This Is 111th Street Right Before a World Series Game at Citi Field

Residents of Corona are still waiting for DOT to implement a road diet and two-way protected bike lane on wide and dangerous 111th Street by Flushing Meadows Corona Park. The city unveiled the plan this spring in response to a campaign from the Queens Museum, Immigrant Movement International, Make the Road New York, and Transportation Alternatives. Julissa Ferreras, the local City Council member, is a big supporter of the project, but when Assembly Member Francisco Moya came out against it, DOT curled into a ball. The street remains a speedway.

Moya’s opposition rests entirely on his contention that 111th Street needs to be designed like a highway all year long so it can handle peak Mets traffic when the team plays at Citi Field. Here’s how he put it in June:

111th Street is a high traffic road, which suffers from massive spikes in congestion during the numerous cultural and sporting events in the surrounding area, including Mets games and USTA tournaments. There is little doubt that DOT’s proposal to reduce car traffic to one lane will result in slowed traffic and increased congestion, but I am also deeply concerned with the possibility of an increase in accidents and air pollution for the immediately surrounding area.

A DOT traffic study found that Citi Field and U.S. Open traffic doesn’t affect this part of 111th Street much at all, but in a classic delay tactic, Moya’s chief of staff insisted on a “study over the whole peak summer.”

Well, it was October, not summer, but volunteers with TA and Make Queens Safer went out and got video of 111th Street during the peak of the sports traffic peak, the biggest event in the history of Citi Field — the World Series. They recorded these videos in the lead-up to games three and four, which both started at 8:05 p.m., with the stadium filling up well before the first pitch.

The videos were shot at the intersection of 111th Street and 46th Avenue, which is toward the end of the project area closest to Citi Field. Between the two clips, you can see traffic from 5 p.m. until just a few minutes before game time. At no point are there more than two or three vehicles queued up at red lights.

In other words, during the biggest Mets event ever, traffic on 111th Street could flow fine with one lane in each direction, Moya’s opposition to the safety project is ludicrous, and when the Mets bring the World Series back to Queens in 2016, there better be a protected bike lane on this street.

  • Every time opponents of safer streets make up anecdotes and imagine problems that are not there, beware – livable streets advocates will be there to disprove you. Because we care. Because we have been through every single sort of excuse and made up problem as to why we can’t make our streets safer. An excellent job by the Queens Transportation Alternatives committee. My hat is off to them.

  • Ken Winograd

    Thank you Mr. Fried. The videos speak volumes. A livable future for Queens depends on a whole different mindset: about food, transportation, entertainment, how to live ‘in community’ and living more simply (so others can simply live). Would someone please invite Assemblyperson Moya to take a bike ride through his district.

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