Eyes on the Street: Vernon Boulevard Gets Bike Lane Barriers

New concrete barriers are being added to Vernon Boulevard in Queens. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.
New concrete barriers are being added to Vernon Boulevard in Queens. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.

Biking in western Queens is getting a welcome upgrade.

The two-way bike lane on Vernon Boulevard has not had any type of protection from traffic since it was installed in 2013. The lane was frequently obstructed by drivers who used it as a parking spot.

Now, DOT is installing barriers along the bikeway to keep cars out. The project received the most votes on Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer’s participatory budgeting ballot.

Concrete Jersey barriers are going in along much of Vernon Boulevard, while some sections are getting flexible plastic bollards. There will also be short sections without barriers to accommodate turning trucks or to make room for passengers boarding buses.

The barriers, which are in the process of being installed this week, aim to fix problems like this. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.
The barriers, which are in the process of being installed this week, aim to fix problems like this. Photo: Clarence Eckerson Jr.

Two other sections of Vernon Boulevard that won’t receive barriers are the gaps in the bikeway at Queensbridge Park and Rainey Park. With curbside parking along the park edges, cyclists either have to shift to sharrows on Vernon Boulevard or use more circuitous waterfront paths in the parks.

Installation of the barriers is currently underway and expected to wrap soon.

  • kevd

    Kent Ave. too, please!

  • c2check

    This is a good beginning on this needlessly confusing corridor! The 2-way cycle track really needs to be continuous along Vernon. I have never been so confused and frustrated in my like as I was the first time I biked here.

  • Richard Miller

    I agree but I also hope DOT gets us an LIC appropriate paint job on those ugly Jersey barriers.

  • Bob Gaulke

    Every lane in the city needs these…

  • J

    Buffered Bike Lane on Prospect Ave: “The buffer attracts double parking, so we eliminated the buffer.”

    Buffered Bike Lane on Vernon Blvd: “The buffer attracts double parking, so we added a physical barrier.”

    Amazingly, the same agency (DOT) said both things.

  • Joe Enoch

    This will be an interesting test for some of the most selfish drivers in the city.

    This bike lane is easily the most encroached-upon by vehicles. I suspect many incredulous drivers will continue to just pull in where the barrier ceases and continue to park where they used to.

  • qrt145

    We should have a “most encroached upon bike lane” Streetsie Award this year! I nominate St. Nicholas Avenue between 122nd and 123rd St. in Manhattan, courtesy of New York’s Finest:

    https://www.google.com/maps/@40.809194,-73.95301,3a,75y,177.11h,67.67t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1s-fvGS2vpgEk2LGQ9vNJb0A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

  • colinpoe

    Sure enough – the tractor trailer delivery drivers at Costco are enjoying their new barrier-protected parking lane! The Q103 also uses this when traffic is heavy…

  • Earnest

    Thanks for the pic, but it’s not just heavy traffic that causes the Q103 to use the Vernon bike lanes. I’ve seen unoccupied city buses parked just before the southernmost Rainey Park entrance many, many times. I assume the drivers take their break inside Costco.

  • Earnest

    Despite the new barriers, and despite the No Stopping Anytime signs, trucks going in and out of Koenig Iron Works use the Vernon bike lanes like they’re personalized parking spots.

  • Realist

    I suppose that no one stopped to consider that this is an INDUSTRIAL area, with business being done all day. Please take your toy bicycles to another area and stop producing obstacles in an already congested area.

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