May 4, 2016 By Michael Florio
Construction to turn Shore Boulevard into a one-way street will begin this month.
The Department of Transportation will begin implementing changes in mid-May that will create a new protected bike path and ultimately remove a lane of traffic on Shore Boulevard, making it one-way for cars.
The DOT announced the construction timeline in a flyer, first noticed by DNA Info.
Currently, a two-way bike path runs along the park’s edge next to a pedestrian walkway, which the DOT said causes conflict between cyclists and walkers. The new bikeway will be separated out from the park, onto the roadway. It will also have rumble strips before pedestrian crosswalks, to prevent cyclists from speeding through them.
The DOT will make room for the new bikeway by removing the northbound lane of traffic.
The DOT will also paint curb extensions at crosswalks from the waterfront to Astoria Park, which aim to increase visibility and shorten crossing distance for pedestrians.
Shore Boulevard generated a lot of discussion last summer, especially after Assembly Member Aravella Simotas introduced the idea of closing the road to vehicles from Astoria Park South to Ditmars Boulevard.
The DOT subsequently came up with its plan to make the road one-way after collecting input from elected officials and community members. Community Board 1 approved the redesign in February.
The DOT will also begin implementing changes on 20th Avenue between Shore Boulevard and 37th Street this month.
Those changes will include the installation of a protected two-way bike path on the north side of the road. Currently, cyclists ride between the parking lane and vehicle lane in both directions.
The DOT will also install a bus island at 31st Street to allow for safe loading and unloading.
The 20th Avenue changes are intended to reduce speeding, which the DOT says is a major problem along the corridor.
CB 1 also approved this redesign in February.