Douglaston is slated for a new look near the Long Island Rail Road station soon, but until then the city is working on street improvements nearby that will make it easier and safer for pedestrians to cross.
Work has begun near the intersection of 235th Street and Douglaston Parkway. The Department of Transportation is creating new crosswalks, expanded pedestrian space and street markings.
The project will be extended to 240th Street. Although in a residential neighborhood, Douglaston Parkway in that area is windy and often confusing for motorists.
It is hoped the new intersection additions will help to prevent that and make it safer for pedestrians as well.
As soon as the intersection project is completed, the DOT will begin work on the Douglaston Station Plaza at 235th Street and 41st Avenue.
Plans call for new crosswalks, movable furniture, planters, granite blocks, flexible bollards and umbrellas. Traffic will still be permitted around the vehicular turnaround.
Douglas Montgomery, a member of Community Board 11 and active in the Douglaston community, is excited about the project. He and other leaders hope the new plaza will attract more people to the shopping area, encourage new businesses and allow for public space for festivals and other activities.
He noted that a new wine bar, Wine Time, has opened in the former location of Giftalicious on the north side of the railroad tracks. It has been difficult to keep stores open in that area.
The train station is considered well used with about 2,300 riders on an average weekday and 1,000 on a weekend day. As for cars, 177 vehicles and 1,021 pedestrians use the LIRR turnaround during peak hours.
There are also talks underway to convert the unmanned ticket office into a community center where meetings could be held as well as events such as art shows, demonstrations and lectures.
CB 11 approved the plaza proposal in June. The main objection was traffic getting backed up at the station, but that didn’t happen even when a farmers market was located there on Sundays.