QUEENS — The city’s plan to redesign a 1.3-mile portion of Queens Boulevard in Rego Park and Forest Hills includes the addition of bike lanes and stop-controlled slip lanes, while eliminating 198 parking spaces, according to a proposal presented to the Community Board 6 Transportation Committee earlier this month.
The section of Queens Boulevard between Eliot Avenue and Yellowstone Boulevard includes some of the busiest and most crash-prone intersections in the neighborhood, including at 63rd Drive.
The proposed redesign, which will also include fixes such as adding extra space for pedestrians and installing gravel curb extensions to shorten crossing distances at several intersection, seeks to make the thoroughfare safer for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists alike, the Department of Transportation said.
According to statistics provided by the DOT, 37 people were severely injured and one was killed along that portion of Queens Boulevard from 2010 to 2014.
In 2015 and 2016, the DOT overhauled Queens Boulevard in Woodside and Elmhurst, which led to a decline in cyclist injuries by 42 percent and pedestrian injuries by 49 percent along that section, according to the agency.
Earlier this year, the DOT conducted a workshop and a series of surveys to get feedback about the proposal from Rego Park and Forest Hills residents, before presenting it to the Community Board 6 Transportation Committee last week.
The proposal includes:
► Adding protected bicycle lanes and pedestrian paths
► Installing median tip extensions
► Expanding pedestrian space
► Adding stop-controlled slip lanes.
The changes would result in eliminating 198 parking spaces along the service road medians between Eliot Avenue and Yellowstone Boulevard, according to the DOT.
Peter Beadle, a member of the Community Board 6 Transportation Committee and Transportation Alternatives Queens Activist Committee, who supported the proposal, said it offers "people another form of transportation, provides more pedestrian space ... and prevents drivers from slipping back and forth from the express lanes to the service roads at speed."
He also said that "ultimately in a couple of years [the plan will give] us the ability to do the capital project which will turn these medians into linear parks with more trees, more plants, and more pedestrian space like what we see happening in Manhattan."
The DOT seeks to begin implementing the changes between Eliot Avenue and Yellowstone Boulevard in June.
Next year, the agency is hoping to bring similar fixes to Queens Boulevard between Yellowstone Boulevard and Union Turnpike.
The redesign is being done as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative.
The thoroughfare was dubbed the "Boulevard of Death" decades ago, after more than 70 pedestrians were killed in accidents there from 1993 to 2001, according to statistics provided by the DOT.
There have been no fatalities along Queens Boulevard since the redesign began, the agency said.
CB6 will vote on the proposal Wednesday night, after its Transportation Committee backed the plan.
SEE THE FULL PROPOSAL TO OVERHAUL QUEENS BOULEVARD BETWEEN ELIOT AVENUE AND YELLOWSTONE BOULEVARD BELOW: