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DOT plans to bring additional bike lanes to Jackson Heights, gets community board approval

bike network

May 26, 2015 By Michael Florio

The Department of Transportation is planning on bringing more bicycle lanes to Jackson Heights that would be part of a network that would go from Flushing Bay Promenade to Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The DOT presented half of the plan to Community Board 3 last week. That plan would run from the Flushing Bay Promenade to Roosevelt Ave, primarily along 108th Street.  The board overwhelmingly approved the plan.

The second half of the plan, which will run to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, will be presented to community board 4.

The proposal put before community board 3 last Thursday calls for a bike lane that would run along 108th Street, from Roosevelt Ave to 31st Drive and continue down to Ditmars Blvd.

Even with the addition of bike lanes, a DOT representative said that there would not be any parking or car lanes removed along the stretch. The road would be just being more defined, he said.

“There will be no parking [spaces] removed on any of these streets,” a DOT representative said. “There will be space for bikes to operate safely, vehicles to operate safely and vehicles to park.”

Currently, 108th Street, from Roosevelt Ave to Northern Blvd, is 22 feet wide on each side of the road. It is used for parking, driving and bicycles (see picture on slide three below).

The DOT’s proposal is to clearly define those three uses. It plans to designate eight feet from the curb for parking, with an additional 14 feet to be used as a shared lane for both bicycles and cars. The idea is for bicycles to ride alongside the parked cars.

The next stretch will run along 108th Street from Northern Blvd to Astoria Blvd, where 108th Street becomes 31st Drive, and then runs to Ditmars Blvd. Each half of the street provides 24 feet of space, currently being combined for parking, bicycles and cars, with no specific lane for each.

The proposed plan is to use the initial eight feet from each curb as a parking lane, with the next five feet being used as a bike lane, leaving 11 feet for a lane for vehicles.

After Ditmars Blvd there would be a stretch of off-street bike paths that would end at the Flushing Bay Promenade.

Community board 3 approved the plans with only two board members deciding not to vote for it. These members abstained.

One board member who abstained said he was worried that this proposal would lead to greater traffic congestion especially as more developments come to the neighborhood.

However, the DOT representative disagreed.

“We are preserving the existing vehicular capacity,” the representative said. “We are not removing any travel lanes. We are taking the existing roadway width and reorganizing the space.”
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JacksonHeights Bike Lanes by QueensPost

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