Urban planners call it “wayfinding.” Wayfinding is a bit of an art, by which pedestrians or vehicles can be intuitively guided through city streets or transportation hubs. A good example of bad wayfinding would be Manhattan’s Penn Station or Port Authority Bus Terminal, both of which assume that visitors will be familiar with their idiosyncratic floor plans. Pictured in today’s post are the street instructions governing bicycle and motor vehicle lanes at the corner of 39th Street and Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside, found on the southern extent of the truss bridge that overflies the Sunnyside Yards.
We know the Pulaski Bridge Bike lanes are happening, and they couldn’t come soon enough. Streetsblog reported today that Brooklyn’s Community Board 1 voted unanimously to support the project, Queens’ Community Board 2 is waiting on some more design details before taking a final vote. Here are the exciting details about the reconfiguration from StreetsBlog:
The path will run on the west side of the bridge, replacing one of three southbound car travel lanes over Newtown Creek… On the Queens side, the new bike path will curve alongside the existing walkway, which hugs a one-lane ramp that drivers use to access the bridge. To make room for the new bike path on the existing ramp, DOT will trim back the size of a Greenstreets traffic island at the bridge entrance. Drivers using the ramp will merge with southbound traffic from 11th Street entering the bridge, instead of continuing in the same lane as they do today.
So when’s it all happening? The DOT is waiting for state approval but expects it to come in the next few weeks. The DOT will then include the project in a contract including ten other small bridge rehab projects, but they hope to push this one to the first in line. Once construction actually starts, it will only take a few months before the bike lanes are a reality.
This week city officials told Community Board Two there are definite plans to install shared and buffered bike lanes on 11th Street, 39th Street, 49th Avenue and Skillman Avenue in 2014. The Daily News reports that the city wants to create north-south connections and east-west connections with the lanes, as well as connections to the Pulaski Bridge, Queens Plaza, Hunters Point, and of course to Sunnyside. CB2 asked for more bike parking locations in Long Island City and city officials said they’d look into potential spots. The board initially approved these changes over the summer, so there was no controversy at the meeting this week. Back then, the city aimed to install these lanes before the end of the year, but it looks like the timetable’s been pushed back.
The New York Daily News reports an update on the Pulaski Bridge bike lane proposal, something that DOT committed to back in May. DOT plans to remove a single lane of traffic to make way for a dedicated bike lane between Long Island City and Greenpoint some time next year. The city is just finishing up with an engineering study of the bridge, after which it expects to present the proposed streetscape changes to the Queens and Brooklyn community boards in December. At this point, local pols, pedestrians, community boards and nearby businesses have all expressed support for the proposed bicycle lane.
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.
Queens might not have Citi Bike yet, but bikers in Long Island City and Astoria are getting new bike lanes this summer, the Queens Courier reports. The bike lane along Vernon Boulevard will become a two-way protected lane and is getting a new buffer and will be painted green. Another bike lane along Rainey Park in Astoria will be created, which will free up 35 parking spots along 34th Avenue and 33rd Road.
We thought we’d update you on the bike lanes that have been installed in Astoria Park as part of the Queens East River & North Shore Greenway. They’ve come a long way since we first visited them in October 2012, and are looking great.
The bike lanes extend all the way from 20th Ave to Astoria Park South along the waterfront, which is split up between Ralph deMarco Park and Astoria Park proper. On the stretch between Ditmars Blvd. and 20th Ave, it’s a shared lane (bladers, walkers/runners, cyclists) and is indicated as such.
For a few weeks now, there has been construction going on down at Astoria Park – it looks like they’ve ripped out the sidewalk and edges of the park all along Shore Blvd. It’s blocked off by plastic orange fencing and the trees are surrounded by wooden slats, supposedly to keep them safe and indicate they are not to be cut down.
Just Thursday morning there were construction guys with jackhammers breaking up the sidewalk area close to the Hell Gate Bridge (you can see the debris in the photo above). (more…)