After years of planning, the Department of Transportation is set to add nine more miles of bike lanes to Sunnyside and Long Island City.
Last year there were two community forums about the proposal and then on June 16 the Community Board 2 Transportation Committee approved the plan.
The lanes will not take away any parking spots and will add connections to Brooklyn via the Pulaski Bridge, as first reported by Streetblog.
“Will it make everyone happy? No,” CB 2 Chairman Joe Conley said, “but there’s more and more bikes every day and more bike lanes are needed.”
In 2007 there were only 1.45 miles of bike lanes in CB 2’s district. With the addition slated for sometime by the end of the year there will be 21 miles in total.
Additions will include shared lanes on 11th Street between 44th Drive and Queens Plaza South, on 50th and 51st avenues south of Vernon Boulevard, 47th Avenue between Skillman and 51th Street, and 39th Avenue between Roosevelt Avenue and an area near Northern Boulevard, where CB 2’s district ends.
There will be a swirl of shared lane markings on and off the Pulaski Bridge and the DOT plans shared and buffered bike lanes on 49th Avenue and Skillman Avenue, which leads from LaGuardia Community College to Brooklyn. On Skillman from 49th Avenue to 11th Place the agency plans to put bike lanes with an approximately 2-foot-wide, striped painted buffer lane to protect bicyclists from vehicles. There’s a proposed buffered lane on the 39th Street bridge as well.
“The more protected bike lanes the better, including for the teens in our programs,” said Helen Ho, development director at Recycle-A-Bicycle, which has a workshop in LIC and leads youth bike rides around the neighborhood.
A separate proposal, tabled by CB 2 and approved by CB 1, would continue waterfront bike lanes on Vernon Boulevard and replace some lanes with shared markings to allow for 35 more parking spots. CB 2 will revisit the proposal in September.
In addition to this project Conley would like the DOT to install more bike parking.
“On Jackson Avenue they are chained to everything imaginable,” Conley said.
He added in LIC that the sleek, circular bike racks the DOT has installed around the borough don’t provide enough space. Instead he would like to see bike parking spaces, which provide about 12 spots. The DOT recently installed one such parking unit on 82nd Street by Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights.
Conley suggests a triangle of space on the east side of 50th Street and Jackson Avenue, where no vehicle parking spaces would be eliminated.