CORONA — The city's plan for changes to 111th Street, including adding bike lanes and reducing a lane of traffic, will move forward before this summer despite foot-dragging from the local community board, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced at a town hall meeting.
"I'm comfortable that the right thing to do is move ahead with our efforts to protect people on 111th Street," De Blasio said at a meeting in Corona on Wednesday night, which he co-hosted with Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland.
"We will continue always to work with community leaders and the community board. But this plan is ready to move, so we're going to move it."
Community Board 4 voted last week to postpone a vote on the 111th Street changes, with some members saying they wanted more safety measures. But many of the things they wanted, including crosswalks, were included in the original plan — which the board also took issue with.
A Department of Transportation spokesman said the work on the street, which will add a bike lane, wider medians for crossings and more parking, will begin by the summer.
DOT commissioner Polly Trottenberg said she was happy to hear the mayor's announcement.
"It's been a long process, at times contentious, but ... last year DOT and the elected officials and the advocates in the community came together on a compromise proposal on 111th that we all signed off on," she said.
Ferreras-Copeland, who has also pushed for the 111th Street changes, also praised the move, calling it a "victory for our community."
"For too long 111th Street has been dangerous and residents of Corona deserve a safe way to enter Flushing Meadows-Corona Park," Ferreras-Copeland said in a statement.
"Now, a solution is on the way."