Wiping Road Off the Map

Board 2 Approves Woodside Parking Proposal

Community Board 2 recommended approval of a proposal to demap and purchase a parcel of land in Woodside from the city durings its meeting held last Thursday, Nov. 6, at Sunnyside Community Services.

The board recommended Firecom Corporation’s plan to acquire Vaux Road between 59th and 60th streets and use it as a parking lot, as described by Kevin Fullington, an attorney representing the Firecom Corporation who presented the plan to Board 2 told the Times Newsweekly.

Approval of the plan won’t significantly affect residents since Firecom has already been using the space for parking Fullington stated.

“We have been leasing it from the city for a number of years,” he said.

A price to buy the land will be negotiated “after the ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Process) is finalized,” Fullington stated.

“The parking is vital to the continued operation of Firecom,” Fullington said. “This is a thriving company that employs over 100 city residents and we want to keep that way.”

Specifically, Firecom is seeking to close Vaux Road, bar traffic on the street and complete work to adjust the road grades, according to the proposal.

To ultimately go forward the proposal must be approved by Queens Brough President Melinda Katz before the final green light is given by the City Council. The plan was previously certified by the City Planning Commission as part of the ULURP.

Barriers for bike lanes

Board 2 also voted on Thursday night to recommended approval of a Department of Transportation (DOT) plan to make the Vernon Boulevard bicycle path in Long Island City safer.

The DOT plan would install Jersey Barriers along the Queens East River North Shore Greenway to protect cyclists from vehicle traffic on the busy street, it was noted.

The barriers–in this case plastic–will be used to separate lanes of traffic, and are designed to minimize contact with passing vehicles.

Agency official Shawn Macias made the presentation on the DOT plan which he said is needed to make cyclists that use the path feel safer.

“What we are trying to do is solve a safety issue that is their now,” Macias said.

The DOT proposal had several supporters attending, including cyclist and Long Island City resident Brian Howell.

He spoke in favor of the plan, and addressed some of the dangers currently on the bike paths which include large trucks, parking cars and school buses, he said.

These dangers are most acute along the protected lane from 46th Avenue to Queens Plaza South, he said.

“Cyclists are now not well protected,” Howell said. “If we are going to have bicycle lanes, we might as well make them safe.”

Ben Creed of Astoria, agreed that improvements will help.

Citing conflicts of interest that can sometimes leave one group feeling ignored, he said this is a good compromise.

“This strikes me as one rare case where everyone wins,” he said.

Community Board 2 meets on the first Thursday of every month from September through June at Sunnyside Community Sevices, 43-31 39th St. Meetings begin at 7 p.m.

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