Eyes on the Street: A Safer Northern Boulevard Bridge Entrance

Before and after: The Northern Boulevard bridge path entrance in Willets Point gets a makeover. Left photo: Google Maps. Right photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.

Riders in the NYC Century Bike Tour last weekend might have noticed a recent upgrade on the bike/pedestrian path on the Northern Boulevard bridge as they navigated from Flushing to Willets Point.

The solid green line is the Flushing Bay Promenade. Connecting to the Northern Boulevard Bridge, to its east, just got easier. Image: DOT Bike Map

There is now a traffic signal where the path crosses a ramp from the Van Wyck Expressway, as well as a two-way connection beneath the Whitestone Expressway connecting to the Flushing Bay Promenade.

Before the upgrade, the location was a hostile one for cyclists and pedestrians. Drivers on the ramp received little indication that the bridge path crossed the roadway. Cyclists who exited the bridge had no bikeway to guide them to the promenade. And cyclists wishing to access the bridge from the west had to illegally ride against traffic.

Now, westbound cyclists are directed to use a new sidewalk, while eastbound cyclists have a contra-flow bicycle lane

In October 2011, DOT presented the proposal to Community Board 7’s transportation committee. The improvements were requested by Queens Borough President Helen Marshall and introduced in conjunction with a new DOT asphalt plant adjacent to the path.

  • Anonymous

    I went over that bridge two weeks ago right before they fixed it, and again during the Century. The change is sooooo much better.

  • Anonymous

    #http://goo.gl/fjufI

  • Anonymous

    Now let’s see some more ped bike changes around Citifield.  So dangerous and scary.  Sidewalks from parking lots are not connected.  

  • DeltaEmployee

    At last! This reduction of transportation costs means Flushing’s super-cheap amazing Chinese food just got even cheaper!

  • Hadeone

    Try bigger pictures next time. You can barely see what’s going on.

  • I welcome the new contraflow eastbound approach. Formerly one had to go past Citi Field, then through the Willets Point industrial area, with crummy road surface, then merge onto a highway offramp, then come to a complete stop in order to navigate onto the bridge. Now if they would only trim back some of the flora along the bridge path and improve visibility.

  • I noticed that in particular on the Century  – I too had gone through two weeks before – but there also seemed to be some other small, yet important changes in Queens – very nice to see.  Thanks, NYCDOT for implementing, Thanks, CB 7 and Helen Marshall, and thanks TA, StreetsBlog/Streetfilms and others for continuing to push for safer, better bike/ped infrastructure.

  • El Tortiste

    Yes I agree that the final improvement needs to be drastically trimming back some of the branches sagging into the bike/ped path at the end of the bridge.