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Sunnyside Yard Public Workshop: Transportation & Mobility

  • Growing Up Green Charter School 39-27 28th Street Long Island City, NY, 11101 United States (map)

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Sunnyside Yard Transportation Workshop. See below for a summary of findings!


EVENT SUMMARY

Date: May 1st, 2019  |  6-8pm 
Location: Growing Up Green Charter School  |  Dutch Kills, Queens
Attendance: 25+

This workshop focused on transportation and mobility in, over and around Sunnyside Yard. An opening presentation was led Mike Flynn of Sam Schwartz Engineering and Androniki Lagos of Urbane Development. The presentation opened with an overview of the planning process and progress update to-date, then went on to then went on to discuss the current state of transportation in Western Queens, potential improvements that would increase the efficiency and expand capacity of the transportation network, and examples the potential for Sunnyside Yard to shape the future of transportation. See here for the  full presentation.

After the presentation, attendees broke into small groups and participated in an activity that considered possible transportation interventions for Sunnyside Yard and the surrounding neighborhoods. Each group was given a set of cards detailing the tradeoffs of each intervention (i.e. cost, time to construct, added capacity), each table discussed the potential intervention options provided as well as any new interventions suggested and were asked to select and rank their top 4 desired interventions. Each table then had a discussion about the pros and cons associated with the proposed interventions. A representative from each group shared a summary of the activity and discussion.

Key Findings from activities and small group discussions:

  1. Top rated interventions included a regional rail station, better local bus service, walking and biking improvements, Bus Rapid Transit, and a variety of subway improvements including improved signaling, new subway lines, more frequent subway stops, and subway car redesign. Land use changes, street trolleys, and freight improvements were also ranked.

  2. Several teams noted that Sunnyside Yard should be a pedestrian-only zone. Some suggestions to improve the pedestrian experience include: prioritizing pedestrians at every intersection, placing cross-walks mid-block, and creating pedestrian bridges to connect along the north-south axes.  

  3. Little support for parking on the deck, with one team recommending off-site garages for residents

  4. Bus routes connecting the northern and southern edges of the Yard were particularly popular. One team noted that bus size should be contingent on the location and route, as some routes are more popular. Some teams recommended making the Rockaway Beach Line a BRT in an effort to reuse existing infrastructure.  

  5. Subway expansion was also popular, with the following expansions suggested: 

    • The E/F subway stop under Northern Blvd. 

    • Add a F subway stop at 36th Street 

    • Extend the G subway line by joining the 4 and M lines 

    • Increase the capacity on the E/M lines  

  6. Participants seemed keen on a Sunnyside Station with several teams noting the importance of connecting it to all regional train lines, including NJ Transit and Metro North. There was a suggestion that fare structure and/or integration would need to be further explored. 

  7. Other suggestions include:  

    • A trolley to connect residents across the Yard 

    • Greenway with bike lanes across the Yard and surrounding the perimeter of the site  

    • Universal ticket that can be used for all transit, including regional train lines  

    • Valet for CitiBike docks, as many are either completely empty or completely full  

    • Dedicated unloading zones for freight vehicles to ease congestion