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City will start controversial safety improvement project in Corona this Monday

Photo courtesy of DOT

A Department of Transportation (DOT) plan to transform 111th Street in Corona is moving ahead months sooner than expected.

On April 10, the agency will begin to shorten pedestrian crossings, add new parking spaces and install a two-way bicycle lane. The plan was first proposed in 2015 but was met with resistance from Community Board 4. At their most recent meeting, the board moved to table a vote on whether to implement the most recent plan until a later time.

But at a Corona town hall meeting in March, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the city would go ahead with the plan despite no vote from the board. He added that the agency would begin implementing the changes in the summer, but DOT announced on April 5.

“[The] 111th Street [plan] has been a long process as you described,” he said. “These are always complicated issues and there’s good reasons why communities want to talk them through and think about them.  I am comfortable that the right thing to do is move ahead with our efforts to protect people on 111th.”

Starting Monday, the city will install 14 painted median strip extensions along the thoroughfare, install parking-protected bike lanes along Flushing Meadows Corona Park, enhance the bike lanes that are already in place and add 25 parking spots along the median.

The mayor added that the city would collaborate with Community Board 4 and other groups throughout the process to make any adjustments.

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