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Queens Plaza Protected Cycletrack is Open for Business

Using a bicycle in Queens just got more safe and efficient for riders that use the Queens Plaza area to access the Queensboro Bridge bike and pedestrian path.

Yesterday afternoon, Streetfilms got tips from fans saying the physically protected bike & pedestrian median was finally open. By the time we got there, scores of folks were already taking advantage - many with big, hearty smiles when they saw the path was welcoming their first ride on it.  We tried to give you the full experience from as many angles as possible during this nearly half-mile journey, another protected bike facility in New York City.

Amazingly, one of the most congested, noisy, chaotic and ugly spots in the city, now feels like an oasis of green and safety.  Dare we even say, pleasant!  And more importantly: it now allows cyclists to avoid multiple blocks of annoying navigation to and from Queens Boulevard.  It also gets rid of dangerous wrong way riding by cyclists by finally accomodating their desire to travel east.

Clarence Eckerson, Jr. has been making fantastical transportation media in NYC since the late 1990s. He's never had a driver's license and never will.

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  • OTR Matters

    Congrats on the new cycletrack, looks great!

  • http://twitter.com/BicyclesOnly Bicycles Only

    Yes!  My daughter and I rode it home fromm the Tour de Queens.  It's excellent!

    Now we just have to figure out what to do on the Manhattan side of the Queensboro Bridge...

  • http://twitter.com/marcuswoollen Marcus Woollen

    Monday morning, I rode past it in the street, thinking it looked so ready to ride. And so much more appealing than hanging out behind the bus that was stuck behind two double-parked vans.  Monday night, I was so happy that it had opened! Glad to see in your film that it has instantly been adopted as the safe, sane and calm way to get on and off the bridge.

  • Chris M

    YAY for Queens!

  • Kthmcgv

    It looks great except for the dead trees. When will the city learn that new trees need LOTS of water. I saw a worker spraying the area with a hose, which surprise, wasn't enough. This equals a lot of wasted money!

  • ddartley

    Great shots, Clarence!

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/7995989@N03/ J

    I can't wait to try this. I saw them building it for a year, but I don't to Queens as much. Also, is there any way to get a cool overhead shot of the area? I guess when google updates it's imagery it'll be in there. Very cool.

  • Anonymous

    This has been the worst part of my daily commute for 5 years now and I'm extremely happy to see it transformed into a more friendly stretch.

  • Mark

    Thanks to all the folks at DOT who worked on this project.  I know it took some real thought and some good engineering to get this done.  

  • Anonymous

    Inspirational in every way, from the path's sheer existence to Clarence's evocative shots. My one wish for the next similar film would be a graphic conveying (for me and other ignorami) precisely where the path is, what it connects, and its length. Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mattkime Matthew Kime

    I used to commute through that intersection. I'll have to cruise through for a visit.

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    Once they are done with the full project, I am gonna do something more comprehensive and even use a few horrid BEFORE shots (and talk about the green spaces and pedestrian safety too.)  I just heard about it yesterday at 4 pm, right as I was heading back to pack for Minneapolis.  But still wanted to get the first shots up live.

  • Shemp

    It's actually a NYC EDC project with DOT input

  • http://walkbikejersey.blogspot.com/ Andy B from Jersey

    This looks like a really great facility, one that I would love to have in New Jersey but I'm still going to pick small two nits on this, one of which is actually a great problem to have.

    First, what's with the ubiquitous solid yellow line?  That means no passing but people are always going to doing it anyway on bikes as the video shows.  A solid yellow should only be used on blind turns or in exceptionally narrow areas.  A dashed yellow should have been used in the straightaways and a solid line used in the curves or other areas of concern.  Carte blanche use of the solid yellow line causes it to quickly loose its meaning as Clarence's video demonstrates.

    Finally, the cycletrack looks too narrow for the volume of bicycle traffic on this "just opened" facility.  And Clarence says its not even completed yet!  I rarely advocate for using more asphalt at the expense of greenspace but this looks like one place were it would be justified. 

    Still, I wish we had such "problems" with the bicycle facilities we have here in New Jersey.  On this side of the Hudson, where we even have bicycle amenities, most are such a joke that its not even worth acknowledging them as such.

  • Joe R.

    This makes me want to take the long 9 or so mile trek down there one night just to check it out.  Looks like a great facility.

  • vnm

    I love the shot from the elevated subway! I was riding the N train on Sunday and looking down at the nearly completed cycle track, some parts of which were open, and thinking, wow, that is looking great. It looks even better now that it's open.

  • Clarence Eckerson Jr.

    In the past, if you wanted to legally travel east off the bridge to Queens Boulevard, you had a few options and ALL of them were problematic and made you go out of your way.  I think this path will shave at least 2 or 3 minutes off my "legal" ride when I use QBB back to Queens.

  • AlexB

    I think it's supposed to go all the way to Vernon, but right now it only goes from Northern to 21st St.  A major aesthetic and safety improvement! 

  • AN

    Congrats to DOT for making this happen. This is fantastic progress on the 20 year trajectory of making the Q-boro Bridge a safe and viable route for bike commuting.

    As Jan Gehl says, "It's great to live in a city where every day you wake up and the city has become a little bit better than it was the day before."

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5R4R6P6FLA2HDU54DMUUXQG7YY Juan

    That's what I was wondering about.  Next on the DOT's list should be providing a route which links the Queensboro to the Pulaski.

  • Eric McClure

    Sweet.

  • NeighborsforBetterBridgeAccess

    You expect us to look both ways when crossing this monstrosity? This makes Queens Boulevard look like one of those horrible DOT play streets.

    Expect our lawsuit.

  • Omribenamos

    It's full of win! This thing is a major improvement -- up next: a bike lane on Queens Blvd.?

  • Anonymous

    This looks awesome! 

  • What the F-train?

    Lawsuit for what? Do you need before and after pics? It's a green space with ped/bike Class 1 access, safety measures to deter unsafe jaywalking and a roadway realignment for two boulevards. Suing the NYCDOT, NYSDOT and EDC; have fun with that.

  • Bluewonderpowermilk96

    To Bicycles Only:

    Easier said than done. There needs to be a Class 1 bike lane on E 60th
    Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue at least (anything short of that is
    playing with death) AND an overpass connecting E 60th Street directly
    to the bike lane at the U-turn bend.

    The whole Manhattan side of Bridge Plaza needs to be revamped. Parking lane readjustment on E 59th Street and E 60th Streets, new asphalt and pavement markings, lane realignment on 2nd Avenue, new concrete and plastic bollards and if they reopened the old trolley terminal and make it a bus terminal like in Jackson Heights, that's a huge plus.

    AND (not done yet)

    access for peds and bikes traveling southbound on the east side of 2nd avenue has to be addressed.

    phew!

  • Daudarchitecht

    coOL :) I'm planning that type for my city - soon in Tbilisi by DauD ;) thx You are first :)

  • R Marcus

    On 7-27 several of the bike images were removed from the pathway. My guess is that there will be some changes. Agreed that the Manhattan side needs work just as bad.
    A Major issue on the Queens side is that several sidewalk curb cuts are NOT level and in Wet weather we will have cyclists going Down. Additionally I still state that the cobblestones at the Queens Exit/Entrance is a big mistake as riders may go onto or over them risking biking into traffic or falling.
    D.O.T IF YOU READ THIS, PLEASE PLEASE LOOK INTO THIS.