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Make 111th St. Safer Immediately, Families to Demand at City Hall Protest

By Katie Honan | October 3, 2016 5:04pm
 The DOT first presented the plan to Community Board 4's transportation committee on March 31, 2015.
The DOT first presented the plan to Community Board 4's transportation committee on March 31, 2015.
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Department of Transportation

​CORONA — Parents and students who've waited more than a year for safety improvements on busy 111th Street along the west side of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park are taking their demands to the steps of City Hall.

​Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland​, a supporter of the safety upgrades, will join parents, kids and supporters calling for quick action to secure the busy thoroughfare between 46th Avenue and Corona Avenue.

“It is time to make 111th St safer," she said in a statement.

"We have developed a plan in consultation with New Yorkers who use the street every day, which would calm traffic, create safer crossings, and add a protected bike lane — all while adding parking spaces and fixing drainage problems." 

She allocated $2.7 million for the project, which runs along the western edge of the park and past the Queens Hall of Science, a mini golf course, several schools and the Kids for All playground.

A plan to change the streetscape was first introduced in 2015, but it has yet to go up for a vote at Community Board 4. Changes would reduce traffic from three lanes in each direction to one lane in each direction and add bike lanes to the street, according to the Department of Transportation proposal.

Some community members in Corona feared the changes could unintentionally create more congestion on the street, especially during events at the adjacent Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. 

The DOT said last spring they would re-evaluate the plan after receiving feedback, but the plan has remained in limbo since. 

“This is a grand entrance to one of our city’s great parks, a gathering destination for Queens residents and increasingly to visitors from outside our borough. It is about time everyone paid attention​," said James McIntyre, a leader of the Queens Bike Initiative. 

"Drivers, bikers, and pedestrians must all benefit from a common sense solution."

Tuesday's rally will kick off at 11 a.m. at City Hall.

Two buses will provide transportation from the Corona Golf Playground on 111th Street and 46th Avenue, leaving at 9 a.m., organizers said.