May 13, 2020 By Allie Griffin
More Queens streets will be closed to traffic and opened to pedestrians as the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage New York City.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) will open up 12 additional miles of city streets starting tomorrow as part of the city’s Open Streets initiative, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.
The City plans to open 40 miles of roadways for pedestrians and cyclists’ exclusive use by the end of the month as the warmer weather brings more and more New Yorkers outside.
Thus far, de Blasio has announced 21 miles across the city, including the routes revealed today.
“We want to make it easier for people to socially distance, particularly as the warmer weather comes on and the Open Streets initiative is helping us to do that,” de Blasio said at a City Hall briefing today.
Newly announced streets in Jackson Heights, Sunnyside, Long Island City and Flushing will open up beginning tomorrow.
Most streets will be closed to traffic between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. each day.
Local deliveries, pickups and drop offs and necessary city service, utility and emergency vehicles are permitted during the open street hours. Such drivers must drive at 5 MPH on the streets.
The City has already converted several Queens streets near parks and a stretch of 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights to pedestrians and cyclists use.
The mayor hopes to make 100 miles of city streets car-free during the course of the pandemic.
He announced the Open Streets initiative and 100-mile goal at the end of April after resisting weeks of pressure from the City Council and bike advocates to close roads to traffic during the health crisis.
The open streets will give New Yorkers with growing cabin fever amid stay-at-home orders additional space to get fresh air while following social distancing rules, supporters say.
The Queens streets, announced today, that will be shut to traffic each day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. include:
34th Avenue between 78th Street and Junction Boulevard in Jackson Heights
Skillman Avenue between 39th Place and 43rd Street in Sunnyside
39th Avenue between Woodside Avenue and Barnett Avenue in Sunnyside
27th Street between Hunter Street and Queens Plaza South in Long Island City
5th Street between 46th Avenue and 49th Avenue in Long Island City
Roosevelt Avenue between 155th Street and Northern Boulevard in Flushing
Peck Avenue between 137th Street and Main Street in Flushing
In Sunnyside, 46th Street, between Queens Boulevard and Greenpoint Avenue, will close on Saturdays and Sundays between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.