May 7, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Community Board 2 is hosting a workshop later this month as a follow up to the Department of Transportation’s controversial plan to install protected bicycle lanes—and an array of other safety features– on Skillman and 43rd Avenues.
The workshop, which will take place at Sunnyside Community Services on May 21, aims to generate ideas from the public as to how to make Skillman and 43rd Avenues safer for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists. The event is open to all, and will begin at 6:30 p.m.
The meeting centers on the DOT’s proposal for safety improvements on Skillman and 43rd Avenue, which primarily features protected bike lanes and a reduction of parking spaces along a roughly 20-block stretch of the corridor.
The event is solely being organized by Community Board 2; the DOT is not involved.
While many vouch for protected bike lanes to be implemented, the proposal has seen much resistance from a mix of residents and dozens of business owners since November, when the DOT presented a proposal that would have eliminated 158 parking spaces.
The DOT has since held a town hall and revised the plan twice, with the latest version showing a reduction of 116 parking spaces.
But the board has still expressed skepticism over the plan, with CB2 Chair Denise Keehan-Smith urging the DOT for a scaled-back approach to the two avenues.
The upcoming workshop, Keehan-Smith said, will be a chance for residents to voice alternatives and come up with a different take on safety improvements.
“We want to hear some safety ideas other than simply putting in a bike lane,” she said at Thursday night’s Community Board 2 meeting. Ideas she suggested as examples include painting the existing lanes green, changing the traffic light sequence, and installing speed bumps.
The feedback given at the workshop will be consolidated and discussed with the Transportation Committee and DOT in June, the same month the committee and full board will likely vote on the DOT’s proposal.
“We just want to hear from everyone,” she said. “As you all know there’s strong opinions on both sides, so we would like to have our own take—take a look at it and see what we can come up with.”
Date: May 21,
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Sunnyside Community Services, located at 43-31 39th St
The event is open to all.