Tour the Safer 111th Street With the People Who Fought Three Years to Make It Happen

Last week, Corona residents celebrated the completion of a road diet and protected bike lane along the border of Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

With a protected bike lane, 111th Street is safer for riders of all ages.
With a protected bike lane, 111th Street is safer for riders of all ages.

For people who live west of Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the only way to walk or bike there is to cross 111th Street. But until recently, getting across this street was a death-defying risk, especially for parents with young kids.

The old 111th Street had five travel lanes and two parking lanes, forcing people to scramble across a wide street with rampant speeding to get to and from the park. Most people on bikes chose to ride on the sidewalk instead of mixing it up with motor vehicle traffic.

In 2014, a coalition of Corona groups banded together for safer biking and walking access to the park. Working with Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, advocates from Immigrant Movement International, Make the Road New York, and Transportation Alternatives pushed for a redesign that would narrow the pedestrian crossings and install a two-way protected bike lane.

Three years later, Mayor de Blasio finally gave the green light to DOT’s safety overhaul of 111th Street. It was the culmination of relentless advocacy by local residents, including the newly-formed collective Mujeres en Movimiento, who had to overcome opposition from local power brokers like Queens Community Board 4 transportation co-chair James Lisa and Assembly Member Francisco Moya.

With DOT crews wrapping up work on the 111th Street project, local residents went for a celebratory ride last week. Streetfilms’ Clarence Eckerson was there and put together this video tour of the redesigned street and retrospective of the three-year advocacy campaign to make this project happen. Congratulations to everyone involved on a hard-fought victory for safe walking and biking in the neighborhood.

  • HamTech87

    Congratulations to everyone who made this happen. Thank you for your perseverance. Now let’s hope we get the same thing along Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx.

  • Bluewndrpwrmlk96

    So glad this is in! Will have to ride this stretch soon. Looks like Daniel Dromm’s been stepping up: Queens Bl and 111th St. Thank you to all the activists, members of the community and elected officials that had to fight to achieve this; the delay, rhetoric and shadow politics was totally unnecessary and should have been implemented years ago (you can thank Qns CB4 for that). So…I guess now that it’s in Jim Lisa’s still moving?

  • He still lives there. Prediction: one day he’ll say he was all for it, all along.

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