Eyes on the Street: Stone Bike Lane in LIC


A reader sent in this photo earlier in the month of what looks like an inlaid stone bike lane on Center Boulevard, in the Queens West development in Long Island City. Repeated queries to DOT yielded no additional info, but we thought this one was too nice to sit on any longer. Anyone know how long this has been in place?

It’d be nice to see this Euro design elsewhere — though I wonder if it might be slippery when wet.

  • J

    This is at the intersection of Center Blvd & 47th Ave. See it on streetsview here.

  • mfs

    it’s probably not a bike lane, but an homage to the short-line rail system connected to the gantry cranes that used to occupy the site.

  • mfs

    forgot to say- you could probably contact the Queens West Development Corp, a subsidiary of ESDC, for more info.

  • mfs, look at the streetview above, they do seem to be a continuation of the bike lane a little bit further back (the missing linke hasnt been painted). Also, theyre on both sides of the street, I dont think a rail line existed on each side.

  • And holy crap at the change between the streetview and the satellite image!!! Its like a different world.

  • Michael1

    No, it’s a bike lane. Note how the bike lane and crosswalks are smoothed out for peds and bikes while the intersection is still cobblestone. That was made on purpose. It isn’t a homage to any rail system. All rail tracks headed west to east from the gantries further into industrial Long Island City. This is was in the industrial heydays in the mid-20th Century. Note, as well, how the bike lane is actually shown in the google map shots. However, since Center Blvd. is not complete, the DOT didn’t yet complete paint applications on Center Blvd. But, yeah, it’s a bike lane.

  • fyi

    This is a bike lane. This was a NY State DOT project, not City DOT. I wonder who’s going to fix all that granite when it cracks in a few years?

  • Ian Turner

    My experience with this stone based street marking, especially the stone pedestrian crosswalks, is that they are totally ignored by drivers.

  • Streetsman

    granite pavers in the street are typically textured at the surface for slip resistance so that should be fine

  • BicyclesOnly

    I’m with mfs. I used to bring my kids to this spot to play before there was any bike lane, and it was there. It also is positioned right next to the remnant of rail tracks that are the thematic centerpiece of this park

  • BicyclesOnly

    I’m with mfs. I used to bring my kids to this spot to play before there was any bike lane, and it was there. It also is positioned right next to the remnant of rail tracks that are the thematic centerpiece of this park.

  • I work in the general area and use this bike lane occasionally. It never struck me how novel it is, and how permanent it is. (No one will ever “repaint” this away!) It’s across from Gantry State Park, which has been undergoing a lot of rebuilding and expansion and streetscape beautification alongside the new high-rise waterfront condos in LIC.

    This bike lane (and the waterfront park) will eventually connect into the Brooklyn Greenway, which is planned to run from north of Queensboro Bridge to south of Brooklyn Bridge.

  • I think others are correct. They simply preinstalled the decorative stonework at the intersections and will connect them with paint as part of the final stage of construction.

    There are no design requirements that I am aware of to paint bicycle lanes through intersections so there is no need to do so here. Just look at it as a suggested travel route. Plus, would you rather ride on the cobbles. And to beat and not so dead horse (thanks Mark Walker), they do stuff like this all the time in Germany.

    However! What does concern me is the lack of paint marking the crosswalks. At night in the rain it would be very difficult to see that this gray stonework, is meant to be a crosswalk. Designers love to do stuff like this (and I like it too) but they often forget that what looks so nice on a printed out black and white CAD drawing, doesn’t have no where near the amount of contrast in real life, not to mention several years later.




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