Saturday, October 14, 2017

Queens' DOT disasters

From the Queens Chronicle:

Construction to accommodate Select Bus Service at the confluence of Cross Bay Boulevard, Rockaway Boulevard and Liberty Avenue will not be complete until next month.

But residents and civic leaders are already saying things appear to be as bad, if not worse, then they have feared.

“This,” said a grim-voiced Vance Barbour of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, “is our ‘I told you so.’”

When completed, what was three travel lanes and a service road headed northbound will become two; bus stops along the curb will be moved across the service road to a median; the travel lane adjacent to the median will become a 24/7 bus lane; and the left turn from northbound Cross Bay to Rockaway Boulevard will be eliminated, along with the turning lane, forcing cars — and trucks — to take more roundabout routes.

Bus stops already are being installed on islands on the southbound side, with machines selling SBS tickets not far behind.

Residents long have complained that the intersection forms a bottleneck during rush hour, backing traffic up for blocks.

The city’s Department of Transportation has asserted that reducing the number of lanes will improve traffic by helping create a more uniform traffic pattern along the entire corridor.

A more uniform lane configuration, along with the elimination of some left turns such as the one at Rockaway Boulevard, are designed to reduce the amount of lane merging that is said to be responsible for a great deal of congestion.

The construction is nearing completion, even over the constant and strenuous objections of residents and community leaders such as state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven).

“Nothing makes sense,” Howard Beach Resident Joseph Cerbone told the Chronicle. “We didn’t OK any of this ... They did just what they wanted to do. It was nightmare and they’re making it worse.”


From the Queens Chronicle:

In his letter, Avella added that there was a dangerous lack of signage for drivers at the location, which is an active construction area because of ongoing work for the bike lane. The senator also urged de Blasio and the DOT to abandon the bike lane plan and take up a different proposal for Northern supported by Community Board 11.

The office of Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Bayside) said he too has been in touch with city authorities.

“In response to the accidents and the community’s concerns, we reached out to the DOT to ask them to expedite the installation of signage and reflective panels to both inform motorists of the change in the traffic pattern and make the barriers more visible,” Vallone’s office said in an email.

Vallone’s opponent in November, Paul Graziano, said the bike lane has created “an extremely dangerous situation” and that the city shouldn’t install them on “what is essentially a highway.” Graziano, who lost the Democratic primary to Vallone but remains on the Reform Party line, is an urban planner who helped design the alternative bike lane proposal now backed by CB 11.

“You do not create something unless it’s well thought out, well planned and won’t be a negative,” he said.

In a statement, the transportation agency defended the barrier.

“These barriers did their job to protect those in the bike lane from accelerating turning vehicles,” the DOT said in an email last Friday. More signs, the agency said, are coming.

“In the next few days we will be installing additional safety treatments like reflective tape and flexible delineators that have been part of the design from the beginning of this project, to increase protection and awareness for all street users,” the agency said.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

There’s another similar bottleneck at Union Turnpike. This appears to be the first SBS line that will have slower commute time for everyone.

JQ LLC said...

There are mental defectives running the DOT.

Anonymous said...

Where is Queens Civic Congress?

Anonymous said...

Re: Northern Boulevard bike lanes.

Once winter is upon us and snow starts to accumulate, how will the city plow these bike lanes?
Dept of Sanitation plows are way too wide to fit between the curb and the barrier. The bike lanes will be filled with snow and ice forcing bikers to ride outside the lanes in traffic with autos, a situation the lanes were supposed to eliminate. Also, garbage will accumulate in these lanes forcing manual cleaning.
Where was the thought behind this?

Anonymous said...

It's just the usual attack on drivers by the car haters who are utterly clueless about life in the outer Boroughs, where cars and driving are indispensable. More empty bike lanes are coming, and more bottlenecks! All this paid by our hard earned taxes, too!

(sarc) said...

"The construction is nearing completion, even over the constant and strenuous objections of residents and community leaders such as state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach) and Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven)."

The fools doth protest too much, methinks....

Anonymous said...

WOW
what a great freakin idea
less lanes makes the traffic better
and these idiots have years of college loans to learn this crap?
why the hell are they always widening highways?
was it just wasting our money?
they really take us for fools
fire them all! WTF

Anonymous said...

This is what happens when DOT hires manhattan centered anti car, pro bike lane people. They don't understand that you need a car in the outer boros and want to make it so miserable to drive that people give up their cars.

M. How said...

Anonymous said: "This is what happens when DOT hires manhattan centered anti car, pro bike lane people. They don't understand that you need a car in the outer boros and want to make it so miserable to drive that people give up their cars."

*************

This comment is right on track. Even if I wanted to ride a bike, where do I store it in my tiny apartment? And, if I could ride a bike how safe would I be if I still had to ride with the cars in the rain, wind, hail, sleet, and snow?

And, if I took a bus or taxi in bad weather could I be guaranteed I would make a doctor's appointment within the 15-minute late period doctors allow? Probably not.

I see the traffic NOW in good weather so backed up it makes sense to avoid Queens Blvd. People can walk faster -- and I see that too.

Since Queens and the outer boros are fast becoming or are now mostly senior citizens, this bike lane nonsense makes no sense.

The inmates are running the asylum, stealing our time and sending us to the poorhouse.

More of the same to come under deblah.

Anonymous said...

This is yet another example of how the elected officials in Queens are failing you. They only care what Honest Joe Crowley wants them to care about - people who are not citizens taking away jobs, people with sexual issues trumping concerns of families, giving you kool-aid to sip while their donors (read developers) are destroying your community.

Where is Queens Civic Congress. Where is the Queens City Council delegation. Where is Queens Boro Hall. Where is the Queens Democratic Party?

Doing squat and giving you bullshit.

Anonymous said...

Why haven't we heard a peep out of BP Katz?????

Tommy Efreeti said...

"They just did what they wanted to do..." sums up most Manhattan-centric DOT policies towards Queens.

I've made my peace with the stupid bike lanes on QB now, the lowered speed limit, the cameras, etc. Now,i just up my local street driving skills. And kill my shocks on Calamus...

Anonymous said...

I've made my peace with the stupid bike lanes on QB now, the lowered speed limit, the cameras, etc. Now,i just up my local street driving skills. And kill my shocks on Calamus...
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I guess the bottom line is if Queens has no backbone no one cares how you feel or what you say knowing that you will find some lame excuse to tell yourself to justify it ......