Thursday, June 16, 2011
EDC rips out Queens Plaza headstones for bike lane
From CBS 2:
Last month, CBS 2 exposed a pedestrian landscape design, featuring jagged concrete in Queens Plaza, that many considered to be dangerous.
Now, a concrete change is winning applause from pedestrians, but raising questions about how the city is spending money.
Three and a half weeks after the CBS 2 report aired, the concrete has been ripped out along with another patch of jagged concrete that divided the sidewalk. Workers are now replacing it with cobblestone pavers.
A spokeswoman for the city’s Economic Development Corporation, which in charge of the project, said that the concrete was removed to make way for a bike lane.
However, with concrete installed in late 2010 being removed in mid 2011, new questions are being raised about whether the redesign is a cost effective way to do business.
From the Daily News:
The Queens Plaza project, to be finished this fall, is designed to enhance pedestrian and cycling safety in a landscaped corridor from the Queensboro Bridge to Northern Blvd.
But the construction site, which now features patches of recycled concrete pieces in street medians, has some local merchants and drivers complaining that the city is wasting space and further clogging the intersection.
Some complain that congestion has gotten worse coming from the bridge, with gridlocks forming at the intersection of Queens Blvd., Northern Blvd. and Jackson Ave.
Others have complained about an outcropping of rocks made of recycled cement in medians.
"It looks like a graveyard of tombstones," said Cathy Julca, 36, co-owner of an advertising and printing shop on Northern Blvd. "We could've used that space for parking."
Larry Sullivan, 69, owner of Conserve Electric on Crescent St., said congestion has never been worse. "I've never seen it like this," Sullivan said. "It's getting very tough to do business."
Tensions are high at Queens Plaza, Julca said. "It's gotten noisier, more honking, people screaming at each other."