DOT has released a watered-down version of its redesign for 111th Street in Corona. The compromise has won over Assembly Member Francisco Moya, who had withheld his support for the original plan, saying 111th Street needed to retain more car lanes.
The new design will not be as safe to cross as the original proposal. Instead of one southbound moving lane, the compromise plan calls for two southbound lanes. It does not include four painted crosswalks in the original plan. The new design maintains the two-way protected bike lane along Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Currently, 111th Street has two northbound and three southbound car lanes, leading to high traffic speeds. From 2010 to 2014, 23 pedestrians, 24 cyclists, and 92 motor vehicle occupants were injured on 111th Street, and the main goal of the project is to provide safer access to the park for people walking and biking from nearby neighborhoods. The compromise design will improve on the status quo but won’t be as safe as DOT’s original plan.
Moya staked his opposition on the argument that there’s too much traffic on 111th Street to narrow it, particularly during sporting events at nearby Citi Field and Arthur Ashe Stadium. But a DOT analysis concluded that the street could handle current traffic volumes with only one lane in each direction, and volunteers shot video during last October’s World Series games confirming that there just isn’t much traffic, even during huge events.