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More Queens Streets Will Be Made Car-Free as Part of City’s Open Streets Initiative

Queens Council Member Daniel Dromm and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg at 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights, which is part of the open streets initiative (DOT Twitter)

May 22, 2020 By Allie Griffin

More Queens streets will be turned over to pedestrians and cyclists beginning tomorrow, as the city expands its open streets initiative during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new streets announced today put New York City above its goal of closing 40 miles to car traffic by the end of May, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

“New Yorkers deserve space to safely enjoy the outdoors in their own neighborhoods,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Thanks to hard work from a host of City agencies, we’ve beaten our Open Streets goal for this month – and made our city a national leader in expanding public space as we fight COVID-19.”

Over the course of the month, the city has rolled out multiple waves of street openings as part of the initiative, first announced on April 27.

De Blasio hopes to open 100 miles of city streets for pedestrian and cyclists’ exclusive use over the course of the pandemic.

All open street locations can be found on the Department of Transportation website.

The purpose is to provide more outdoor space for New Yorkers looking to get some fresh air amid stay-at-home orders. The additional mileage of open space will make it easier for people to follow social distancing rules as they venture outside to enjoy the warm weather.

Several streets in Queens were announced today and will close to traffic daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. beginning tomorrow.

The streets include:

120th Street between 94th Avenue and Liberty Avenue in South Richmond Hill

99th Street between Horace Harding and 66th Avenue in Rego Park

50th Avenue between 48th Street and 44th Street in Sunnyside

66th Road between 110th Street and Grand Central Parkway in Forest Hills

Ascan Avenue between Queens Boulevard and Austin Street in Forest Hills

60th Street between Laurel Hill Boulevard and 47th Avenue in Maspeth

107th Avenue between 159th Street and 160th Street in Jamaica

108th Avenue between 159th Street and 160th Street in Jamaica

159th Street between 108th Avenue and 109th Avenue in Jamaica

109th Avenue between 159th Street and 160th Street in Jamaica

Officers from local police precincts will monitor the open streets.

Several streets adjacent to Queens parks will also close to traffic, beginning tomorrow including:

Center Boulevard between 57th Avenue and Borden Avenue near Hunters Point Park in Long Island City

169th Street between Northern Boulevard and 43rd Avenue near Plaut Triangle in Flushing

85th Street between 25th Avenue and 30th Avenue near Gorman Playground in East Elmhurst

68th Road between 108th Street and Yellowstone Boulevard near Yellowstone Park in Forest Hills

Dieterle Crescent between Alderton Street and 65th Drive near Painter’s Playground in Rego Park

Barron Street between 116th Avenue and Foch Boulevard near Baisley Pond Park in Jamaica

Lakeview Boulevard East between 118th Avenue and 122nd Avenue near Baisley Pond Park in Jamaica

155th Street between 119th Avenue and 125th Avenue near Baisley Pond Park in Jamaica

Lakeview Lane between 122nd Avenue and Baisley Boulevard near Baisley Pond Park in Jamaica

122nd Avenue between Lakeview Boulevard East and Lakeview Lane near Baisley Pond Park in Jamaica

 

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JK

The open street on 99th Street in Rego Park has been a joke. Barriers are put up sometimes, cars continue to drive right through, and there’s not a single NYPD or DOT representative to enforce safety. Took my kids out once but it was not safe at all.

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FoHi

Such a silly idea- people seem to be out and about in Forest Hills, wearing masks. What are they going to do on that little stretch of Ascan Ave between Queens Blvd and Austin St? Just sit in the middle of the street? Walk from one end of the block to the other reveling at how cool it is they can walk in the middle of the road? Plus, it’s sounds like there will be some sort of temporary barrier put up as the closure is from 8am-8pm, I would assume they will need some sort of police presence at both ends monitoring this, sounds like a big waste of money. Great, so the “bench sitters” as I like to call them, by Portofino can now have some company from residents of that building on Ascan who can bring out a folding chair and sit in the middle of the street, woo hoo!

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