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Queens Chronicle

A decision on bike lanes expected soon

Community Board 5 plans to decide on Phase 1 within a month

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Posted: Thursday, January 9, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 10:57 am, Thu Jan 16, 2014.

A decision on the possible implementation of bike lanes throughout southwestern Queens neighborhoods may be coming within the next month.

Community Board 5 Chairman Vincent Arcuri said that, while the board is still discussing the proposed network of routes put forth by the Department of Transportation in conjunction with the Department of City Planning, the board’s review will be completed between now and mid-February.

“We’re not done yet, we’re still reviewing it,” he said. “Between now and mid-February, the review will be done.”

Arcuri also said that on Jan. 28, CB 5’s Transportation Committee will meet, where the possible bike lanes will be the main topic of discussion.

The current plan is known as Phase 1, and any additional phases would involve the implementation of even more bike lines to the area in the future if Phase 1 is a success.

The proposed lanes that would traverse Middle Village, Ridgewood, Glendale and Maspeth will connect with multiple other routes to the west, east and north of the area, according to DOT maps.

For example, a rider traveling north along a proposed bike lane in Maspeth will connect with the Jackson Heights network in Elmhurst.

A cyclist traveling west on a designated route through Ridgewood will also be able to connect with the Bushwick network at the intersection of Gates and Central avenues in Brooklyn.

“With input from and in consultation with the community, DOT and DCP identified six potential new routes,” a DOT spokesman said in an email. “These agencies will continue to work closely with the community over the coming months to identify the specific routes that can be implemented in spring 2014.”

Arcuri noted that, while many board members support the plan, there are still a few issues to be sorted out.

“Many on Community Board 5 thought it was a good idea. There are no real routes or connections,” he said. “But imposing it really depends on the new mayor and whether he’s for these bike lanes or not.”

The bike lanes themselves are not without scrutiny, either.

According to the DOT maps, one of the proposed lanes will travel along the nearly quarter-mile stretch of Eliot Avenue between 67th Street and Mount Olivet Crescent.

That section of roadway is a narrow, two-lane strip that runs through the Mount Olivet Cemetery, and putting a bike lane on an already cramped street may prove to be logistically difficult, according to Arcuri.

“The only real issue is the stretch of Eliot Avenue in the cemetery because the road is narrow,” he said. “With the possible reconstruction of the Metropolitan Avenue Bridge, Eliot Avenue becomes the alternate route.

“When is the bridge happening and can a bike lane on Eliot hold off until the bridge is done?” he asked. “We don’t know.”

Arcuri expects the bike lanes to be easy on the city’s wallet, as well.

“I don’t think that it will cost all that much,” he said. It’s really all just paint and signs.”

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