WOODSIDE — Major changes are finally coming to Queens Boulevard this summer, with the city planning bike lanes and other pedestrian-friendly upgrades to part of the thoroughfare.
The Department of Transportation will be changing a 1.3-mile portion of the street starting in August, between Roosevelt Avenue and 73rd Street, the first phase of a $100 million redesign of the entire 7-mile boulevard, which advocates have been pushing to make safer for years.
The agency also plans to install right-turn lanes with stop signs painted on the street to slow down drivers as they switch between the main and service road, the DOT said Tuesday.
The stretch between Roosevelt Avenue and 73rd Street is the deadliest section of Queens Boulevard, according to the DOT, with six fatalities between 2009 and 2013.
"After decades of crashes, many of them fatal, this corridor has been re-imagined and will be redesigned to become a safer, greener, and more attractive corridor for residents and businesses," Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said.
The board is expected to vote on the proposal sometime in June, with installation of the upgrades to start in August, according to the DOT.
The agency will hold more public workshops this fall and winter to address changes for two other sections of Queens Boulevard, from 73rd Street to Eliot Avenue and from Eliot Avenue to Union Turnpike.
Paul Steely White, head of the transit advocacy group Transportation Alternatives, said the DOT's plans for Queens Boulevard "will set the tone for the transformation of dangerous streets across the five boroughs."
"If we take the same approach to the rest of New York City’s most dangerous major streets, we can save 50 lives a year and prevent thousands of injuries," he said in a statement.