BY JAMES FARRELL
Community Board 11’s transportation committee voted during the board’s March 6 meeting in favor of a street redesign aimed at improving cyclist and pedestrian safety in northeast Queens.
The project runs along Oceania Street and 210th Street between the Horace Harding Expressway and Brooklyn Queens Greenway and is adjacent to Cunningham Park. M.S. 74 is also located along the route of the project, which was designed in part to make the area safer for students.
The project is shared between CB 11 and CB 8, and is currently being reviewed by the CB 8 transportation committee, according to the city’s Department of Transportation. That committee must also approve the project before it can begin. The DOT is hoping to implement the project this summer.
Currently, there are two-way traffic lanes along Oceania Street, which merges into 210th Street, that are 25 feet wide, but the new project would cut each lane down to 11 feet, with eight-foot parking lanes on either side. Between the western sidewalk along Cunningham Park and the parking lane will be a two-way bike lane, with each lane measuring four feet.
Along the strip of Oceania Street that runs over the Long Island Expressway, the 19.5-foot travel lanes would be reduced to 12-foot travel lanes with buffered bike lanes on either side.
The proposal would also convert 210th Street, north of the merge with Oceania Street, into a northbound, one-way street. A diversion point for southbound drivers would be installed before the merge. The changes aim to improve safety at the merge, where southbound visibility is limited, according to the DOT. A crosswalk would also be installed in the area.
Finally, the proposal would install two high-visibility crosswalks at the north and south corners of 64th Avenue along 210th Street, a 15-mile-per-hour slow zone on 210th Street near MS 74, a 20-mile-per-hour slow zone on Oceania Street near MS 74 and the extension of parking regulations near the school—culminating in the conversion of 18 parking spots into the designation “No Standing School Days, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.”
The proposal addresses concerns raised by the community, including a prevalence of illegal U-turns, encouraged by the wide lanes; and unsafe student drop-offs. It also includes more protections for students and cyclists, according to the DOT.
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @farrellj329.