June 21, 2021 By Allie Griffin
The Department of Transportation (DOT) will present a proposal Wednesday to create a “bike boulevard” along 39th Avenue in Sunnyside.
The agency plans to convert 39th Avenue, from 45th Street to Woodside Avenue, to a bike boulevard that would involve making significant changes to the strip. The DOT will discuss its plans during a Community Board 2 meeting that the public can view on Zoom on Wednesday.
The stretch of road is one of five current open streets — one in each borough — that the city plans to convert to a bike boulevard, a corridor designated and designed for bicycle travel.
The open street is currently closed to through traffic from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on most days. Local traffic, however, is permitted access for parking, deliveries and drop-offs at all hours.
The DOT plans to reduce vehicular traffic on 39th Avenue to prioritize it for cyclist usage by reducing speed limits, diverting cars to other streets and making some cross streets one-way as part of the bike boulevard proposal.
The agency also hopes to connect the bike boulevard to existing bike lanes and signed routes. For instance, workers plan to install shared bike lanes on Barnett Avenue and 43rd Street to connect to the Skillman Avenue bike lane.
The DOT aims to transform the five selected streets into bike boulevards by either November or December this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio previously announced in May.
The agency will first present proposals for each bike boulevard to local lawmakers and community boards like Queens Community Board 2 in the coming weeks.
The Queens CB2 meeting Wednesday starts at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. It is unclear what time during the meeting the DOT will make its presentation.
Lisa Deller, chairperson of the community board, said the board has yet to weigh in on the plan.
She said the board needs time to review the plan, since it was unaware of the proposal until de Blasio announced it during a press conference in May. The board also didn’t request it.
Deller said that she could see the appeal of the bike boulevard on 39th Avenue– especially given the proximity of the stretch to local parks. However, she said that Barnett Avenue should also be considered as a location.
To see the DOT plan, click here