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One-Way Shore Blvd, New Bike Lanes Approved For Astoria Park Vicinity

Source: DOT

Source: DOT

Feb. 17, 2016 By Michael Florio

New bike lanes and traffic safety improvements around Astoria Park got the green light from Astoria’s community board Tuesday night.

Community Board 1 voted overwhelmingly in approval of three proposals from the Department of Transportation that include revamped roadways with new protected bike lanes on Shore Boulevard, 20th Avenue and Hoyt Avenue North.

One of these proposals would convert Shore Boulevard into a one-way street.

This redesign also includes the installation of a dedicated bike lane on the roadway – as opposed to the existing bike lanes sharing a path with pedestrians along Astoria Park’s perimeter – ADA accessible curb extensions, and no reduction in parking spaces.

Shawn Macias, DOT project manager, told CB 1 that these upgrades will calm traffic, better separate cyclists and pedestrians and shorten crossing distances for pedestrians.

The bike lanes along Shore Boulevard will also have rumble strips before pedestrian crosswalks, to prevent bicyclists from speeding through them, according to Macias.

The 20th Avenue revamp includes the installation of a two-way parking protected bike path and narrowing the roadway.

A recent DOT study found that 88 percent of westbound drivers and 76 percent of eastbound drivers speed on 20th Avenue. These upgrades aim to reduce speeding and drag racing and also improve pedestrian safety by shortening the crossing distance, especially for children using nearby sports fields.

“Wider roads often lead to speeding,” Macias said. “The narrower road should reduce this issue.”

The Hoyt Avenue proposal also includes the installation of a two-way bike path and removal of car lane, which the DOT said will create safer bike connections between the Triborough/RFK Bridge and the waterfront, while calming vehicular traffic. This design keeps pedestrians, bike, and vehicles separate.

The proposals received mixed reactions from Astoria residents at CB 1’s meeting.

Several residents expressed concerns that making Shore Boulevard a one-way street will lead to increased traffic on other streets around Astoria Park, such as 19th Street and 21st Street.

“I like the way you have it now and I think it is much safer for everyone,” one resident said.

Others were happy to have safer conditions for both cyclists and runners.

Macartney Morris, a cyclist and runner who frequents the park, said he has come across multiple unsafe conditions along Shore Boulevard.

“I wish the proposal was car-free and gave the waterfront back to pedestrians,” he said. “But this is a great compromise for both car drivers and pedestrians.”

However, the Board ultimately voted in approval of each project with 34 members in support and only one in opposition.

Councilman Costa Constantinides, who supports these proposals, was pleased with the Board’s decision.

“This plan will deeply improve traffic safety throughout Astoria for our pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists,” he said. “The stronger connection between the waterfront, Astoria Park, and residents will be an asset for our entire neighborhood.”

According to the Councilman’s office, these upgrades will be implemented by the end of the summer.

Astoria Park Study Feb 2016 by Queens Post

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8 Comments

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Frank Farance

A moronic traffic design. The western shore is already congested with no alternate routes, so Astoria Park Shore Road was essential for traffic flow between neighborhoods, but now all northbound traffic is forced onto 1 lane of 21 street (from Astoria Blvd South and northward).

If they felt they needed more room for bike lanes they should have taken a couple more feet from the park, which would not have affected the park’s usage.

While, I support cyclists, one needs to respect all the users of the road, not just cyclists. If there were convenient alternate routes, well then it might be acceptable.

Clearly, no one did any neighborhood planning on the traffic, they just myopically focused upon one road and didn’t even consider an alternate solution: make the existing bike lanes on the sidewalk/park wider, for which there was already room.

A terrible engineering/planning job!

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Anonymous

19th Street needs to be a one way….going in same direction as shore Blvd , thereby preventing cars from speeding down street circling the park..

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Harry Ballsagna

Great idea. I’ve lived in Astoria for over 30 years. “Long time” residents need to get with the changing times. Maybe Astoria is not for people like Prez2018 anymore and they need to move out to pasture.

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Prez2018

This has city corruption written all over it. Astorians didn’t even know there was a meeting at CB-1. Most Astorians don’t even know what CB-1 is. If you wanna spend money, clean the place up including the shore below the sidewalk. Return the baseball fields. Modernize the pool. This is our park. It doesn’t belong to people who move into Astoria for a year and move out again. Why spend money to reface what already works? A total waste.

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Rita

19th street must be one way,or this will be a mess. Lost my third rearview mirror last week to traffic trying to pass a a too narrow street…

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irish lassy -

this was already a done deal in writing awhile ago all they did was have phony meetings that is all —

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