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Transportation Alternatives to Hold Rally in Forest Hills Sunday Calling on DOT to Complete Queens Blvd. Redesign

Phase 3 (DOT)

March 28, 2019, By Meghan Sackman

A transportation advocacy group is holding a rally in Forest Hills on Sunday to call on the DOT to complete the final stretch of the Queens Boulevard redesign–between Yellowstone Boulevard and Union Turnpike.

Transportation Alternatives will be holding its rally at MacDonald Park from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday and will be demanding that the DOT implement Phase IV of the Queens Boulevard plan, which will lead to protected bicycle lanes, shorter pedestrian crossings and the elimination of 200 parking spaces between Yellowstone Boulevard and Union Turnpike.

The DOT said earlier this month that it plans to move forward with Phase IV but has yet to start construction or given a date. The agency, however, said last spring that it planned for the overhaul to be completed during summer of 2018.

“Every single day that they say ‘we’re going to complete this but we have no timeline’, they’re putting people’s lives at risk,” said Juan Restrepo, the Queens organizer for Transportation Alternatives.

The completion of Phase IV would be the final stretch of the redesign of Queens Boulevard that began in 2015 and would cover 7 1/2 miles of roadway from Sunnyside to Kew Gardens.

Restrepo said that it has been more than 300 days since the DOT said that Phase IV would take place and still no timeline has been provided.

Queens Boulevard Redesign (DOT)

The implementation of Phase IV, however, has faced stiff local opposition.

Community Board 6 voted down Phase IV of the plan on June 13, 2018, with 22 board members opposed and 12 in favor of the project. The board’s vote, however, was advisory and most thought the DOT would start construction soon after—especially since the mayor supports the plan.

The board’s main concern was the loss of about 200 parking spaces to make way for the protected bicycle lanes. It argued that small businesses would suffer.

Council Member Karen Koslowitz has been a critic of Phase IV too, saying that it would hurt small businesses and that protected bicycle lanes on Queens Boulevard–from Phase I through III– are hardly used.

“I travel Queens Boulevard every single day,” Koslowitz said last June at a 112 Police Precinct meeting.  “I just used Queens Boulevard [on my way back from Manhattan]. I didn’t see one bike. I am not against bikes or against [protected] bike lanes per se but I am against them on Queens Boulevard.”

Regardless of the concerns and vote against the bike lanes, Frank Gulluscio, District Manager of Community Board 6, said he has been in touch with DOT and that Phase IV is in fact happening.

“It’s going to happen,” Gulluscio said. “We expect work to start any day now.”

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5 Comments

Mike Schwinn

Why has someone in Astoria pushed forward what is best for our neighborhoods? Nobody uses the bike lane in the middle of Queens Blvd. First, there is a subway for easy transportation. Second, there is NO feasible safety plan for a continuous pathway by turn offs and there were better ideas of how to accomplish this. Third, this stupidity takes up an extra full lane of traffic in many areas. This was pushed by an Astoria resident?

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mpauls

Most of the advocates are not of the city and are paid schills. Look up Blaine , the lead for congestion pricing.

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Olivia 11415

No one uses those ridiculous bike lanes. They hurt businesses and take away much needed parking.

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Resident

This article fails to mention the recent report that hints at the DOT project being stalled by de Blasio to lessen the load on Koslowitz due to the proposed jail.

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Sophies Choice

Interesting. I’d take the bike lanes over the jail.

Time for KK to move to Boca Del Vista and run the condo board down there

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