Friday, December 28, 2007

The Elephant In the Room

Top: Eastern Parkway Brooklyn via Brownstoner.

Bottom: Queens Blvd. via Forest Hills 72

What are we going to do with Queens Blvd in 2008?

Flatbush Ave. is receiving a $15 million grant from the City for beautification and design. Here's how the November 3, 2007 Brooklyn Paper describes the project:

By early spring, construction will begin on the Theater for a New Audience near BAM, and on the $15-million city-funded beautification of Flatbush Avenue, a gritty thoroughfare that Chan dubbed an “iconic boulevard.”

And as you can see, Eastern Parkway which almost the size of QB, has beautiful medians that separate its shoulders from the main artery. And that's what I would do.

One thing QB does have is size. At it's widest point, it spans 270 feet. That's right. To cross Queens Blvd, you have to walk about the length of a football field at some places (like the Yellowstone intersection).

But with 16 lanes (16!) at some points, can't we widen the medians? Can't someone from DOT figure out how to live with, say, 12 lanes? Or is everyone too busy trying to figure out how to put more bicycle lanes on Ganvesoort Place?

What we need is a buffer to separate the main artery from the shoulder lane. It's like that by the Jewish Center and it works great. Trees all along the median. That's what we need - not metal gates to block people from getting killed. Because all the metal in the world isn't going to stop people from walking against the light.

We need to make Queens Blvd a nicer street. It's not going to take $15 million. Just some trees and wider medians at the shoulders. I would love to leave Queens Blvd nicer than how I found it. As always, your thoughts are welcome.
Update: If you want to help, please see