DOT should listen to community on bike lanes

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As a member of Community Board 11, I supported the plan developed by board member and retired engineer Bernard Haber for a bike lane along Northern Boulevard between 223rd Street in Bayside and Douglaston Parkway, commonly known as the “Alley.”

Mr. Haber’s plan, which was approved by the board, would have the bike lane share the north sidewalk with pedestrians. The sidewalk would be widened to accommodate both the bicycle riders and the pedestrians. The New York City Dept. of Transporta­tion’s plan, on the other hand, will have the bike lane take up one lane of westbound Northern Boulevard through the “Alley.”

Mr. Haber’s plan is not only feasible and cost-effective, it would be much safer for the bicycle riders as they navigate past entrances and exits by the Cross Island Parkway. All westbound lanes of Northern Boulevard under his plan would be preserved for motorists, thus easing the flow of traffic, which is often very heavy in that location. Parking on the north side of the boulevard by the golf center would also remain an option under the plan.

As a board member, it is necessary to take into consideration the impact any project would have on all segments of the community. In this case, that not only includes the bike riders, but also the motorists who use that portion of Northern Boulevard, as well as the local residents, the pedestrians and the local businesses.

At the board meetings on this issue, there was vigorous and heated discussion of where the bike lane should be placed in the “Alley” section of Northern Boulevard. There were strong opinions voiced by all involved, including the board members, residents, civic leaders, and the bicycle enthusiasts. I must commend Board Chair Christine Haider for her leadership during these hearings. She insisted that we follow certain established protocols regarding when we needed to listen and when we got to express our opinions. This helped to maintain order and led to the board’s final vote. The board voted by a large majority to approve Mr. Haber’s plan.

It was my hope that the DOT would postpone the implementation of their plan for the “Alley” bike lane until a thorough review could be made of the plan approved by the board. However, the DOT has already marked a westbound lane of Northern Boulevard with bike lane lines. Motorists will no longer be allowed to use that lane.

The community board represents all of the people in the area, and although our role is advisory, our vote should stand for something. Mr. Haber’s plan also had the approval of Sen. Tony Avella. Time will tell how the DOT plan for the bike lane will impact on our shared community.

Henry Euler


Posted 12:00 am, September 30, 2017
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Reader feedback

Chicklet from Douglaston says:
Mr. Euler, now that the construction has started, what is the next step?

Do we watch and wait, observe the cars madly trying to turn in and out of the golf range, scooting across Northern at 223rd Street, do we wait behind idling buses in the now middle lane dropping off passengers?

There are thousands of angry residents venting on Facebook, Councilman Vallone ignores all emails and phone calls, as does Ms. Katz and Mr. Braunstein.

Is the DOT a kingdom? This time and money could have been used to come back and finish the striping of Douglaston Parkway, which they paved 5 months ago. The money and time could fix the pavement collapse on the Joe Michaels Mile along the bay. Instead, it's a rush job on a politically motivated nightmare, seemingly designed to hurt and punish motorists and workers who need to use the ONLY road to and from Douglaston.

What's next, Mr. Euler? We must get some relief against the dictators at the DOT!
Sept. 30, 2017, 9:18 am
Jos Chiarella from Douglaston says:
Now what, Mr. Euler?

The CB has been ignored, our City Councilman is silent (absent?), the Borough President does not answer calls or emails, what can we do next?

Is the city as really as corrupt as the newspapers say, if you're not a favored advocacy group or a donor you get nothing?

There are thousands of irate people here, their freedom of movement is now restricted, what can we do next?
Sept. 30, 2017, 9:27 am
Jos Chiarella from Douglaston says:
What's next, Mr. Euler? Northern Boulevard in Queens is the only artery between Douglaston, Little Neck and Bayside.

Already, traffic has skyrocketed while the City Councilman stays silent (absent?) and the Borough President and Mayor do not return calls and emails. What can the citizens do, our freedom of movement has been seriously restricted by a dangerous and ugly barrier that helps nobody.

What can be done next?
Sept. 30, 2017, 9:30 am
Gregg Sullivan from Bayside says:
I've been watching the DOTs bike lanes go up and taken some photographs at the hairiest point, being the northeast corner of Northern and 223rd and the end of the southbound exit of the Cross Island Pkwy and Northern . It does look menacing and if you're ever going to see a problem it will be there . but I thank you Henry Euler for all you do for Bayside and service on the community board and attention to this addition of the bike lanes. Much appreciated
Gregg Sullivan
Oct. 1, 2017, 12:48 am
Harlan from Bayside says:
Sidewlk idea was much better
The bike lanes on northern are dangerous
The car speed limit is 40 and people speed
Oct. 1, 2017, 4:18 am

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