May 9, 2016 By Michael Florio
Supporters of the Department of Transportation’s plan to add bike lanes and other changes to Queens Boulevard will rally tomorrow evening in Elmhurst.
The rally will take place just before a Community Board 4 vote on the DOT’s proposal, which includes adding protected bicycle lanes, increasing pedestrian crossing space, removing some parking spaces, and a slew of safety tweaks to intersections along Queens Boulevard from 74th Street to Eliot Avenue. The DOT’s full proposal is available below this article.
This portion of Queens Boulevard has been excessively dangerous, as 47 people, including 21 pedestrians, were or severely injured between 2010 and 2014, according to DOT data. There were 777 total injuries during that stretch.
Council Member Daniel Dromm supports the DOT’s redesign plan to the thoroughfare and is hopeful that CB 4 will as well. He scheduled the rally to take place at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday outside of Sushi Island (87-18 Queens Blvd.), where cyclist Asif Rahman was killed by a truck in February 2008.
Following the rally, participants will walk to Italian Charities of America to attend CB 4’s monthly meeting, where it will vote on the DOT’s plan.
The Board’s Transportation Committee has not yet made a recommendation to the full Board on this proposal. That will take place tomorrow ahead of the Board vote, CB 4 District Manager Christian Cassagnol said.
“It could go either way,” Cassagnol said. “I’ve heard some members that are for the proposal and some that are against it.”
“Everyone has strong opinions on this proposal,” he said. “We have to wait and see for the outcome at tomorrow’s meeting.”
The DOT’s proposed changes to Queens Boulevard would mark the second phase in its overhaul of the notorious corridor known as “the Boulevard of death.”
The first phase, which took place in 2015, addressed Queens Boulevard from Roosevelt Avenue to 73rd Street. Phase three would cover from Eliot Avenue to Union Turnpike.