2006-10-13 / Front Page

Plan To Reconstruct Shore Front Pkwy Public Input Will Be Sought, Dept. of Transportation Says

By Brian Magoolaghan

Plan To Reconstruct Shore Front Pkwy
Public Input Will Be Sought, Dept. of Transportation Says

Shore Front Parkway is slated for a thorough reconstruction - using not just paint but concrete and asphalt this time - and two city agencies are going to collaborate with the community to determine what changes will be made, The Wave has learned.

The details of the capital reconstruction project are briefly described in a recent letter from the Department of Transportation to Community Board 14. The letter, which The Wave obtained under the Freedom of Information Law, says DOT is laying the groundwork for the project and construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in 2010.

"This project will reconstruct/improve Shore Front Parkway from Beach 73 to Beach 108 Street," the letter says. The aim is to "enhance the interface between the vehicular traffic and pedestrians, and pedestrian access to the beach."

Changes for the newly painted bike lane are also in the works, according to the letter.

The reconstruction project will be the second major step in the Department of Transportation's safety improvement effort on the east/west thoroughfare. The first phase, which was announced in May and implemented this summer, brought a variety of painted markings to the road surface. Traffic was reduced to one lane in each direction and a bike lane was created, but those changes and others received mixed reviews and made some residents and motorists downright angry.

The DOT letter suggests that meetings will be held so that the public can share feedback on the recent changes and make recommendations. "The Department of Design and Construction's Design Consultant will work collaboratively with DOT and the community to ascertain a new roadway configuration that is acceptable to all," it says. "Consideration during this process will also be given to the impact from the development of Arverne by the Sea, east of Beach 73 Street, and the extension of Shore Front Parkway into that area."

DOT Queens Commissioner Maura McCarthy said previously that the capital project could include rebuilding the medians so that the cuts line up with streets and the apartment buildings, which could permanently close the areas that are now closed off by painted markings (and often ignored by motorists).

McCarthy originally said the project probably wouldn't start until 2012, and CB14 District Manager Jonathan Gaska told The Wave he thinks complaints about the recent changes may have sped things up. "Maybe from all the heat they're going to fast-track this," he said.

No meeting dates had been set at press time.

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