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Queens Chronicle

Astoria Park lanes to get a tuneup

Departments propose to mitigate potentially dangerous, ugly spots

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Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 10:12 am, Thu Apr 4, 2013.

Sharing isn’t always beneficial.

Members of the Astoria Park Alliance were dismayed in the fall to find that the shared bike and pedestrian lanes in Astoria Park, which were constructed as part of the $3.4 million Queens East River and North Shore Greenway that aims to connect the shoreline from Newtown Creek in Long Island City all the way to the Flushing Bay Promenade via a pedestrian-cyclist path, were a narrow 4 feet in width.

They told the Parks Department that once the weather warmed up the tight squeeze could lead to collisions.

Residents have also complained that excessive signage has become an eyesore in the neighborhood.

The Parks Department and the Department of Transportation then came back with some fixes, CB 1 Parks Chairman Richard Khuzami said at a meeting on March 19.

“They said they would do these things, but it’s not that specific,” Khuzami said, noting the lack of exact locations for the alterations. “Once we see it we will make our comments.”

The proposal includes:

• subtracting redundant Greenway signs in tight spaces while focusing on where bike paths diverge from pedestrian areas;

• attaching metal reflectors to barrier fences where the path runs alongside roadways used by cars such as between Greenway and Shore Boulevard; and

• removing some of the markings for separate lanes for bikes and pedestrians and creating a wider shared lane instead.

“If you have any problems with meetings between bikes, pedestrians or with these with automobiles, or any visual pollution, you should call 311,” Khuzami said. “City agencies tend to make adjustments based on the 311 complaints they get.”

Neither the DOT nor Parks has given a timeline for when these changes may be made.

Last Friday not very many individuals were braving the cold, but one older man who walks the paths daily said he was ambivalent about the changes.

“They fixed it last year. It’s OK,” he said.

As for future upgrades he said, “Why not?”

Welcome to the discussion.