Dec. 22, 2023 By Anthony Medina
Queens Boulevard in Woodside is about to undergo a $23.75 million overhaul thanks to a federal grant that Mayor Eric Adams announced Tuesday.
The hefty grant will primarily go toward safety improvements along the boulevard from Roosevelt Avenue to 73rd Street. The project will include the construction of new medians; the creation of a landscaped pedestrian mall with seating; improved accessibility to bus stops; as well as protected bike lanes, among other upgrades. Construction is expected to begin in fall 2024 and end sometime in 2027.
The federal funds come to the city via the “Safe Streets and Roads for All” program, which was established by Congress through the Infrastructure and Jobs Act.
“Every New Yorker — drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians alike — deserves to feel safe on our streets,” Adams said. “These funds will bring much-needed safety infrastructure to Queens Boulevard.”
While the details of the plan have yet to be finalized, the city said it plans to upgrade the existing painted safety treatments along the corridor with concrete—solidifying the temporary improvements delivered in recent years.
Furthermore, the plan involves expanding and reconstructing the service road medians by providing a continuous, raised pedestrian mall and grade-separated bicycle path for the first time. Other upgrades include reconfiguring several slip ramps to improve safety for all road users as well as reduce crossing distances.
The DOT also plans to install a planted buffer and vertical barrier to protect pedestrians from the traffic on the mainline of Queens Boulevard. Additionally, there will be new lighting, public seating, and landscaping.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. says the former “Boulevard of Death” will now receive the vital improvements to help residents for years to follow.
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng, representing New York’s 6th congressional district, including the neighborhood of Woodside, calls Queens Boulevard a “major artery” in queens and says the federal funds “will go a long way toward saving lives.”
Assembly Member Steven Raga also chimed in on the project, citing that the necessary improvements represent “a significant step towards creating a safer, more accessible Queens Boulevard for all.”
The DOT began redesigning Queens Boulevard in 2015, at a time when it was deemed the most dangerous thoroughfare in the city, according to the Mayor’s office. The efforts from the DOT to address safety concerns led to a reduction in total crashes by 13% and pedestrian injuries by 42%.