Jackson Heights Life

Get Connected => Neighborhood Chat => Topic started by: JHResident on April 12, 2021, 09:44:08 PM

Title: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: JHResident on April 12, 2021, 09:44:08 PM
I don't know if this has been suggested before, but has anyone considered converting 34th Ave to a one way street and closing half of it permanently?  This would allow the continued use of the open street for recreation, while allowing traffic to proceed in at least one direction.  This should relieve much of the congestion the current setup causes during the day, and would eliminate the need for the volunteers to set up and remove the barricades every day.  Maybe the center median could be extended to the curbs, or alternately converted to a protected bike lane, although we'd miss the greenery for sure.  Just a thought.
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: jh35 on April 13, 2021, 12:46:04 AM
I don't know if this has been suggested before, but has anyone considered converting 34th Ave to a one way street and closing half of it permanently?  This would allow the continued use of the open street for recreation, while allowing traffic to proceed in at least one direction.  This should relieve much of the congestion the current setup causes during the day, and would eliminate the need for the volunteers to set up and remove the barricades every day.  Maybe the center median could be extended to the curbs, or alternately converted to a protected bike lane, although we'd miss the greenery for sure.  Just a thought.

And then make 35th avenue the other way with a bike lane. 
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: Beech Court on April 14, 2021, 08:22:01 PM

Everything sounds good on paper. Reality is another story. Before anything becomes "permanent" there needs to be a complete and unbiased study and then a trail run.

I can see it now - of course the 34th Avenue Mall supporters will want the westbound lane closed to add onto Travers. That means 35th Avenue becomes eastbound. The Q49 will have to run on both avenues. You could say the bus on both avenues might better service the neighborhood. It also means they will turn onto 75th Street to continue the route to Roosevelt.

The 35th / 75th intersection has been dumped on enough:

1) The change of direction to southbound, thanks to the Travers extension, and creating a 24 hour highway of noise and pollution.
2) The Q47 was rerouted up 35th and onto 75th to accommodate the 73rd congestion, and giving us Diversity Plaza. Really this
    only served the Desi community. No one else uses Diversity Plaza. And if they had enforced traffic flow on 73rd and 37th none
    of this would have happened. Maybe there should be no parking or standing on 73rd and 74th between Roosevelt and 37th
    except for late night.
3) 73rd traffic that can't move southbound overflows now onto 75th

Don't add more havoc to an area that has already been compromised in order to accommodate everyone else!
Limit the days or hours of 34th closure if not abandon the idea altogether. It just doesn't get enough usage to warrant being closed while agitating everyone else on 35th and 37th.
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: Beech Court on April 14, 2021, 09:58:43 PM

I may have started directions incorrectly but I think you still get the point
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: JHHD on April 15, 2021, 03:37:20 AM
I don't see anyone addressing the real problem- that there is simply too much motor vehicle traffic in and through our community.
Why should a great neighborhood amenity be compromised to accommodate people (many not JH residents) driving to and through our community?
Sure, plenty of people in the neighborhood own vehicles and use them to commute or to make longer trips, but how many people in the neighborhood drive to go less than a mile within the neighborhood, and in such a dense neighborhood is that type of travel really practical or efficient?
Sure the closure of 34th Ave affects the levels of traffic on other local streets, but there must be other options than going back to the status quo of making 34th Ave another alternative car sewer to Northern Blvd. The residents of our community young, old, and everything in between deserve better. 35th Ave should not remain the alternative car sewer to Northern Blvd either.

One possibility, which would be difficult in the short term but beneficial in the long term would be to for the DOT to redesign the streets to discourage driving in JH. Restricting through traffic on 35th Ave (with exceptions for buses and school buses), coupled with sufficient signage and enforcement to discourage through traffic  on our community streets would be difficult to achieve, but not impossible. Yes it would be much easier to go back to what we had before, but it would be a short term solution to a long term problem. In a few years, the whole neighborhood will be as congested as it is now with 34th open (because it is currently open, not closed) and our quality of life will still suffer. Our community deserves better.
If we make driving easier, more people will continue to drive here, if we make it more difficult to drive here, less people will choose to do so.

Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: ShinjukuBaby on April 15, 2021, 06:07:10 AM
Are there any data that suggest there has actually been any negative impact on traffic on Northern, 35th, 37th, etc.?  Not anecdotes, data.  I agree that we need an actual study.

If people actually cared about traffic moving well on 35th, they would advocate to remove all on street parking, but I haven't heard that from anybody opposed to the 34th Ave Open Street.

But I agree with JHHD; this neighborhood should NOT be organized around increasing car travel.  Improve public transit.  Improve bike lanes.  Improve green space.  Improve air quality.  Improve recreation areas.  You can't do any of that while focused on making it as easy as possible for maximum cars to get through Jackson Heights at maximum speed. 
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: JHHD on April 15, 2021, 06:24:10 AM
Thank you for bringing up parking ShinjukuBaby, I'm not sure how I forgot to mention that.
The city could also do much better in enforcing double parking and other violations.
Over a year ago the city implemented the open corridor program on Roosevelt Ave. During the program, the amount of traffic agents aggressively moving along anyone who even attempted to stop along the curb at Roosevelt Ave was something I had never seen before, and was a bit of overkill as the Ave was completely wide open with very little traffic. The minute the program ended, the enforcement just disappeared and Roosevelt turned back into a clogged double parking shit show. Instead of simply targeting that enforcement at double parkers that cause the problem, the city just let everything go back to the way it was.

The point is that parking would not even need to be totally eliminated to make 35th Ave flow smoother. Dedicated delivery loading zones on each block coupled with aggressive enforcement of double parking would make a world of difference. That wouldn't necessarily solve our problem of too many people driving through our neighborhood, but it would be a reasonable compromise.
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: r on April 15, 2021, 07:13:11 AM
This neighborhood should NOT be organized around increasing car travel.

I get the impression that a lot of "car travel" is just people driving around in circles for hours trying to find a parking spot

In retrospect the big co-op buildings should have built more underground parking garages, but I guess they were built before parking was a problem
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: abcdefghijk on April 15, 2021, 07:36:22 AM
This neighborhood should NOT be organized around increasing car travel.

I get the impression that a lot of "car travel" is just people driving around in circles for hours trying to find a parking spot

In retrospect the big co-op buildings should have built more underground parking garages, but I guess they were built before parking was a problem

I agree. Organizing a neighborhood around cars is from another era. The Robert Moses era. 1950s.

Famously, Robert Moses' ideas were defeated by Jane Jacobs' concepts of community, the streets for the people and not for the priority of cars in the 1960s.

It's time Jackson Hts made the streets for the people. And not for the priority of cars in 2021 onwards.

The Robert Moses way of thinking leads to creating cities like Los Angeles. And New York is the opposite of Los Angeles.





Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: r on April 15, 2021, 11:33:56 AM
Moses did a lot of good things as well though. He connected Queens to Manhattan and the Bronx. And built Travers Park.
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: JHResident on April 15, 2021, 11:58:34 AM
And built Travers Park.
Travers Park is a tiny playground that replaced a 9-hole golf course. A net loss of green space in an area sorely lacking in green space. Although my apartment building wouldn't be here, can you imagine if they had built a real park instead of selling the land to developers?
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: abcdefghijk on April 15, 2021, 11:59:26 AM
Moses did a lot of good things as well though. He connected Queens to Manhattan and the Bronx. And built Travers Park.

Yes, Robert Moses did. He created Riverside Park as well.

However, his ideas about the automotive era being predominant...concepts from the 1950's...are outmoded now in 2021.
And have been since Moses died.  Interestingly, Moses was shunned and blamed for the decline of NYC before his death in the 1980's.
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: r on April 15, 2021, 12:25:26 PM
And built Travers Park.
Travers Park is a tiny playground that replaced a 9-hole golf course. A net loss of green space in an area sorely lacking in green space. Although my apartment building wouldn't be here, can you imagine if they had built a real park instead of selling the land to developers?

Yeah the tennis courts looked nice too. It is a shame what Queensboro did with all their land, the old photos are surreal.
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: pipman on April 16, 2021, 08:42:00 PM
Would be great to address the open streets and traffic congestion together.  As others mentioned, the double parking and total lack of enforcement is contributing to the congestion, honking and endangering everyone from bikers, pedestrians and drivers.  To have less traffic from residents circling around to find parking, why can't we have permit parking for residents. Maybe speed bumps on 35th could detract some drivers speeding through to avoid Northern Blvd or Roosevelt.  As others have said, more study and thought should happen before we move forward with permanent opening of 34th Av. 
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: JHResident on April 19, 2021, 05:57:17 PM
Maybe speed bumps on 35th could detract some drivers speeding through to avoid Northern Blvd or Roosevelt.
I don't believe it is currently possible to average more than 15 mph on 35th Ave.
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: abcdefghijk on April 27, 2021, 01:08:13 PM
Interesting. On NPR, they spoke about OPEN STREETS.

Jackson Heights 34th Ave got a shining, magnificent mention.

In Greenpoint, it appears the division is between younger and older folks.

Where the younger folks are far more pro-open streets.

And the older folks less so.

Fascinating. The future is beckoning.
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: StevenGrey on April 27, 2021, 03:53:38 PM
In Greenpoint, it appears the division is between younger and older folks.
Where the younger folks are far more pro-open streets.
And the older folks less so.

If you were less mobile--elderly or handicapped--or cared for someone who is, you'd be more understanding. As someone who has shuttled both of my parents to and from doctor's appointments using my own car or relying upon the city's Access-a-Ride program, closing entire avenues to car traffic creates an additional headache for caretakers requiring access to homes or offices along these proposed "open street" routes. I feel for those who live along these streets with elderly parents, those with disabilities, or special needs children.
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: abcdefghijk on April 27, 2021, 07:23:37 PM
In Greenpoint, it appears the division is between younger and older folks.
Where the younger folks are far more pro-open streets.
And the older folks less so.

If you were less mobile--elderly or handicapped--or cared for someone who is, you'd be more understanding. As someone who has shuttled both of my parents to and from doctor's appointments using my own car or relying upon the city's Access-a-Ride program, closing entire avenues to car traffic creates an additional headache for caretakers requiring access to homes or offices along these proposed "open street" routes. I feel for those who live along these streets with elderly parents, those with disabilities, or special needs children.

Cars can still enter these streets to pick up the elderly/disabled folk.

Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: itsit on April 28, 2021, 08:52:25 AM
 Wow, I heard this segment about Open Streets on the Brian Lehrer show differently. A number of people sounded young but they were definitely on BOTH sides of the argument. There was even a sentiment very vocally expressed by one caller who explained that the lack of compromise was a real issue there. The one caller from JH sounded like an infomercial for 34th Ave Open Streets and did not mention any of the issues mentioned such as the difficulty of the moving the heavy barriers for some people and the inconsistent use of the street or the fact that our Open Streets is 4 to 5x longer than any other one in the city. As Jessica Ramos has said, if there is true compromise here we should all come away a little bit unhappy.
  On the other hand, I don't think we've had people trashing the barriers...and that comment about seeds of the Proud Boys from Greenpoint. Scary!
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: abcdefghijk on April 29, 2021, 11:59:51 AM
Wow, I heard this segment about Open Streets on the Brian Lehrer show differently. A number of people sounded young but they were definitely on BOTH sides of the argument. There was even a sentiment very vocally expressed by one caller who explained that the lack of compromise was a real issue there. The one caller from JH sounded like an infomercial for 34th Ave Open Streets and did not mention any of the issues mentioned such as the difficulty of the moving the heavy barriers for some people and the inconsistent use of the street or the fact that our Open Streets is 4 to 5x longer than any other one in the city. As Jessica Ramos has said, if there is true compromise here we should all come away a little bit unhappy.
  On the other hand, I don't think we've had people trashing the barriers...and that comment about seeds of the Proud Boys from Greenpoint. Scary!

I listen to the data that is given.

Over 70% of younger folk are pro-Open Streets.
Over 60% of older folk are pro-Open Streets.

I am not swayed by overly emotional folks pushing their own agendas and causes. (Pro and Con this issue)

The Math numbers count. They predict the future.



Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: itsit on April 29, 2021, 12:36:09 PM
 Sorry but if you give the NPR segment a close listen, this is not the conclusion that they come to. In fact, younger voices were hissing mad against! Good futures are well planned with lots of data and take time. Many of these elements are not present in the hasty COVID times 34th Ave Open Streets in its current state. Let's compromise, collect data, take our time and see what best serves the whole community-all segments, walking, riding, multi-modal, varied ages, incomes, professions, schools, small businesses, delivery mania and many more issues- as it all needs consideration for this to be a good local project in Jackson Heights.
 No rushing please!
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: abcdefghijk on April 29, 2021, 12:41:56 PM
Sorry but if you give the NPR segment a close listen, this is not the conclusion that they come to. In fact, younger voices were hissing mad against! Good futures are well planned with lots of data and take time. Many of these elements are not present in the hasty COVID times 34th Ave Open Streets in its current state. Let's compromise, collect data, take our time and see what best serves the whole community-all segments, walking, riding, multi-modal, varied ages, incomes, professions, schools, small businesses, delivery mania and many more issues- as it all needs consideration for this to be a good local project in Jackson Heights.
 No rushing please!

I repeat. I am not swayed by overly emotional folks pushing their own agendas and causes. (Pro and Con this issue)

The Math numbers count. They predict the future.

Over 70% of younger folk are pro-Open Streets.
Over 60% of older folk are pro-Open Streets.

Just like people can pretend the numbers of votes for Biden (the Math) was wrong, they also question the Math when the Math doesn't suit their own agendas.


Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: petegart on April 29, 2021, 07:36:55 PM
The Open-Streets program, here in JH’s did not require any permanent or structural road changes.  I am hoping that things can continue as they have have during the once-in-a-lifetime experience of the Covid Pandemic.
If it turns out that people return to their offices and/or the utilization dwindles down to a point where it’s time to revisit - I have hopes that things can be reevaluated at that time.
Right now everyone is exhausted by the stresses of the pandemic, so this recent decision to extend and continue open-streets is not surprising. 
Title: Re: Suggestion for 34th Ave Open Street modification
Post by: CaptainFlannel on April 30, 2021, 07:49:21 AM
Quote
if there is true compromise here we should all come away a little bit unhappy.

Many advocates of OS will walk away unhappy if 34th Avenue doesn't end up being a full-on park with no car traffic, and the likelihood of that happening is nil because of garages and driveways (and the need for emergency access to buildings), so there will definitely be compromise by that definition.

I'm a driver and actually share some of their concerns/worries about loss of parking spaces, but it's just hard to stand with a group calling for compromise who mainly seem to want to shut the whole program down. From watching the most vocal ones online, it largely seems like they have the impression that if they don't get what they want, they have not been listened to.