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Advocacy Group Calls for Protected Bike Lanes in Sunnyside

July 17, By Nathaly Pesantez

A transit advocacy group is petitioning for protected bike lanes in two Sunnyside thoroughfares, one of which was the location where a cyclist was killed by a drunk driver in April.

The group, Transportation Alternatives, is calling for the city to install protected bike lanes, or physically separated lanes from car traffic, on 43rd Avenue and Skillman Avenue. Both throughways currently have painted bike lanes only.

“43rd Avenue and Skillman Avenue are integral bike connectors in Queens,” the petition reads. “Thousands of cyclists use these streets to commute to or from the Queensboro bridge.

In April, Gelasio Reyes was cycling home from work when he was killed by a drunk driver who struck him at the intersection of 39th Street and 43rd Avenue.

Ten days later, another cyclist was struck by a truck on the same intersection, and was taken to the hospital in serious condition, the Sunnyside Post reported.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer called on the Department of Transportation to conduct an investigation on the intersection days later.

“Two cyclists killed or seriously injured in 10 days in the same intersection is not where we need to be when it comes to realizing Vision Zero,” Van Bramer said in April.

Transportation Alternatives reached out to Flor Jimenez, the widow of Gelasio Reyes, for her support in creating the petition.

Over 340 signatures have been collected as of Monday afternoon.

“I think its indicative of how much people care about this,” said Juan Restrepo, a spokesman for Transportation Alternatives. “We need a network of protected bike lanes that will safely take someone from point A to point B.”

In a July 12 letter to Restrepo, the Department of Transportation addressed its plans on the two throughways.“The Bicycle and Greenway Program is currently exploring options to improve safety for cyclists and other road users on Skillman Avenue and 43rd Avenue,” said DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia.

Safety enhancements for the route are being developed, with ideas to be shared later in the year, according to the letter.

60 Comments

Anonymous

TA is overexcessive. After the failure on queens boulevard why are they still allowed to operate.l?
They ruined kent ave and brooklyn now theyre targeting queens. Im a cyclist myself, and i rode new york before it was a bike lane, all TA does is ruin the streets and haggle at bike shops.




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Schwin

I ride a bike and I would never ride qnsblvd . Let’s face it it’s a main thoroughfare , Its made for cars, the bikes lanes should have been on Woodside ave, and laurel hill. Riding the blvd is like getting on the highway it’s dumb and unsafe




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Let's get chariots

It happens too often. Bikes don’t belong on a busy street like qb.




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gilgo

Having nearly been run over twice by the cyclists who utilize the QB bike lanes down by 60th Street. They both blew the red light neither stopped and one flipped me the bird. I have become anti cyclist. I have seen numerous cyclists have totally disregard for the traffic laws. But Herr Wilhelm has it his way.




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Anonymous

I agree you get run over too bad. Go ride your bike in a park or a trail not on a NYC street. I bet insurance doesn’t sound too bad now. Dummy bike riders suck.




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Electric cars are safe

Hey leave the bikes and traffic the same. Just don’t complain when you get run over. Roadkill.




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Anonymous (Fear of attack by Transportation Alternatives)

I have seen large groups of organized bikers (up to 30 or 35 bikes) racing down Skillman Avenue several times in the last three months taking over all the entire moving width of the street even though there is a bike lane on Skillman. Total disregard for pedestrians, car drivers and the law. This kind of reckless disregard for safety should not be rewarded and a residential neighborhood destroyed.




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Anonymous

So all the speeding, reckless drivers aren’t “destroying” this neighborhood?




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Casual Observer

The level of stupid in this thread is amazing.
Must be reflective of sunnyside.




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Southside sux

Sunnyside has turned. Time to move out of this neighborhood. Too much gentrification and immigration. Who wants to live with these newbies. ???




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Anonymous

We should all help you pack…you only get 3 garbage bags and a few hrs…the faster the better…peace!




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Billy

I am a life long Sunnysider at 60 years of age and have grown in absolute favor of bike riding initiative and support such as protected bike lanes. Two main reasons have pulled me into this camp. 1 this helps stick it to the MTA by reducing our dependency on this corrupt inept and spiteful agency. 2. I am sick and tired of looking at fat and obese Americans not to mention the diabetes crisis caused by the lack of exercise in America.




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Curlicue58

I don’t know what is more frightening the bikers that don’t obey the law and many ride without helmets. They r supposed to stop at lights just like cars.
But then again some of the people who drive cars in Sunnyside think they are driving in the Indy 500. They don’t yield to pedestrians at any crosswalk. I was walking on 43rd Ave by 47th st yesterday and they all go through the stop sign.




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CG

I just came back from Amsterdam. It is a very dense city, just like New York (used to be called New Amsterdam). I did not see one helmet while I was there. The belief is that the amount of people who wouldn’t ride a bike due to helmet laws (messes up hair, too expensive, whatever) makes up for it in the fact that people who ride bikes are less likely to die of heart disease from lack of exercise, air pollution, etc. Everyone rides bikes there. It is also so quiet because there are so few cars. If it was safer, I would definitely ride a bike to work. Amsterdam also allows electric bikes, so really, everyone there rides.




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SuperWittySmitty

If the traffic around here was predominantly bicycles, I’d consider riding without a helmet but there are too many cars and trucks driving too fast in this city, right next to where I am pedaling. One of them hit me once and I went flying. My head hit the ground and I was concussed; I also needed stitches. Would not have been injured like that had I been wearing a helmet.




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CG

Yes, cycling in NYC is super dangerous mostly because most motorist don’t obey traffic laws and there is little to no enforcement. Amsterdam has very considerate drivers that are hyper aware of pedestrians and cyclists. They also have dedicated and protected bike lanes and timed lights so cyclists go first, then left hand turning cars then cars going straight. The fact that there are so few left hand turn signals in NYC also contributes to cyclists and pedestrians fatalities because drivers only look to see oncoming traffic not to see if pedestrians are crossing with the walk signal while they are making a left hand turn. This leads to many, many crashes, injuries and deaths. I really wish the 25 mph speed limit in the city was enforced, but sadly, it is not.




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Anonymous

No surprise that the commenters on SSP are mostly against protected bike lanes. When are you all going to be priced out so this neighborhood can see its full potential?




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Cyclist

Ya when the rent goes up to the point you won’t be able to make your Toyota prius payments no more!




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Todd

Alot of cyclists are scumbags, they’re the worst kind of snobbish I’ve ever came across. I’ve never seen a cyclist yield for pedestrians. I’ve had a cyclist crash right into me to make a point because I was walking across the street expecting me to stop for him. He had the audacity to tell me I was supposed to stop for him. Then I pointed to the yield to pedestrian sign. His response? “That sign is for cars only”. They should make cyclists who use those bike lanes get licenses to use the lanes so they can get tickets also.




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Anonymous

A lot (two words) of drivers are scumbags, too. Only drivers are way more dangerous scumbags.




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Todd

Never said they weren’t but they should make cyclists pay insurance also. At least with cars, you need to at least get a license and license plates to go with your car. Cyclists don’t need none of that. When cyclists do something wrong or hit someones car like a moron, they don’t pay for damages because they just ride off but now someone’s car is all scratched up. Just because I suggested cyclists need licenses like the electric bikes, people are getting all defensive. I’m all for a protected bike lane but damn hell better make sure they are held accountable for their actions also. Having 2 wheels instead of 4 makes your chances of getting into am accident that much higher. It’s more dangerous riding a motorcycle instead of a car. Only difference between a motorcyclist and cyclist is an engine, license and insurance premiums.




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Native New Yorker

Next you’ll want pedestrians to get insurance too so they can pay to repaint your bumper when you run into them.




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WOODSIDER61ST

Bikes are the future but fat people in sunnyside prefer cars and drinking beer from the local bars and the fast food joints




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Peter Beadle

For the record, I’m fat and I ride a bike. There are a ton of great reasons for this protected bike lane so let’s see a bit higher level of thought process and lay off the fat comments.

People don’t opposed this because they are fat and/or lazy, they oppose it because they are close minded. They view the world through a narrow prism and just can’t envision bikes as transportation. They are wrong and ignorant and given some of the comments I’ve read, a couple can fairly be labeled bigots too. But their BMI has nothing to do with it.




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A.Bundy

nothing you can do. these types of accidents comes with the city. there’s lots of poor/illegal/just dont care type of people that drink and drive. i see it all the time. the fact that the city leans towards liberal extremes means nobody really is accountable nor seriously punished for such heinous crimes, so no example is ever being made.




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Fan of Doughboy Park

Too bad new York is liberal now. Not like the good old days. Wish it were more like Kansas. Thriving state!




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Sunnysideposthatesmeisback

Bikes don’t belong alongside busy streets. you wanna bike either go back to your home state or go to a damn park. This is New York..




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Anonymous

Exactly, this is New York, the most densely populated city in North America. Why do we prioritize personal automobiles above pedestrians and cyclists? It makes absolutely no sense. If all these fat, lazy drivers would get on a bike every now and then, the city would be a safer, more pleasant place for everyone.




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rikki

MORON MORONS MORONS take away more parking ruin businesses give more tickets, all for a few stupid clueless bike riders who should be walking

Why did the idiots in the north side get bent out of shape when the building on 43rd st was big enough to hold hundreds of cars and make a monthly only parking garage. That would have been great for business, and would have made it easier to make a bike lane without too much inconvenience




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El loco

Rikki:

You’re a lovely woman but you have to cut down on the whiskey for your own good. There is help out there.




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SImpleton

Building proper bike infrastructure gets the “bike out your way.” Win, Win.




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Native New Yorker

China is not even China. They want to be like America so now they have huge automobile traffic jams like us. People who hate bikes don’t realize that bikes take up less space.

Would you rather have more cars in front of you, jamming up the streets? More traffic lanes is not the answer. Los Angeles learned that the hard way.




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43rd Ave

This would be a parking and transportation disaster for Sunnyside. Delivery trucks and parents parked in front of PS 150 make 43rd avenue a one way street many times of day. If cyclists feel unsafe with double parked cars, they can always slowdown and stop to go around to vehicle- just like any other car. I just saw a cyclist hit a moving van the other day. He was making an illegal left turn through a red light with his headphones on. Amazingly, he was OK.




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Anonymous

“Just like any other car.” Bikes are not cars. And the parents who are double parking outside of PS 150 are breaking the law. People are so closed minded and selfish, it’s disgusting.




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Fan of Doughboy Park

I see about a 50 illegal moves by cars daily too.

Great anecdotal evidence.




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Truth Seeker

You forgot to mention that the police reports for both accidents stated that there was a dual responsibilities. Cyclists went through red lights and the other vehicles were speeding. Protected bike Lanes wouldn’t have prevented these tragedies but responsible drivers and/or cyclists would have.




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Truth Seeker

AND the cyclist went through a red light. They both share some if the blame. Drivers AND cyclists need to act more responsibly.




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Me

Yes, because it worked so well on queens blvd, and every day millions of bikers utilize those huge bike lanes and the walk-path or whatever those areas called. They butchered the service road, all it caused is additional traffic and frustration to drivers. Drivers pay thousands in taxes and insurance, yet freeloader bikers want protected bike lanes. Once we license and register the bikers and have them pay their share of the taxes, then we can talk about dedicated roads, not just lanes.




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Anonymous

Yeah, whatever gas tax you pay does not even come close to covering the cost of maintenance and repairs to PUBLIC streets because of automobile traffic. I pay taxes too. If anyone is a freeloader, it’s all these people who park FOR FREE on the street as if it’s their god given right. And insurance costs??? What does that have to do with street design?




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Anonymous

You’re a jackass…being a biker and driver are not mutually exclusive…ever stop to think some bikers are drivers and pay their share too? Wow, stop being so damn ignorant…what’s another protected bike lane going to do to disrupt your life? Wow, some of you ppl that are against this are so f**king sad that you moan and groan about everything!




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MIKE O. Am. I. Dumb

Stupid idea. Get rid of bike lanes on busy streets where bikes don’t belong




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Native New Yorker

Learn to share the road. If the streets are so busy, then how are cars able to speed?




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A. Realist

Bike lanes are a disaster for motorists who pay for the privilege of using the City Streets. Commercial deliveries to retail business is hampered and the “Protected” Bike Lanes would add to vehicle emissions by creating slower traffic and more congestion. All in all Bike lanes serve a small but vocal segment of society, not the public at large. If bicyclists were licensed, insured and seriously monitored by the Law Enforcement agencies, it might not be such a nuisance, but as it is, they present enough of a problem with their disregard of existing traffic laws.




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David

You are the problem with this country and the world. You think cyclists are the problem. The problem is too many lazy morons riding in cars and polluting the environment. Get a clue.




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SuperWittySmitty

Cars are a disaster for people who live in the City. Where there are fewer cars, the quality of life improves dramatically. The Age of Personal Cars is dying; the sooner the better! For decades, pedestrians and bicycle riders have given up TOO MUCH LAND. Huge parts of our city have been turned over to cars- for driving and for parking, and now we’re taking that land back.

It’s inevitable- streets WILL become more congested and traffic WILL move slower. Eventually, car owners will realize there are so many better ways to get around and they will get rid of their cars- they’re too expensive, their dirty, and they take up too much room. Everyone will benefit. We have to wait for them to realize this but we can move the process along more efficiently by constructing bike lanes, dedicated bus lanes, and wider sidewalks to benefit the MAJORITY of city residents who do NOT own a car and do NOT need one.




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Anonymous

This would be fantastic. So many cars double park in the bike lane, and the streets are more than wide enough to accommodate a protected bike lane and two lanes of traffic. It would probably reduce the number of cyclists on the sidewalks, too, if they felt safe on the street.




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