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Vernon Boulevard's Bike Lanes to Get $500,000 in Upgrades

 A plan to improve Vernon Boulevard's biking network won the most participatory budgeting votes.
A plan to improve Vernon Boulevard's biking network won the most participatory budgeting votes.
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DNAinfo/Jeanmarie Evelly

LONG ISLAND CITY — Cyclists on Vernon Boulevard will soon have a smoother ride, as the roadway's bike network is set to get $500,000 worth of improvements.

A plan to upgrade the bike lanes along the boulevard earned the most votes from residents in City Council District 26, where representative Jimmy Van Bramer introduced participatory budgeting this spring to let taxpayers choose how to spend $1 million in public funds.

Funding for the "LIC Bikeway" plan will be used to install better lighting along Vernon Boulevard in the councilman's district and repaint the street's bike lanes, which are faded are hard to see, according to a rep for Van Bramer.

The project will also pay for installing countdown clocks on Vernon Boulevard near Queensbridge Park to help pedestrians safely cross the street there, the spokesman said.

The proposal was one of 27 projects in the district that residents were asked to vote for last week, and one of three that will be funded through the participatory budgeting program.

The other two winners were $55,000 to pay for a van to bring seniors to and from the Jacob Riis Settlement House, a community center in Queensbridge, and another $500,000 to improve the playground at the Queensbridge Houses.

Van Bramer will also be allocating more funds to pay for five other projects that were on the ballot but didn't win.

These include $50,000 each to the Sunnyside and Woodside branches of the Queens Library to make them more handicap-accessible, and $200,000 to plant trees on both sides of Broadway in Woodside.

He will also allocate $100,000 to bring electronic countdown clocks to some bus stops in the district and $75,000 to pay for technology upgrades at P.S./I.S. 78 in Hunters Point.