Progress for Safer Streets From Queens and Manhattan Community Boards

Last night, the full board of Manhattan Community Board 6 passed a resolution in support of a DOT plan that would fill in a gap between two sections of Second Avenue’s protected bike lane by replacing a car travel lane with parking from 23rd Street to 14th Street. Across the East River, Queens CB 1’s transportation committee was receptive to community requests for traffic calming on 21st Street in Astoria and Long Island City, asking advocates to come back with more specific requests.

If CB 1 requests a study from DOT, 21st Street in Astoria, seen above at 37th Avenue, could become safer for pedestrians. Photo: ##https://www.google.com/maps/preview#!data=!1m8!1m3!1d3!2d-73.937751!3d40.758893!2m2!1f212.42!2f88.2!4f75!2m7!1e1!2m2!1siTt9Pr-9PgnqiV4pSxxP6A!2e0!5m2!1siTt9Pr-9PgnqiV4pSxxP6A!2e0&fid=5##Google Maps##

The CB 6 vote was surprisingly close. Although official numbers from the board will not be available until next week, reports from last night’s meeting indicate that the tally was 15-10, with two abstentions, meaning the plan was just three votes away from deadlock.

Although the plan adds parking and would not significantly affect traffic flow, according to DOT, a source said that there was resistance among some board members to a bike-related proposal or anything that might slow down travel times on the avenue. In the end, the resolution passed, and the buffered bike lane will be converted to a protected lane. Streetsblog has asked DOT when the project will be implemented; we’ll let you know if we hear anything back. Update: DOT says “implementation is scheduled to begin at the end of this month.”

In Astoria, Queens CB 1’s transportation committee was very receptive to a presentation by volunteers from Transportation Alternatives, Variety Boys and Girls Club of Queens, Mount Carmel Church, Ravenswood Senior Center and Queensview Co-Op. The groups are asking for shared lane markings for bicyclists and better crosswalks and intersections for pedestrians.

“We got really strong support,” volunteer Juliana Roberts-Dubovsky said. “They recognize that it’s a dangerous street.” Although the committee did not pass any resolutions last night, it asked the TA volunteers and their neighborhood partners to come back with more specific proposals and requests before the board approaches DOT.

“Transportation Alternatives is going to come back, and then the motion will be presented to the full board,” district manager Lucille Hartmann said, adding that while the volunteers will meet again with the committee, the resolution will only go before the full board. “The consensus was that this area requires some changes,” Hartmann said. “The board will support the work that Transportation Alternatives is doing.”

  • Ben Kintisch

    little by little the five boroughs are getting to be safe enough for my daughter. keep on keeping on people.

  • Anonymous

    Re: 2nd Ave, CB6: “resistance among some board members to … anything that might slow down travel times on the avenue.” THAT IS INSANE. That particular stretch of 2nd Ave is precisely one of the worst speedways on all of 2nd Ave. It’s such a shame that so many laypersons think fast traffic throughput is so important, seemingly simply because they grew up with such garbage and can’t imagine anything might be better for them and everyone.

  • TomG

    You forgot the most important information. Where is the second ave bike lane?? What streets?

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for catching this. It was in previous coverage (linked in the post), but I’ve updated the first paragraph: 23rd to 14th Streets.

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