down on parking close to intersections, also called daylighting, a problem on which native residents have been on the forefront. Queens Neighborhood Board 1 in June handed a decision in favor of addressing avenue security, inspiring a number of civic commissions in Brooklyn and Manhattan to do the identical in latest months.
State legislation prohibits parking inside 20 ft of intersections, however the metropolis has lengthy exempted itself from that requirement, and the brand new plan requires common daylighting within the space quite than “prioritizing parking over pedestrian and bicycle owner security.”
The just lately introduced annual record contains site visitors calming at mid-block pedestrian crossings on Steinway Avenue in 2025, together with a push to create a second protected bike lane between north-southeast thirty first Avenue to bridge the safe-roads hole in Astoria, for instance with a single lane heading North on thirty fifth Avenue and south on thirty sixth Avenue.
Different proposals embody designs to calm site visitors on highways reminiscent of thirty third Avenue and Astoria Avenue, constructing a steady Western Queens Greenway from the Pulaski Bridge to the World’s Honest Marina, and enhancing bicycle and pedestrian entry on the Triboro Bridge, the state’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Rules.
“The bigger aim of what we wish to see throughout Queens and throughout New York is for it to be a greater, cleaner, extra pedestrian- and bike-friendly metropolis,” mentioned Erin Dennis, a volunteer with the thirty first Avenue Open Avenue Collective, which made the suggestions. For the plan.
“You must take a look at how all these neighborhoods are linked,” Dennis added. “We would like folks to maneuver the identical approach they do on the subway.”
The push comes because the Adams administration has fallen behind legally required requirements for constructing new miles of motorbike and bus lanes underneath the council’s streets plan, and Hizzoner mentioned he cares extra about group enter than assembly any particular mileage targets.
Advocates who labored on the plan hope it can assist maintain officers on this — or any future — mayoral administration accountable.
“We’re making an attempt to set some deadlines or some construction, so we will have some accountability,” Shepherd mentioned. “The hope is that numerous this transcends departments.”
There are additionally a spread of broader coverage adjustments by means of laws, reminiscent of extra automated enforcement, decrease pace limits, and better tolls on heavy automobiles that are inclined to trigger extra accidents and deaths.
The town and state ought to encourage extra use of micromobility quite than the rising variety of gas-powered scooters by increasing charging infrastructure and launching an e-bike rebate program, whereas constructing bus lanes for each main bus line in western Queens.
The Division of Transportation didn’t reply for remark on the time of publishing this report.