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Bike Lanes Coming to 111th St. Under Revised DOT Plan, Officials Say

By Katie Honan | October 19, 2016 5:20pm
 The proposal for 111th Street was first presented in March 2015. 
The proposal for 111th Street was first presented in March 2015. 
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​CORONA — A revised plan to improve 111th Street's safety will keep a protected bike lane, while also creating 25 new on-street parking spots — but dedicated crosswalks will be lost, according to the Department of Transportation. 

The proposal, released Wednesday, is an update to a plan first presented in 2015 and has been delayed by the city despite the corridor being designated as a priority for the mayor's Vision Zero initiative. The changes would run from from 46th to Corona avenues, along the west side of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park adjacent to a number of schools.

While the original plan proposed limiting car travel lanes to one in each direction, the updated plan will keep two southbound lanes on 111th Street for drivers. 

The two-way bike lane, which is protected from traffic with a lane for parking, remains in the northbound lane adjacent to the park, the proposal shows. 

“We look forward to improving 111th Street for the thousands of pedestrians and cyclists who want to safely access and enjoy the jewel that is Flushing Meadows-Corona Park — and we thank all of our partners who worked with us over the past years," DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg said in a statement. 

New, wider spaces for pedestrians at the medians will also be added at 14 intersections along the street. While painted crosswalks had been included in the original plan, they are not in the updated one due to the width of road with two car lanes, an official explained. 

The planned changes were praised by officials in the neighborhood.

"Our community deserves safe streets and easy access to their local park," Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland said.

"I have rallied with local mothers, heard the concerns of residents, and put our capital money where it matters to fund this project. I'm pleased that the mayor has heard our voices and will bring Vision Zero to Corona."

Assemblyman Francisco Moya, who called out the DOT for not listening to local residents on 111th Street when the original plan was revealed, said the new plan is a "compromise" for everyone. 

"As a lifelong resident of Corona, I look forward to watching the plan move through the community board process and feel confident that in the end we will have achieved greater safety in a way that our entire community can appreciate,” he said. 

The plan still requires a vote from Community Board 4, although their decision is only advisory.