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Eyes on the Street

DOT Upgrades Vernon Blvd. Protected Bike Lane by Astoria’s Rainey Park

DOT finished installed protected bike lane upgrades on the blocks south of Costco on Vernon Boulevard last month.

Photo: Jackie Zamora|

The Vernon Boulevard protected bike lane is safer than ever outside Rainey Park thanks to new barriers and flexi-posts.

The two-way protected bike lane along Vernon Boulevard by the Queens waterfront received extra concrete and plastic protection this spring between 33rd Road and 35th Avenue.

The Department of Transportation installed the green-painted lane along the west side of Vernon way back in 2013, but left several segments exposed to traffic. DOT's recent upgrades — which the agency finished adding to the blocks adjacent to Rainey Park last month — allow cyclists to traverse the corridor without fear of dangerous intrusions from motorists.

Streetsblog checked in on the changes last week. DOT bolstered the two-way bike lane with concrete Jersey barriers as well plastic delineators to physically separate people biking from motorized traffic.

A cyclist safely cruises down the newly improved segment of Vernon south of the Costco.Photo: Jackie Zamora

Over 700 cyclists ride on Vernon Boulevard each day, according to the DOT. Cyclists have griped for years about the insufficient separation between the bike lane and the rest of the roadway. The absence of barriers on parts of the route allows drivers to block and park in the bike lane with impunity, as below:

In response, DOT has installed concrete barriers in several locations on Vernon Boulevard over the past few years — including in 2015, 2022 from 46th Avenue to Queens Plaza South and last year from the Queensboro Bridge to the Roosevelt Island Bridge.

The city also plans to add a bike boulevard on 1.1 miles of 31st Avenue in Astoria later this summer between Vernon Boulevard on the waterfront and Steinway Street, converting the road to one-way for cars and two-way for bikes.

DOT plans to install the bike boulevard this summer and fall — and it couldn't come soon enough, after an NYPD chase down the corridor left a cyclist critically injured last week.

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