The Department of Transportation is testing out different safety initiatives for Woodhaven Boulevard, a highly-trafficked thoroughfare that is the site of many accidents. Queens Courier reports that the DOT is three years into a five-year study. So far, the DOT added extended sidewalks and medians from Queens Boulevard to 62nd Road, made southbound traffic on the service road at the intersection of Union Turnpike and Woodhaven Boulevard a “must turn right” lane, and shrunk the two lanes of the service road into one. At a community meeting held this month, the DOT reported that since the improvements, crashes are actually up on Queens Boulevard to 62nd Road. Accidents at Union Turnpike and Woodhaven Boulevard decreased 29 percent.
The DOT will continue to implement safety changes — the service roads between Atlantic Avenue and Rockaway Boulevard will be changed into one lane of traffic and one parking lane. They also hope to create a northbound dedicated bus lane from the Belt Parkway to Liberty Avenue.
The Community Board 5 Transportation Committee has spent the last several months working with the Department of City Planning and the Department of Transportation to install bike lanes in Ridgewood, Maspeth, and Middle Village. After the committee’s latest meeting, attended by Streetsblog, it looks like these plans will come to fruition next year. The Department of City Planning proposed these bike routes: Eliot Avenue from Metropolitan Avenue to Woodhaven Boulevard; Juniper Boulevard South from 69th Street to Dry Harbor Road; Woodward Avenue, Onderdonk Avenue, and connecting streets from Metropolitan Avenue to Cypress Hills Cemetery; Central Avenue and Cooper Avenue from Cypress Hills Street to Woodhaven Boulevard; 69th Street from Calamus Avenue to Metropolitan Avenue; and 80th Street from the Long Island Expressway to Myrtle Avenue. Streetsblog also notes, “There are four additional routes that could receive further study: Grand Avenue, a north-south route between Ridgewood and Maspeth, a route between Ridgewood and Bushwick, and a loop around Juniper Valley Park.” As you can see in the map above, central Queens sorely lacks bike lane infrastructure, so these plans will be welcome news to bikers. The Department of City Planning will host a workshop with the Community Board next month for more feedback on lane placement. The DCP and DOT are hoping to install bike lanes as soon as fall of next year.
The Transportation Committee also looked at plans to make the 71st Avenue Plaza in Ridgewood permanent. It’s expected that the committe will write a letter of support for the permanent plaza proposal, which heads to the Public Design Commission next month.
A liquor store plans to open at a former garage and gas station at Cooper Avenue and Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village, Times Newsweekly reported. The 5,000-square-foot store would open in a space that has been vacant for years. A spokesman for City Council Member Elizabeth Crowley said nearby liquor store owners in have expressed concerns that the new store would take away business. The owners may have hired an attorney to oppose a liquor license application. GMAP
We were driving east on Metropolitan Avenue a couple of weeks ago and had to pull over when we reached the intersection of 69th Street. Why? There was one of the coolest looking garages we’d ever seen. It wasn’t too hard to figure out what the place was, as the name Frank T. Lang is prominently displayed on the facade. Although it’s now an auto repair shop, Forgotten NY reveals that the 1904 structure was originally built by a mausoleum and monument manufacturer named, you guessed it, Frank Lang. According to the Queens Chronicle, the building was used for monuments until 1946, when three knitting mills moved in. The Lang Building is in a part of Queens known as Middle Village. For a visual stroll through Middle Village, check out this page of Forgotten NY. GMAP
More mature audiences are invited to watch the 2012 film ‘Argo‘, winner of three Academy Awards and directed by Ben Affleck. This historical drama thriller is based on true events and revolves around the fear and anticipation of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis.
Middle Village Queens Library, 7231 Metropolitan Ave., Middle Village (GMAP).
The good folks at Patch reported on an upcoming outreach program by US Representative Grace Meng (D-Flushing) called “Congress on Your Corner,” it will be a chance for neighbors to voice their concerns, discuss community issues on their mind, or just stop by and meet Representative Meng.
Over on Atlantic Cities, they are running an article called The Neighborhoods With the Most Single Ladies (and Men), focusing on the straight singles/dating scene in various urban areas around the country. To get to their conclusions Trulia looked at the ratio of men living alone to women living alone; gays and lesbians were taken out of the equation; and those over 65 were, too (apparently “ differences in life expectancy skew the gender ratio in the later years”). Data was culled from the 2010 decennial Census; additional details on methodology is at the bottom of the Atlantic Cities article.
In the “big three power centers of the Northeast: Washington, D.C., Boston, and New York” women outnumber men. (more…)
Wine lovers looking for a glass of bold bordeaux, crisp champagne, or powerhouse pino to help unwind after a long week don’t have to leave the borough to find amazing deals on tasty varietals. We sussed out four fantastic places in Eastern Queens to get wined and dined in fabulous style.
Image source: Danny Brown Wine Bar
Danny Brown is the borough’s only Michelin Star-rated restaurant, which means that in addition to excellent food by chef/proprietor Danny Brown, this Forest Hills gem also boasts a stunning selection of wines from across the globe including Germany, Portugal, New Zealand, Austria, Argentina, Australia and even South Africa. French, California and Spanish varieties dominate the expansive menu, which features options available by the bottle and the glass ($8-$10).
Image source: sakraft1 on Flickr – Mt. Zion Cemetery in Maspeth
Narratively, publisher of fascinating stories, has for us the story of demographer Moses Gates and his adventures visiting all 2,167 census tracts in NYC. A census tract is “a geographic creation of the United States Census Bureau, designed to break the country up into bite-sized chunks of about 4,000 people each.” Demographers love them because it’s an small enough area to analyze effectively (compared to zip codes, which can contain a huge number of people).
Recently, this pretty article from USA Today (.pdf) on The Best of Queens was published, listing some of the best in Queens. While we agree with a number of the choices, we have some differences of opinion. So, we thought we’d put together our own list. There are five categories – restaurants, attractions, shopping, nightlife, and hidden gems – with three items per category. Here we go!
Image source: Danny Brown Wine Bar
Danny Brown Kitchen & Wine Bar. At this writing, Danny Brown is the only restaurant in Queens to have a Michelin star, which is a big deal. They really do deserve it – everything we’ve tasted there has been excellent. They have dishes that stay on the menu over time (a burger, chicken under a brick), but they do a lot of seasonal cooking, too. Their cheese and charcuterie plates are really good, too. Their wine selection is fabulous, too. So grab a table or sit at the bar – it’s a great experience no matter what. 104-02 Metropolitan Ave., Forest Hills, NY 11375 (GMAP)