July 3, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
The city is making some changes to a major roadway in Long Island City.
Starting this month, the Department of Transportation will be implementing a number of safety improvements on a stretch of 11th Street from 44th Drive to 47th Avenue.
The changes in the five-block project area include eliminating a travel lane in both directions in some parts, and adding a painted bike lane between the parking and travel lanes.
Between 44th Drive and 47th Avenue, the DOT will be painting a dedicated bike lane on the north and southbound direction, and reduce the car travel lanes from two to one. In addition, the parking lane will be ever so slightly expanded, but will remain in use as a parking site.
A painted buffer will also jut out from the median to help narrow the roadway within these blocks.
But on the northbound side of 44th Drive up until 45th Avenue, however, the current shared bike and travel lane configuration will remain, and is the only place that will not see a change in the roadway layout.
The DOT said the changes date back to 2015 at the request of Community Board 2 and after a planning process with the community. The changes are an upgrade to an existing, important, and well-used connection to the Pulaski Bridge.
“This project will reduce speeding and improve access to the bridge with clearer lane assignments for cyclists and motorists, [and] upgrading the shared bike lane to a dedicated bike lane,” a DOT spokesperson said.
The roadway has already started to see the changes laid out, with bike lanes painted from 44th road to 46th Avenue after a fresh repaving of the roadway which began in June. The remainder of the project area still needs to be filled in, with some intersections still missing crosswalks and other markings.