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Queens Chronicle

Bike lane proposal making headway

CB 5’s Transportation Committee unanimously supports the plan

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Posted: Thursday, January 30, 2014 10:30 am | Updated: 11:23 am, Thu Feb 6, 2014.

Bike lanes on the streets of Ridgewood and Glendale are one step closer to becoming a reality.

Community Board 5’s Transportation Committee voted 14-0 on Tuesday to recommend that the full board, at its February meeting, approve of adding 9.5 miles of bike routes, known as Phase 1, to the area this summer.

The recommendation, if adopted by the full board next month, also allows for the DOT to study Phase 2 of the bike lane proposal, which includes additional lanes throughout Middle Village and Maspeth, with possible implementation in 2015.

CB 5 and the DOT jointly brainstormed a planned bicycle network for the area over the past three years.

After multiple feasibility surveys and meetings with the board and its Transportation Committee, the lanes are now just months away from implementation.

Bike lanes in Phase 1 will run along three sets of parallel streets as well as a portion of Myrtle Avenue between 61st Street and 65th Place and Fresh Pond Road between Myrtle and Catalpa avenues.

The first and longest set of lanes within the district will run along Woodward and Onderdonk avenues between Flushing Avenue and 69th and Catalpa avenues.

The second pairing of lanes will run along Himrod and Harman streets between Metropolitan Avenue and Evergreen Avenue in Bushwick.

The third network, the shortest route, will be installed along Catalpa and 69th avenues, serving as connecting lanes running between first set and the Fresh Pond Road bike lane.

Phase 2 of the network will include routes along Metropolitan, Eliot and Grand avenues, around Juniper Valley Park and 61st, 69th and 80th streets among other streets, but will not be implemented until the spring of 2015.

The lanes will be constructed in the summer months if the proposal is approved by the full board at its Feb. 12 meeting.

The Department of City Planning contingent that appeared at Tuesday’s meeting also said that the agency will continue to study Metropolitan Avenue this year in preparation for potential bike lane implementation in 2015.

One of the difficulties that could come with Phase 2 is a proposed bike lane along a quarter-mile stretch of Eliot Avenue through Mount Olivet Cemetery between Mount Olivet Crescent and 67th Street.

Members of CB 5 have previously expressed concerns about a possible bike lane along the narrow, two-lane street, as it may increase the risk of traffic accidents with bicyclists sharing the street.

Department of City Planning representative Jack Schmidt sees the Eliot Avenue lane as an important piece of the network despite the objections, but the street will be studied over the next year and the agency is open to any alternative proposals for the area.

“The one thing we always look for is building a network and sprouting it out,” Schmidt said. “Eliot was to be one of the spines for which all other routes could connect to.”

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