New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora, Department of Environmental Protection, and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer today announced the Long Island City/Hunters Point area-wide reconstruction project as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative to end injuries and fatalities on City’s streets.
In January, Mayor de Blasio announced $115 million in new capital funds to build on Vision Zero progress, including $29.6 million for improvements to Long Island City.
The Long Island City/Hunters Point reconstruction project will improve safety for pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists; improve connections throughout the neighborhood; remediate the conditions of the surface and sub-surface infrastructure; facilitate and improve traffic operations in response to anticipated growth; enhance public open space and create a safer, more inviting streetscape; and address climate resiliency for a waterfront neighborhood that was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.
“Two years into Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero plan, we are proud of what we have accomplished, with New York City achieving historic lows in fatalities in 2015,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “But with the tireless urging of advocates like Jimmy Van Bramer, we are not resting on our laurels. The improvements we are announcing today will help keep Long Island City safe, update its aging infrastructure and maintain its status as one of New York City’s jewels.”
“The New York City Department of Design and Construction is looking forward to developing safer streets for New Yorkers with our partner agencies DOT, DEP and our elected officials,” said Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Design and Construction. “In keeping with Mayor de Blasio’s vision for a more equitable city, this project will enhance traffic safety for pedestrians and motorists in Long Island City. By designing the intersections with pedestrian safety in mind, we can strategically mitigate the occurrence of traffic crashes and continue to make New York City the best place to live and work.”
“This $29.6 million investment into LIC/Hunters Point will enhance our existing infrastructure as we construct safer streetscapes and install upgrades recommended by the community to protect the lives of neighborhood residents, families and children,” said Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer. “Our push to end pedestrian fatalities on our neighborhoods streets continues. To achieve Vision Zero we must focus on improving safety in every neighborhood and local street. Working together with the Administration and Commissioner Trottenberg my office continues to coordinate and implement safety improvements in every neighborhood of Western Queens to ensure all communities continue to thrive.”
“This is a terrific announcement for all of us, and a substantial step toward the implementation of a number of safety and streetscape improvements in Long Island City and Hunters Point that Councilman Van Bramer and Community Board No. 2 have worked toward for some time. This project is also an example of how community outreach to constituents and stakeholders by our councilperson, CB2, and city agencies such as DOT and DDC, can inform and improve a project, and a model of how we can work toward a better result for our community by doing so. There is always more to be done, but it is very gratifying to see tangible progress like this,” said Queen’s Community Board 2 Chair Pat O’Brien
“This project will address essential challenges facing LIC from below the ground up, remediating severe storm water issues while simultaneously making the area safer and more attractive for all users, whether they are navigating by truck, car, bicycle or foot. We are very grateful to the Mayor, DOT Commissioner Trottenberg, DDC Commissioner Peña-Mora, DEP and Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer for making this historic and visionary investment in our area, benefiting our many businesses, residents and visitors,” said Liz Lusskin, President Long Island City Partnership.
The $29.6 million announced by the Mayor will supplement existing City and Non-City reconstruction funding, and also allow construction of safety and good-repair measures. DOT prior Capital Project budget had dedicated $8.8 million, so there will be a total of $38.47 million in capital funding for the Long Island City/Hunters Point area.
On December 9th, 2015, DOT, NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC), and Council Member Van Bramer’s office hosted a community workshop in Long Island City to present an overview of the Long Island City/Hunters Point Street Reconstruction project. Community members discussed preliminary design for safety and streetscape improvements within the project area. This event was the first step in a broader, ongoing and robust conversation with local stakeholders and elected officials to improve the community’s streets for current and future residents.
NYC DOT and DDC expect to complete preliminary design for the entire area by summer 2016. The goals of the Long Island City/Hunters Point area‐wide reconstruction project are to bring the street (roadway, curb and sidewalk) infrastructure to a state of good repair; enhance transportation safety, mobility and access for all modes through appropriate street capacity and geometry and appropriate parking regulations; improve economic conditions for businesses within the community by creating new public spaces and reinforcing connections between neighborhood destinations, transit, retail and the waterfront; and improve livability for residents by mitigating environmental conditions through increased green space, storm water management and other environmentally beneficial techniques.
NYC DOT and other City agencies have studied and applied traffic safety measures at seven locations in recent years: Pulaski Bridge approach; 49th Avenue between 11th and 21st Streets; 44th Drive between the waterfront and Jackson Avenue; 48th Avenue between 5th Street and Vernon Boulevard; 11th Street between Jackson Avenue and 44th Drive; The Vernon‐Jackson intersection, and; Jackson Avenue Streetscape Project. This capital reconstruction effort will build on these earlier measures to bring additional safety and design treatments to the entire Long Island City/Hunters Point neighborhood. These improvements will also complement recommendations from the NYC Department of City Planning’s Western Queens Transportation Study, an inter-agency collaboration with NYC DOT, State transit agencies, local elected officials, Queens’ Community Boards 1 and 2, and Manhattan’s Community Board 8.
In addition to the investment in street redesign and traffic-calming measures on key thoroughfares citywide, Mayor de Blasio’s January announcement included several new initiatives for 2016, including: a pilot project to reduce left-turn collisions, safer bicycle routes, targeted NYPD enforcement to protect seniors, increased use of speed-enforcement cameras and earlier education about Vision Zero in public schools.
For more information about Vision Zero, visit www.nyc.gov/visionzero.