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City bike map points cyclists to boro’s cultural destinations

The Department of City Planning has released a new map to guide Queens cyclists through 18 miles of borough bike lanes which includes notable landmarks in Long Island City, Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona and several other neighborhoods.

The department introduced its Queens Around the World map last week as part of the city’s Bike Month celebration. City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden said the route covers on− and off−street bicycle lanes throughout Queens and highlights numerous destinations that feature the borough’s diverse cultures and architecture.

“The tour is designed so cyclists can take a single 18−mile trip or multiple short trips, making it appealing to return again and again to explore all that Queens has to offer — a host of opportunities for cultural, culinary and historical exploration,” Burden said.

The route, which runs from Astoria to Flushing, includes a variety of noteworthy borough sites, such as Astoria’s St. Irene Chrysovalantou Greek Monastery, Elmhurst’s Geeta Hindu Temple, Corona’s Louis Armstrong House Museum, Flushing Town Hall and Jackson Heights’ Scrabble Avenue, which was named after the game’s inventor, Alfred Mosher Butts.

The City Planning guide also tells participants where they can park their bikes and explore the borough’s landmarks or visit its shopping districts and ethnic cuisines on foot. Much of the route parallels the No. 7 subway line, Burden said.

Riders will pass through communities inhabited by immigrants from Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Greece, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Romania, Taiwan, Trinidad and Tobago and Turkey.

Queens Around the World has been created in conjunction with a variety of other city initiatives to promote bicycling as part of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PlaNYC initiative to make the city greener by 2030, Burden said.

Other city efforts include the requirement of long−term bicycle parking in new multi−family buildings or commercial buildings, bicycle parking in community parking lots, the creation of 140 miles of bicycle routes across the five boroughs and the addition of 5,000 new outdoor bicycle racks by 2011.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e−mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 156.

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