Today’s news:

MTA, DOT fix plan to make Main, Prince, Union streets in Flushing one−way

A one−way traffic pattern planned for downtown Flushing has taken a major step forward, according to City Councilman John Liu (D−Flushing), who said it appears the MTA and the city Department of Transportation have ironed out differences over the proposal’s implementation.

The DOT said it is drawing up the final designs for the plan, which Liu said will completely revamp the oft−congested Main, Union and Prince streets, streamlining both pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Previous versions of the plan were panned by both the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Community Board 7, but Liu said the most recent version of the plan seems to have freed the logjam.

“I am more optimistic about this iteration,” Liu said. “It’s not a perfect plan, but it will achieve the main objectives of easing traffic flow through downtown Flushing and allowing for smoother and safer pedestrian travel.”

The plan calls for all traffic on Main Street to travel north, while traffic on adjacent Union and Prince streets would travel south. Sidewalks would also be widened as much as 10 feet on Main Street, while dedicated truck loading areas would be used to avoid double parking problems that currently plague the area.

CB 7 Vice Chairman Chuck Apelian said the DOT presented the plan to the board and area business and civic groups earlier this month and expressed optimism about the project moving forward.

“We passed it through committee, so they’re going to go ahead with it, which is good,” Apelian said.

Liu said getting the MTA on board with the proposal was key.

“It’s going to require a substantial amount of cooperation from the MTA, which seems to be coming around,” Liu said. “That has been a huge hurdle, but it seems like that hurdle has been surpassed.”

Liu said there remains no set timeline for the plan’s implementation, noting that public hearings will still need to be held prior to its implementation.

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 138.

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