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Queens Chronicle

CB 5 on the trail of bicycle lanes

Preliminary talks with city DOT, area civic organizations on lanes

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Posted: Thursday, December 22, 2011 12:00 pm | Updated: 4:05 pm, Thu Dec 22, 2011.

Bike lanes have been proliferating in New York City in the past few years.

And while cycling enthusiasts in southwestern Queens are not yet offered ed the same choices as Manhattan or other places, that could be changing.

Members of Community Board 5 have reached out to the city’s Department of Transportation to see just what would be available to the region, and just where lanes and paths could go.

“From what we’ve heard and what we’ve been told, the city is looking for communities to reach out to them about bike paths,” said John Maier of CB 5’s Transportation Committee.

“A few weeks ago the Ridgewood Property Owners Association and the city did reach out,” Maier said. “We want more education on what kinds of lanes we could get, what kinds of roads and conditions the city is looking for.”

And, of course, Maier and his fellow committee members know of some local roadways where they would recommend that the DOT not consider using.

“I think it’s a safe bet to say that Myrtle Avenue is a commercial area with heavy traffic and a narrow roadbed,” Maier said.

The Department of Transportation confirmed last week that representatives had met with the Ridgewood Property Owners, and that the talks were very general in nature, with no specific plans or proposals.

DOT said any plan would have to involve the broader community, including neighborhood and civic groups as well as the Community Board, which is exactly what Maier has in mind.

“We’ve learned that the DOT wants lanes and paths with connectivity,” he said. “We’ll want to find streets and paths that can go to other areas. Some places we have in mind have linkage to Brooklyn. A lane in Bushwick ends very close to our border, and there’s stuff out west that could connect with Williamsburg near Metropolitan Avenue.”

Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan is an enthusiastic supporter of bike lanes and has encouraged growth.

Maier said the city’s ultimate goal would be to have enough linked lanes and interlocking trails that would allow a cyclist living within CB 5’s area to travel into Manhattan.

“Hopefully in early 2012 we can have an information session with DOT, sit down and find out what the commissioner is looking for,” he said.

Welcome to the discussion.