November 29, 2023
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NYC DOT Celebrates Western Queens Protected Bike Lane Upgrades to Enhance Safety for All, Improve Interborough and Waterfront Access
New protected bike lanes along three corridors in Long Island City and Hunter’s Point improve safety for pedestrians by shortening crossings, provide dedicated cycling spaces
Project includes new concrete bike barriers as part of NYC DOT’s efforts to harden lanes
New York — New York City Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez today celebrated the substantial completion of new protected bike lanes installed on three streets in Western Queens to enhance safety for all road users and create dedicated, safe cycling lanes on high-traffic corridors, filling critical gaps that connect to the Queens waterfront as well as the Queensboro and Pulaski bridges. The project, which began in 2022, delivered 2.5 miles of newly protected bike lanes on 11th Street, 44th Drive, and Jackson Avenue, separating cyclists from moving vehicles and reducing instances of double parking.
"These new protected bike lanes enhance safety for everyone — including pedestrians and drivers — while providing critical upgrades to highly trafficked areas of our bike network for cyclists accessing the Queens waterfront or traveling between Brooklyn and Manhattan where there are not otherwise convenient transit options," said New York City DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. We remain committed to hardening our bike lanes with sturdy materials and have upgraded our 11th Street bike lane design to include new concrete barriers at the busiest locations. We thank Mayor Adams and the community for their support to deliver this life-saving work."
As part of the project, NYC DOT constructed concrete bike lane barriers along two blocks of 11th Street, from 48th Avenue to 47th Avenue — to fortify the bike lanes in both directions and ensure they remain clear for cyclists — part of the agency's commitment to hardening the City's bike lanes with existing elements like jersey barriers as well as new materials. NYC DOT also daylighted 6 intersections with painted pedestrian space and fortified select locations with additional bike parking. Through daylighting, NYC DOT removes parking spaces nearest the intersection to improve visibility between crossing pedestrians and other road users.
Protected bike lane designs like those installed through this project have shown to reduce deaths and serious injuries by 29.2% for pedestrians. The designs have even more dramatic safety benefits for seniors walking on our streets, with a reduction in deaths and serious injuries for senior pedestrians by 39%.
"The completion of these protected bike lanes is a great step forward toward providing stronger safety protections for our city's bicyclists," said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. "These lanes will give bicyclists the solid protection they deserve and help unclog our roads and reduce pollution by encouraging more people to travel by bicycle. I fully support the DOT's ongoing effort to protect bicyclists, because we must do all we can to make biking a safe and enjoyable activity. Bicyclists and everyone else who uses our city's streets should both feel safe and be safe as they get around town."
"Far too many New York City pedestrians and bicyclists have been hurt or killed in crashes. The completion of 1.8 miles of protected bike lanes and six newly daylighted intersections from Long Island City to Hunters Point will provide a safer environment for pedestrians crossing streets and those biking on their commute to bridge crossings," said Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez. "I applaud NYC DOT for investing in improved infrastructure to prevent traffic conflicts and look forward to continuing to work with the city to make our streets safer for everyone."
"These new protected bike lanes will substantially enhance street safety for all road users, improve waterfront access and dramatically improve connectivity in this part of our district," said State Senator Kristen Gonzalez. "These improvements — including new bike lane barriers and improved visibility at several intersections — are a testament to our commitment to creating a safer and more accessible transportation system for all New Yorkers, and we hope these changes will inspire the swift implementation of the NYC DOT's other commitments to improve traffic safety in our district."
"Our community has been advocating for more truly protected bike lanes in Queens, and that is why we're excited to see the installation of these concrete bike lane barriers in Long Island City," said Assembly Member Juan Ardila. "I want to thank Department of Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez and all the community advocates who have been pushing for safe, complete streets in our city for getting us here today. We look forward to continuing the work and redesigning streets that are truly safe for everyone."
"I am thrilled to celebrate the opening of the 11th Street protected bike lane in Long Island City. This is a win for #BikeNYC and pedestrians and reflects NYC DOT's commitment to make our streets safer as more people in our district choose biking as a transportation option," said Council Member Julie Won. "There is more work to do to ensure that we are creating safer streets and reducing traffic violence. I will continue to support the creation of more protected bike lanes in our neighborhoods, implementing more daylighting, and redesigning our streets to ensure that we are putting people over cars. I'm proud that our office advocated for this bike lane, made possible through years of hard work from DOT, Transportation Alternatives, Bike New York, and local business owners."
"The expanded bike lane infrastructure and new robust fortifications in Western Queens, including concrete barriers and daylighting, will significantly improve cyclist safety and access to the Queensboro and Pulaski bridges and their respective corridors," said Ken Podziba, CEO of Bike New York. "Over the past ten years, Long Island City has experienced a threefold increase in residents, and these needed improvements will help facilitate more interconnection between neighborhoods and boroughs."
"Today's announcement is a huge step forward for the Long Island City bike neighborhood plan as well as street safety in western Queens," said Laura Shepard, Queens Organizer for Transportation Alternatives. "We've long been fighting for these critical expansions in the protected bike lane network, and we're ecstatic to finally bike on them. These new protected bike lanes will make it easier for so many New Yorkers to bike and walk throughout Long Island City and Hunters Point and improve safety on the critical commuter route between the Queensboro and Pulaski Bridges. We hope to see more essential infrastructure built across the city."
"We are thrilled to see these much-needed safe streets measures installed in Western Queens, a priority district for safety improvements," said Emily Chingay, Citywide Engagement Advocate at Open Plans. "Physically protected bike lanes and daylighting make our streets safer for everyone. With this project completed, Queens residents gain crucial upgrades to their micromobility network and safer, calmer, more people-friendly streets."
"The new protected bike lanes on 11th Street, 44th Drive, and Jackson Avenue will substantially improve safety for cyclists making their way to and from the Queensboro and Pulaski Bridges and the East river waterfront, as well as everyone else who uses those streets," said Eric McClure, Executive Director at StreetsPAC. "The southwestern corner of Long Island City and Hunter's Point has many wide streets with heavy, and too often, fast-moving truck traffic, and these upgrades to cycling infrastructure, especially with robust physical protection, will both make the area safer, and encourage more people to bike through the area. We're grateful to NYC DOT for completing this work in 2023."
"LIC and Hunters Point have changed a lot in the past decade, transitioning from mostly industrial to what is now a high-density residential neighborhood," said Corey Hannigan, Active Transportation Manager, Tri-State Transportation Campaign. "Since 2010, two census tracts here have increased in population density by a whopping 115,000 people per square mile - more than anywhere else in the nation. The state park on the waterfront continues to grow in popularity as a de facto "front lawn" for chronically park-starved Western Queens, and the neighborhood's ample transit and accessible bridges make it an essential hub for getting to and from Manhattan or Brooklyn without a car. But despite this explosion of foot and bike traffic, many of the streets and intersections connecting these amenities have remained dangerously car- and truck-oriented. These new protected bike lanes are a welcome continuation of the city's Green Wave bike network and Streets Plan, offering continuous, safe connections to local destinations for people of all ages and abilities."