BY ARIEL HERNANDEZ
Community Board 11 discussed a lawsuit regarding controversial northeast Queens bike lanes and the co-naming of a local street after a house of worship during the group’s first meeting of 2018.
Douglaston Civic Association president Sean Walsh kicked off the meeting—which was held at Bayside’s MS 158—during the public-participation portion with an announcement that the group intends to sue the city in an effort to take away its ability to manage state roadways, such as Northern Boulevard.
The lawsuit stems from months of the group’s opposition to the installed bike lanes along Northern Boulevard. Following the installation of the bike lanes in September, the Douglaston Civic Association has written letters to Mayor Bill de Blasio and held several protests.
The bike lanes, which are located between 223rd Street and Douglaston Parkway, are part of de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative to eliminate pedestrian deaths.
Although the board initially approved the bike lane proposal in June, it rescinded that approval in September following requests from residents to review safety issues.
CB 11 Transportation Committee co-chairman Ben Turner took an opposing stand at the meeting, requesting that the community give the bike lanes “a chance.” He also cited statistics released this week from the mayor showing that, through Vision Zero, Queens’ traffic deaths dropped significantly in 2017.
During the meeting, the board also unanimously voted in favor of the request by the Armenian Church of the Holy Martyrs to co-name 210th Street between 58th Avenue and Horace Harding Expressway “Armenia Way.”
Rev. Fr. Abraham Malkhasyan and Dr. Lynn Cetin, the church’s secretary, attended the meeting and discussed how involved the church is with the community. Board members advocated for the co-naming to honor the church, stating that whenever the church puts on events, it invites the entire community, regardless of denomination.
The board also unanimously voted in favor of an existing convenience store, located at 223-15 Union Tpke., to convert one service repair bay to enlarge the existing store and allow for a new storefront, two canopies over the gasoline pump island and modification of the islands and pumps.
One of the meeting’s attendees questioned whether the upgrades would include additional lighting, which he argued could be problematic for the community. However, the store owner said that there will not be any additional lighting.
Community Board 11 serves Bayside, East Flushing, Auburndale, Douglaston, Douglaston Manor, Little Neck, Oakland Gardens and Hollis Hills.
Reach Ariel Hernandez at (718) 357-7400 x144, firstname.lastname@example.org or @reporter_ariel.