April 7, 2022 By Christian Murray
Three protected bicycle lanes are going to be installed in Long Island City this summer as the Department of Transportation aims to fill out the protected bike lane network in Hunters Point.
The new lanes will be installed on major Long Island City corridors, which will provide essential links between the Queensboro and the Pulaski bridges—as well as between Court Square and Hunters Point.
The DOT announced that it plans to install protected bike lanes on 44th Drive—between Vernon Boulevard and 23rd Street—an essential east-west link from Court Square toward the Long Island City waterfront.
The plan also involves a protected bike lane on 11th Street–between 44th Drive and Jackson Avenue—a key link between the two major bridges; as well as a protected bike lane on Jackson Avenue, between Vernon Boulevard and the Pulaski Bridge.
The changes could result in approximately 100 parking spaces being removed, according to the plan. The plan expressly says 66 will be removed, with 41 repurposed.
The DOT presented the design at Community Board 2’s Transportation Committee meeting Tuesday evening.
The plan comes in the wake of bike safety advocates and elected officials urging the DOT to complete a protected bike network in the Long Island City area.
The push for bike safety came to a head when Robert Spencer was killed in a crash in March 2019 while riding his bike at the intersection of Borden Avenue and 2nd Street in Hunters Point.
The DOT is currently looking into Borden Avenue between Center Boulevard and Jackson Avenue in terms of making safety upgrades.
The DOT said that the new protected bike lanes will be installed at a time when there has been a big uptick in bicycling. It said cyclists are crossing the Queensboro bridge 6,400 times per day, with more than 2,000 trips across the Pulaski bridge.
Community Board 2’s Transportation committee gave the plan the thumbs up Tuesday night, according to Laura Shepard a board member and a Queens organizer for Transportation Alternatives. She tweeted that the plan will be presented to the board for a full vote on Thursday, May 5.