The New York Metropolis departments of Parks and Recreation and Transportation are transferring ahead on a challenge that might rework strolling and biking in our metropolis, enhancing the lives of numerous residents.
The businesses are holding on-line group workshops on Nov. 16 and 19 on enhancements to attach the greenway throughout Jap Queens and construct a protected bike-lane community to carry neighbors to the parkland.
That’s particularly essential for residents of Jap Queens, who haven’t had secure strolling and biking routes connecting a number of historic parks, together with Flushing Meadows, the Queens Botanical Backyard, Kissena Hall Park, Peck Park, Cunningham Park, the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway, Alley Pond Park, and Joe Michaels Mile. But it surely’s additionally essential for all New Yorkers, who stand to profit from having larger entry to parkland and a well-established inexperienced belt round our metropolis.
Jap Queens Greenway, a bunch that works for a steady, family-safe greenway linking the nice parks of Jap Queens, is hoping to stoke a giant turnout for the workshops to construct assist for the greenway and a community of motorbike lanes linking to it.
Our group gathers each month to map out progress for a greenway that can assist youngsters get to high school and repair intersections that isolate these with restricted mobility. We’ve collected greater than 1,150 signatures in assist of the greenway, gathering assist from the Higher Flushing Chamber of Commerce and the Kissena Hall Park Conservancy, in addition to city-wide organizations akin to Transportation Options.
We’ve allied with politicians, together with Meeting Members Nily Rozic and Ed Braunstein; Council Members Peter Koo, Barry Grodenchik, and Paul Vallone; and Senators Toby Stavisky and John Liu. Queens Parks Commissioner Michael Dockett final 12 months secured $1 million for group outreach and engineering designs for route upgrades. We even referred to as Mayor de Blasio on The Brian Lehrer Present to push the problem!
Our common and semi-regular occasions draw attendees from across the metropolis:
- A Kissena Way Walking Tour highlights the historical past of that part of the greenway,
- The Tour De Flushing, a now-annual bike experience that has launched a whole lot of cyclists to the very best trails (and confirmed them learn how to keep away from the worst issues),
- And a Queens Social Ride meets each Sunday at 9 a.m. underneath the Unisphere in Flushing Meadows to discover completely different neighborhoods.
We’ve labored with Hunter School’s City Planning program on knowledgeable research for a bike-lane network for this car-centric neighborhood and with current graduates of Columbia College’s Graduate Faculty of Structure Planning & Preservation to design a map of the greenway’s treasures.
We’ve satisfied Neighborhood Board 11 Queens to request (and the DOT to construct) 3.2 miles of protected bike lanes alongside Alley Pond Park and on Northern Boulevard, which have been used closely through the pandemic. Even now, CB11’s sub-committee on biking is recommending extra protected bike lanes. One in every of our Jap Queens Greenway members obtained a invoice via the New York State Senate and Meeting that might research linking the greenway to the Lengthy Island border. (Sadly, the invoice was vetoed by Gov. Cuomo.)
We want supporters to attend the conferences subsequent week and demand that the town prioritize a family-safe greenway and a community of protected bike lanes to hook up with it. We want supporters to speak about why they need to use the greenway to journey via parkland and to advocate for protected bike lanes to attach faculties to the greenways so that children can spend a while in nature. We should demand that the upgrades are ADA compliant so that everybody can have entry to their parks.
If we have now a robust voice and a daring message, the Parks Division and the DOT ought to work collectively to create a complete plan, which they may share subsequent 12 months. By the tip of 2021, we must always have engineer designs and a shovel-ready challenge. Subsequent week is step one in what may very well be one of many largest tasks within the space for a lot of a long time.
Please lend your perspective subsequent week; take a look at our primer for more ideas, and assist us change the face of our metropolis.
John Kelly fights for secure streets as a part of Eastern Queens Greenway. Town’s Vacation spot Greenways workshops shall be held on Monday Nov. 16 and Thursday, Nov. 19, 6:30 to eight:30 p.m. Attendance is free however advance registration is required.