The LIE on-ramp was expected to be built at the end of 254th Street to...
By Kathianne Boniello
Community Board 11 has asked the state Department of Transportation to change its plans to put a Long Island Expressway on-ramp at the end of a residential street in Little Neck.
The LIE on-ramp was expected to be built at the end of 254th Street to allow motorists to get to the westbound expressway during a large construction project to reshape the interchange between the LIE and the Cross Island Parkway.
Bernard Haber, chairman of CB 11, said March 13 the board has asked the state to move the ramp 30 feet to 50 feet away from the end of the street to avoid any possibility the quiet local road could become a speedway for motorists looking for a shortcut to the LIE.
A vote at the mid-March CB 11 meeting in Bayside on whether to convert 254th Street from a two-way road to a one-way street was delayed until the group gets some response from the state DOT on the question of moving the on-ramp. The decision on converting the street to one way would have to be made by the city Department of Transportation, while the LIE on-ramp is under the jurisdiction of the state.
Some people in your neighborhood asked that the street be made one way, Haber told the March 13 CB 11 meeting. The city DOT came back and said no. This board pointed out to them that the ramp [is slated to be] at the end of the street.
Haber said the city DOT agreed to reconsider the one-way conversion if the community wants it.
CB 11 includes Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Oakland Gardens, Auburndale and Hollis Hills.
The state DOT did not return calls for comment as to whether or not it would consider moving the planned 254th Street LIE on-ramp.
CB 11 District Manager Anne Marie Boranian said the board sent its request to the state March 14 and that state could respond by April.
The project to reshape the interchange between the LIE and the Cross Island Parkway, a $112 million proposal, was conceived as an alternative plan by the state when northeast Queens residents and politicians protested the idea of widening the LIE for High Occupancy Vehicle lanes in 1996. State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) was a major architect of the project.
The LIE project would include: the permanent shutdown of the Douglaston Parkway exit on the LIE; the buildup of West Alley Road to handle traffic that would have used Exit 31; the addition of 12 acres of park land to Alley Pond Park; and work on LIE overpasses at Marathon, Little Neck, and Douglaston parkways.
The project coincides with the states effort to extend the HOV lanes on the LIE throughout Long Island and into Queens. The HOV lanes would terminate at the county line and a half-mile long exit ramp was expected to be installed at the city line to handle the additional traffic.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2001 Community News Group
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