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CB2, Residents, Claim Roll Out of Bike Lanes Has Been Unorganized, Poorly Handled

Ongoing protected bike lane implementation at 43rd Avenue. (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

Sept. 10, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Community Board 2 members and area residents are criticizing the city’s protected bike lane implementation on Skillman and 43rd Avenues, claiming the roll out has been unorganized and done in a “haphazard” way.

Several business owners, community leaders, and board members spoke to their frustrations during the Sept. 6 Community Board 2 meeting, the first full meeting since the board voted down the controversial DOT project in June.

Many were angry that the Department of Transportation went ahead with the project despite the board’s rejection of it. In addition, many claimed that the DOT’s actual implementation of the redesign–which began last month– was being done “hastily,” with little communication and poor planning.

“While the project is only partially complete, many of our worst fears have already come to fruition,” said Roque Rodriguez, co-owner of Suryaside Yoga on Skillman Avenue, speaking on behalf of Queens Streets For All, a group that opposes the city’s plans for the avenues.

Rodriguez claimed that there’s been “massive confusion” for cyclists and drivers, along with more traffic backups. Some areas of the corridor, according to people he’s spoken to, also feel less safe than before, he said.

Gary O’Neil, owner of Aubergine Cafe on Skillman Avenue, echoed Rodriguez’ statement and claimed the unfinished rollout has caused “even more danger to pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.”

For Melissa Orlando, president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, the implementation was done too rapidly and in a “haphazard way.” She said “no standing” and other signs have gone up without notice, and that cars have been towed and ticketed as a result. She was also disappointed that the project had yet to be finished despite the start of school.

Her biggest concern, she said, is lack of information.

“There’s been no education from the DOT to drivers, to cyclists, or to pedestrians,” Orlando said. “They are nowhere to be found. It is irresponsible for them not to be here, educating the community on such a big change.”

Community Board 2 meeting on Sept. 6 (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

Denise Keehan-Smith, chairperson of Community Board 2 and a strong opponent of the plan, agreed with the shared concerns. She claimed the streets, done out of sequence and with unfinished lines in the middle of the street, caused confusion for drivers looking for parking. The DOT, she added, did not put up signage explaining what kind of work was happening.

“It was not handled well at all, so it’s very frustrating,” she said.

Keehan-Smith confirmed that several “no parking” signs have gone up on side streets along the corridor, which has resulted in 15  parking spots–on top of the 116 in the DOT’s plan– being taken.

Many board members also applauded each person who spoke out against the city’s plan, with virtually all speakers pledging to not give up in their opposition against the protected bike lanes.

Rodriguez, for instance, said the neighborhood should continue to fight for their removal. He pointed to the DOT’s recent announcement to remove the protected bike lane on Dyckman Street in Manhattan as evidence that it’s not too late.

While Mayor Bill de Blasio has since intervened and halted the removal pending his review, the DOT said its decision came from extensive community feedback, according to Streetsblog. The DOT did not state specifically what led to the change, but many small business owners and an FDNY captain from a nearby firehouse had voiced their concerns about it previously.

“This is the same situation that we have here,” Rodriguez said, referring to a meeting the DOT and FDNY had on the Skillman and 43rd Avenues plan earlier this summer. “…But that was pushed aside and they moved forward anyway.”

The DOT, however, made minor changes to the plan in response to concerns, which has received full support from the FDNY.

In response to concerns from residents and the board, the DOT said it has followed its general outreach procedures and distributed “What’s Happening Here” flyers about the project to the community and elected officials in late July.

DOT staff, according to a spokesperson, also went out on the first day of school to make sure drop-off ran smoothly.

The agency said the project, for the most part, has been implemented in sequence, but the number of elements in it made for some items being done first over others. It put in crosswalks first on 43rd Avenue, for example, and had to work around construction at P.S. 11. It also had to wait for the loading zone installation at Fresh N Save on Skillman Avenue to go in.

“In general, we have taken advantage of alternate side parking rules for access to the curb and given a standard 48 hours’ notice in advance of work,” a DOT spokesperson said.

While several claimed the rollout was confusing and possibly dangerous for road users, some cyclists on the two avenues said the prior configuration was more troublesome.

Santos Vigueras, a 28-year-old deliveryman for a local business, said he rides down Skillman Avenue just about every day for his job, and that the protected lane makes it easier for everyone to know what to do.

“I know there’s some more left to do, and people aren’t used to it, but once it’s done I think it will be better for everyone,” Vigueras said in Spanish.

Cynthia Angel, a 34-year-old resident who bikes several times a week to and from her job in Manhattan, said the weeks-long implementation is just part of the process.

“Obviously they’re not going to paint it all in one day,” Angel said. “It’s just a normal process and it’s easy to be impatient about it.”

The DOT is currently prepping and painting markings on the two avenues, and is expected to finish work some time this fall.

Cynthia Angel (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

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138 Comments

LIVING ON THE EDGE!THANKS TO JIMMY

It would be nice if the bike riders would use their freshly painted bike lanes..but no they rather ride in the tight as 2 lane side of Skillman Ave.
Its also lovely how the trailers coming down off Queens Blvd onto 43rd ave & Skillman cant even make wide enough turns onto these streets. blocking traffic for 10-15 minutes while they maneuver their trailers into a turn. Hey JIMMY! why not close off traffic to oversized trucks. The amount of middle lane parked cars that have been hit in the past month, should be an indication that the genius that drew up the plans for our wonder full new lane designations was HIGH AS F*CK!
Also, its lovely to see how many cyclist are almost getting killed when cars are trying to make turns forced to merge into the bike lane but cant see oncoming cyclist. GENIUS! JUST GENIUS. And lets not start on how many pedestrians have been hit by cyclist crossing their lane and then put into the path of danger by a car reversing from their wonderful parking spot OR turning and trying to clear a bike lane, parking lane and driving lane.
JIMMY, THE DOT & CITY OF NY deserve a reward for the most 1/2 ass executed bike plan in the city.
Life has never been so exciting! MORONS.




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fed up

Today I left my house at around 9.10. I drive myself and my wife to work. I need my car for work. As I tried to turn right on to Skillman from 52nd. The car that was parked in the road obscured the fact that a car was turning left from the other part of 52nd. The road section is now a single lane. For the first time ever I couldn’t even get through the red light. Then on the next block where Fresh n Save is the same thing. We have instantly created traffic jams. It’s ludicrous that I can’t even get through two consecutive stop lights. We have created more congestion and pollution at a stroke and in the meantime while I was getting frustrated I noted the the number of bikes using the new lane was precisely ZERO.




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JVB you let me down

I think that Jimmy Van Bramer has destroyed his political career coming out in favor of this. I VOTED for him THREE times. I will NEVER vote for him again.
My quality of life has really gone down since this thing has gone into effect. Parking HAS got tougher and driving through our neighborhood is much more difficult.
What’s more, I think the avenues are MORE dangerous.




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well said

This anecdote spanning 30 seconds of a single person’s commute should decide the road planning for a borough with a population of 2.3 million.




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typical Sunnyside Post reader

Taxpayer money should be spent on providing free parking spots where I can keep my car.

I shouldn’t have to spend my own money to have somewhere to keep my private property!

Even though these bicycle lanes benefit the entire community, are free for public use, and save lives I don’t like them because it slightly inconveniences me.




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Diana

I don’t have a car or a bike so am not embroiled in the bitter me vs you feud but I do very occasionally rent zipcars to take my dog to the vet or if I’m transporting a large item. I am trying to get a handle on the changes some of which seem confusing and possibly a pain in the ass. I’ve lived on Skillman for 10 years in the area they determined needed only one driving lane because it’s supposedly less trafficked. I’m surprised by this as we have a tremendous amount of businesses that get van and truck deliveries daily and thus require double parking throughout day. We now have less driving space than the purely residential side streets where you can actually pass another car. We have a Fire Dept a block down that uses Skillman as a major thoroughfare. I see the FD supposedly accepted the plan but it’s odd because there is really no room for cars to pass each other or for anyone to pull over so no matter how loud they honk they will have to wait for the cars in front of then to get through the light. The reduction from 2 lanes to 1 has is definitely making the street congested (which then leads to obnoxious honking) on a street that had previously moved pretty smoothly and quietly. Someone with a bunch of luggage was waiting for an Uber as I was leaving this morning and it was a complete mess stopping traffic (another car was already pulled over taken up that striped section by the corner that I don’t think you’re even supposed to pull over in??) The reason we have only one lane seems to be because they gave us a double wide biking lane that bikers are using in both directions (not sure of the intended purpose of this double lane). This makes it risky to step out into the street anywhere but the corners. There’s also much more limited vision of the street traffic unless you walk to the corner. Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things but who in NY consistently walks to the crosswalk especially if they have something heavy or cumbersome?? The least they could do is mail or hand out a flyer explaining stuff for those of us who don’t have a vested interest in parking or biking but still need to operate under the new changes.




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Annie

Thanks for you comments, Diana. As a pedestrian you will certainly benefit more than most (drivers draw the highest safety benefits from these plans). The cars vs. bikes agenda was pursued by bad actors in the community who tried to make this about parking instead of safety, but their argument lost and this will pass when they realize their worst fears will not happen and that the benefits to safety and commerce are immediate.

The single lane section has been designed with enough width to fit double parking on the south side of the avenue without blocking the travel lane. Also remember that the 11’ bike lane can accommodate emergency vehicles, giving them a dedicated lane if needed to bypass traffic.

The actual reason it was reduced to one travel lane in that section is because the community board valued parking over traffic flow and arguably safety. Having the shortest crossing distance is a great thing for you, though. I live 2 blocks on the other side of this and wish it were one lane at my block as well. You are also right that the design encourages correct crossing at corners with reduced crossing distances, because it is much safer this way.

The main thing to observe over the next weeks is the significant reduction of vehicle speeds. The street is so much safer for ourselves, our children, and our parents. It’s so easy to get bogged down by noticing change, but keep in mind you may not have been looking as closely before. People often report feeling less safe after any changes are made, but again the key here is the speed. When vehicles move at slower speeds drivers have more time to react and lives are saved. This plan has been designed to make the street more predictable, with the shorter crosswalks being the star of the show.

Say hello to the new Skillman Avenue: one of the most pedestrian friendly avenues in the city! Walk our beautiful tree-lined streets, stop into one of our many small businesses, bring your friends and family!




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Diana

Thanks for your reply. I wouldn’t say I’m bogged down by changes but rather unsure about them as well as the variance among different blocks. 49th and below has one configuration, 50th and 51st have another and I saw yet another walking down 52nd tonight. I’m particularly focused on it right now, not because I live in fear of change, but because I do have some upcoming trips where I need to pick up and drop off my dog and I need to be able to operate within the new rules correctly and safely. More information from the DOT or local precinct would make a big difference.

As you mentioned my block does have parking on both sides of the street but so do the blocks from 49th street and below and they still retained 2 driving lanes. My block didn’t retain any more parking than the ones below it. The difference is the curbside lane is now much wider on my block and those above it than the blocks from 49th street and below and therefore the cars have to be much more off-set eliminating the space for the second lane. You can now no longer pass which is something you can do even on the narrower sides streets like 49th. Do you know if the wider curbside lane in these sections is serving a specific purpose or is it just a more generous size bike lane and if so, why is it like this on some blocks and not others? Someone in my building said they thought it could be used for cars to pickup and drop off but that seems unlikely. I know there was a proposal done by the DOT a while back but I can’t find it.

I personally have never felt concerned about life as a pedestrian here. Nor about getting across Skillman Avenue before the light changed as it’s a really narrow street. I actually didn’t know those big corner sections were for pedestrians until you mentioned shorter cross-walks and I had to look and figure out what you were talking about. Those sort of oblong sections right? I thought they were for drivers making right-hand turns to merge into in order to make the turn. But it seems odd to encourage people to walk almost to the center of the street and wait there as cars are passing when it’s always safer to stand up on the sidewalk and wait even if you’re crossing in the middle of the street! The sidewalk is always safest especially with a dog or small children. They could just lengthen the duration of the light and put in a countdown clock if the distance is proving a problem to cross.

I do agree our street is pretty and as a lifelong NYC-er I always appreciated the quaint look and feel of the block compared with so many other areas. But as I mentioned previously there has been an increase in congestion on the single lane blocks which is never pleasant and because there is no room to pass anymore and we live in an impatient time, that leads to honking. My apartment faces the street so the honking is fairly noticeable to me, particularly in morning. I also find the offset parking lane and mass of white lines pretty unsightly looking. Certainly not an argument against it by any means, just sort of a disappointing side affect. But perhaps at least the congestion will improve in time!




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Diana

PS I did just reach out to Community Board 2 via email to ask for more information to be made available!




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Annie

The rationale in the plan for having sections with one travel lane vs. two is the low vs. high traffic volume at those locations. The eastern end of Skillman was one of those areas with low traffic volume, as was the western end of 43rd Avenue. Having two very wide lanes in and area with low traffic volume encourages dangerous speeding, which was clearly reflected in the intersections of 48th and Skillman, and 39th and 43rd Avenue being among the most dangerous intersections in the neighborhood.

It’s too bad that drivers are blocking, or slowing, traffic by double parking and causing impatient people to honk. As time goes on and people get used to the configuration, both behaviors will decrease. My biggest hope is that people finally stop using our neighborhood as a speedy shortcut to get in and out of the city.

There is a big difference between the pedestrian islands and the mixing zones. The pedestrian islands are usually on blocks where cars can’t turn right while the mixing zones allow right turning vehicles to move out of the way of the travel lanes while waiting to turn.

The community could have had more input into this, but for the board being captured by the group against the plan. Be very wary of them and please vote in favor of term limits this November so we can get a board more responsive to the community in the future. Also reach out to Jimmy’s office, as they have had to pick up the slack where our civic leaders have failed.




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make MAGA again

Car drivers break the laws all the time, why do they deserve their own special lane?

Oh wait, I meant to say that about bike riders–that’s totally different.




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THIS SUCKS BIGTIME

The new lanes on Skillman are unwanted and unwarranted. The so called study that justified them was faked by TA and DOT. No way the numbers match the reality. ALL the business owners were anti-lanes for good reason. With the pressure on retail from online shopping EVERYTHING should be done to support small business unless you want ‘dead’ high streets ..amenities, stores etc are why people move to an area. Oh and you just made it impossible for pedestrians to see oncoming traffic with a parking lane away from the curb.




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The price is wrong

You are correct that everyone should rally around small businesses, but in the meantime the small businesses need to do themselves a favor and completely clean house at the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce. The chamber has been in steep decline for the better part of this century, but it became particularly pronounced since the coup orchestrated by she-who-will-not-be-named (and she who did not want the Queensboro Bridge renamed).

Whether it was under her watch, her right hand’s watch, or under the current president who is in her pocket, they are presiding over dwindling membership, increasing turnover, and deteriorating expertise in business promotion. Their bat out of hell response to this plan surprised no one.

Any business chamber worth their membership dues can teach a small business how to grow 10%. If you have a business worried they’ll lose a percentage of their customer base you help them with aspects of their business they can control. The last thing you do is actively try to worry your entire membership base. It’s really ridiculous, but elections, even at the chamber level, have consequences. They, the leadership are to blame, not some bike lane plan.




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The naked truth

This interesting exchange between a resident who buys into the Sunnyside Chamber’s manufactured hysteria and one who understands the root cause of the problem is illuminating. It shows that there were problems beneath the surface before the bike lane plan defeated the narrow minds of Sunnyside’s business leaders.

It shows that the business community was already in trouble. It shows that the only difference between the successful, similarly impactful to parking Sunnyside neighborhood slow zone effort and this subsequent effort to improve it was indeed the change of leadership at the chamber and the community board.

What the second poster fails to realize is that the Sunnyside Chamber put considerable resources into organizing against this plan, working in lock step with the pariah group Queens Streets and the board chair, and actually gaining members through its canvassing to “save our neighborhoods.”

How far the mighty have fallen.




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From the offices of Transportation Alternatives

ALERT!!! another negative biking comment has been posted PLEASE hurry and respond! Also, recruit your latex pants/bearded/kale eating/goofy helmet wearing brethren to this clear and present danger!! remember we do not have to follow the same rules of the road as everyone else, we are too cool for that! Viva resistance!




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obey

bikers, now that you have your piece of the road, with it comes the responsibility of using it safely. That means stopping at all red lights and stop signs, driving in the right direction on a one way street and staying off the sidewalk. You also must yield to pedestrians, it’s the law. plain and simple. until you do, expect the incur the wrath of the rest of us. vision zero is as much about protecting the rest of us from bikers as it is about protecting you and your schwin.




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great point

Agreed. Motorists never drive faster than the speed limit, roll through stop signs, or ever break any law. So why should cyclists?!




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goggles pizano

you must be a trumper. repeat the same thing ad nauseum, miss the point and attempt to distract by blaming someone else. that’s Donnie’s playbook.




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stfu

STFU seriously – when pedestrians wait for the light to turn then start bitching about bikers crossing red lights . stop fucking whining .




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bike lanes are scary

car drivers, now that you have your piece of the road, with it comes the responsibility of using it safely. That means stopping at all red lights and stop signs, never driving 1 MPH over the speed limit, and never double-parking. You also must yield to pedestrians, it’s the law. plain and simple. until you do, expect the incur the wrath of the rest of us. vision zero is as much about protecting the rest of us from drivers as it is about protecting you and your gigantic SUV.




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bill

well I am opposed to the lanes unequivocally!!! Case in point…Today I was making a left turn on Amsterdam Ave. on 93st. and I was already making the turn when a delivery biker cut in front of me. I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting him and I had checked my side view mirror before the turn. Cars have the ROW! The streets were made for cars. I live in upper west side of nyc (formerly an Astoria resident) and the lanes are everywhere. It adds to congestion to the umpth degree, especially on Columbus Ave. where trucks triple park to make deliveries. What used to be a 3 lane avenue is now, at times, a one lane avenue! The lanes here are rarely used during week days. It is an ill thought out plan for the streets of Manhattan or any other borough where cars or trucks or taxis are needed to function. These lanes are plain money makers for Citybike and a kiss on the ass for the ‘new way of thinking millenials’. Well they can kiss my ass.




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hmm

So you turned left in front of a vehicle that you admit clearly saw approaching on on your left…and it’s their fault? Seems logical.




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bill

dont put words into my mouth. I saw no BIKE! I began to turn but was waiting for pedestrians to cross and then proceeded but in that moment he went zipping by and saw him out of the corner of my eye. I have never hit a pedestrian in the 50+ yrs of driving. Its obvious he wanted to get by instead of slowing down or stopping. I had right of way.




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Time to take the keys!

50+ years!? It has been a good run. But it sounds like it’s time to stop driving, Bill.

True story: I once helped an old timer like yourself operate a parking meter and learned he was legally blind and should not under any circumstances be driving. Also my late grandmother continued driving several months into the dementia that debilitated and ultimately killed her.

There is no better reason than Bill’s for safe street design to take into account users of all ages and abilities. Having shorter crosswalks, higher visibility, slower speeds etc. are all vital to protect us from serious injury or death.

Thank you again, Bill, for so astutely and poignantly pointing this out.




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Fan of Doughboy Park

So are they going in, or are they now going away? It’s good to proofread ,Jack! Muahahahahaha!




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Fan of Fough Boy Park

“Meow” “ Woof” “ mraww “ “ grrrrr”, “ Hiss””Arf Arf Arf Arf” , this is the entire thread . P.S. Bicyclists need to follow rules, you’re getting your precious bike lanes, how about using them. And red lights and Stop signs are there for you to follow also. If bicyclists were following the rules, there would be no complaints about them.




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Fan of a Dough Boy Park

Nope, and your idea of one persons bad behavior justifies somebody’s else’s bad behavior is childish.




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lol k

Well you’re the first New Yorker that’s never jaywalked.

But you make a good point, we should hold everyone to different standards. Cars can break the law, cyclists can’t.




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Fan of Dough Bou Park

Well, there’s no Vulcan blood in your family because you understand logic like a 3 year old. So if Driver “A” runs a red light, it therefore enables bicyclist “B” to do the same . Bad behavior doesn’t entitle more bad behavior. All should face the same standard. Drivers face much more scrutiny, especially with all the Troopers “ hawking” the area . It’s about everyone facing the same standard.




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Bikes are lame

This is a lot of money and hassle for a handful of bikes a day. Seems like money could be better other ways




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Deniz

I used to ride my bike more near the park cars rather than the lanes and I felt safe knowing there is no possibility I could get hit. Never did I get hit. Today I drove down 43rd Ave and what a disaster.. tight driving lanes, less parking spots and can’t even look if cars are coming while crossing the street as a pedestrian….




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Sean

When crossing on Skillman, its difficult to see if there are any cyclists riding down the bike lane because of the line of parked cars. I don’t mind stopping behind a parked car when I reach that side, and looking both ways before I step on the sidewalk. But what about other residents, that just happen to just keep walking? Yes, the bike lane isn’t finished. Yes, there are so many other important issues to be concerned about. But isn’t the safety of EVERYONE important? I still see cyclists riding on the streets (sometimes with no helmets & not stopping at red lights), with a nice empty bike lane, to their right side. I don’t own a car nor do I ride a bike, but it’s important that there’s parking. It’s important that people can feel safe getting into their cars on the streets. But it’s also important that cyclists get to ride safely without having to worry about getting hit. We all can’t get what we want, so why can’t we find a better solution to leave everyone at least somewhat satisfied?

Like this or not, life is short. Let’s make it better for ourselves and people around us.




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Snowman Cometh

I wonder if there is a bot that links any negative bike lane comments straight through to transportation alternatives? They love that thumbs down button as much as they do running red lights. Did they rent a vegan, bio fueled bus to get people to the CB2 mtg, we all know very few of them actually live in Sunnyside. These lanes are already sitting barely used, imagine the winter, rain, brutally cold weather, even less use. Waste of space. When it comes to who pays more for our roads that would be the drivers, you dolts. Registration & inspection fees, tickets too (which more bikers need to start getting for their flaunting of the law), and that is on top of our regular city taxes. Make all adults register their bikes, would be a nice revenue stream. What happens when these clowns run someone over? Make them get insurance too. Put cops on bikes to force them into obeying the rules of the road. @ least I know where I am throwing the snow from my car. I hope those bikes come with a shovels, you’ll need it




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Woodside Resident

I don’t see the need to resort to insults. I assume you live in the neighborhood, too. Let’s not forget that many of us here are neighbors.

You are correct that drivers pay “more” for roads because of registration and inspection fees. You are incorrect if you think that comes anywhere close to covering the costs of roads. Include other user fees like gas taxes, tolls, etc., and it still doesn’t come close. I posted this below, but will do so again: as a non-driver, I am essentially subsidizing your driving through my taxes. As a cyclist and pedestrian I’d happily accept a tax scheme that requires road users to pay for the infrastructure and maintenance they actually use. I don’t think drivers would be so happy… And what do you think the real estate value of all the free street parking in the neighborhood is?




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Bill Collector

Millions of cars = billion$ going toward roads. Thanks, I forgot gas taxes and tolls, helps to further prove my point. Also add in parking fees. More billion$. Those same roads, by the way, transport everything you need to use in your daily life, so you are not subsidizing drivers. It’s irrelevant that you are not driving. You need roads used by cars (yellow, green cabs, uber, etc) & trucks (Amazon fresh deliveries of kale, UPS, USPS, Fed Ex ). Drivers pay all state fees-Lic, reg, inspection, taxes to purchase their car, tolls, gas tax, tickets and parking as well, add in the possible congestion pricing too. We pay more than our fair share, bikers need to kick in too. These poorly placed bike lanes aren’t free and when you figure in the cost by the actual tiny # of people using them, they are very expensive. Making bikers pay similar fees would be helpful in covering a small portion of the expense. What happens when a biker hits someone? Insurance should be mandatory. Each bike should have a plate too, so that when they go through red lights they get a ticket. You wanted part of the road, you got it, now pay up and obey the same rules of the road that drivers are expected to.




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Anonymous

The roads promote commerce which in turn pay for the roads, you already knew that didn’t you.




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pay up suckas

I think you missed my point and the truth. driver ALREADY pay more than their fair share. time for the people on their toys to chip in AND obey the rules of the road, or suffer the same fate as drivers. It’s only fair.




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smokey and the bandit

My car also promotes commerce, as does everyone’s, or didn’t you know that? look up term ‘trade’.




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Kate

The bike lanes are awful and the implementation of them was done so poorly. My car was towed, with NO SIGNS POSTED and it took them almost 3 hours to locate it for me when we were trying to leave for a wedding. On top of that, I constantly see Bikers still using the streets and not the bike lanes. When making turns off the street you can’t see the bikes coming AND they don’t stop for the lights as they should. If you are parking your car next to the bike lanes, the parking spots are so narrow you are opening your drivers side door into oncoming traffic AND loading your children in the car from the bike lane!! The safety of Sunnyside residents was not taken into account when this plan was approved. Yes i’m upset about losing the parking spots in an area that was already in need of more, but the safety concerns to drivers, residents and even bikers overtakes the parking frustrations. I was crossing Skillman ave at 43rd ave the other day and a 18 wheeler Rite Aid truck was in the middle of both lanes at the light because the driving lanes are too narrow for the truck to be in just one lane….JVB needs to go. His support of these lanes had nothing to do with the need in the community and had EVERYTHING to do with his and his families own preference and desires. Its a joke…and the fact my tax dollars paid for it make me even more angry.




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Annie

These kinds of comments are the most frustrating. Yes, it sucks to get towed unexpectedly, no one would argue with that.

But on the same token no one should argue this plan makes the street less safe for all users, because it is exactly the opposite. Car crashes with pedestrians and cyclists will go down. Everyone is safer.

It’s a safer design and while it’s very easy to be upset about change, but very difficult to be upset about better safety outcomes.




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local guy

Except we don’t agree with your points. You say stroll around in your first comment. Well today traffic was backed up from 50 to 52 on Skillman and we all know that idling produces more pollution and the first time someone turns right and mows down a cyclist who cannot be seen while blowing through the light you might begin to understand. Bike riders have been rewarded for bad behavior.




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Martin

You people who decry these bike lanes would be woefully out of place in any European city where bike lanes have been the law of the land for decades. Only in America would there be such resistance to something so simple and logical as allowing bikers a safe and protected lane in which to travel.




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Theorem Ox

Martin, I’ve got news for you! The United States of America and many European countries are DIFFERENT. Different infrastructural development, lifestyle and cultural history to name a few.

There is ONE thing that the USA and many European countries are beginning to have in common: A growing number of the population resenting those in power making unilateral decisions on their behalf, especially as those decisions are turning out to be problematic.




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Anonymous

You live in NYC. It is more densely populated than most of Europe and all of America. If you want to live in an American style car centric city, this isnt the place for you.




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Theorem Ox

Densely populated overall? Sure.

Infrastructure set up to equally serve the densely packed population?

Those living or working in Eastern and Southern Queens with a sense of humor would find your last statement amusing. Heck, even in western Queens – Maspeth and Glendale have been facing rounds of MTA service reductions. And that’s just only the transportation aspect!




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LIC Neighbor

No amount of protesting makes a difference – going to CB-2 is a waste of time. JVB and the Mayor are best Buds. Same with the homeless shelters at the Best Western, City View and Fairfield Inn — rammed down our throats on this side of Qns Blvd. Same with the Hunters Point Library three years overdue and millions of dollars in cost overruns. Hope it’s occupied by Homeless in the winter as a warming center – can’t wait until if finally opens, so I can direct all the smelly drunks and the smelly bag lady with her overflowing shopping cart at Noonan Park to tony LIC waterfront Hunters point library, sure it will have nice cushy sofas so they can sit and take a nap and you won’t be able to kick them out – Mayor DiBlasio says so….. JVB is a fraud.




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Anonymous

How are the Fire Engines going to turn left on Skillman Avenue with a single lane, an unloading truck space for the supermarket and parked cars? Also, with the food delivery trucks having a wider width than a car from the sidewalk? Especially if there is a red light at 50th street with cars stopped at the light? I agree, the Mayor and Councilman need to be held fully accountable if there is an injury or death due to lack of response time in a traffic jam with the single lane. Once the lanes are in, people need to start taking videos on phones of the traffic jams for emergency trucks and ambulances blowing their horns while stopped around the fire house and send to the press. I feel sorry for the apartment building tenants on that corner. The sirens and horns will be constant.




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Woodside Resident

From the article: “The DOT, however, made minor changes to the plan in response to concerns, which has received full support from the FDNY.”

And if we’re really worried about FDNY truck maneuvering, I propose removing a bit more street parking on 51st by the station and the intersection with Skillman. Easy fix, since clearly we all value safety over some parking spots, right?




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Theorem Ox

Now the fire truck can make the turn… only for it to get stuck in traffic that cannot move over for emergency service vehicles on the single lane avenue it just turned onto.

(Hmm… perhaps the bike lane is just wide enough for emergency service vehicles to squeeze through!)

Nice “easy fix”! Solve one problem and create a few more – just like the NYCDOT! (Don’t forget to come up at our expense with a few more solutions to fix those problems too!)




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Woodside Resident

There are lots of single lane roads in NYC. If they’re such fire hazards, we should probably free up space by limiting parking, right?

Regardless, I quote again that the plan “has received full support from the FDNY.” I trust FDNY.




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Theorem Ox

Fellow Woodsider, I’ll concede this game of attrition. My patience for the collective abject myopia is running thin.

Be sure to revel before dealing with the longer-term consequences.

I personally don’t own a car and I don’t work in the transportation or related industry, but I know how and why I’m able to live my life in NYC.

P.S.: The Sunnyside Post is the only place I’ve read about the alleged support by the FDNY and I can find no other references after searching elsewhere. Only a single sentence in this article with no quotes, no names, no acknowledgement of what the FDNY viewed as cured in the revised plan, no references to documentation/press releases, etc. Until I see something more substantial, sounds more like hearsay to me.




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Tommy O

I can’t remember the last fire in sunnyside. Let’s remove the hydrants to reclaim the many wasted parking spots




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Phony Bicyclists

While drivers have to pay ‘through the nose’ just for the ‘privilege’ of owning a car (i.e., license and registration fees/surcharges, excessive gasoline taxes, inspection fees, and tickets for every possible thing the city can think of to generate additional income), what do bicyclists add to the city coffers ……… NOTHING. Of course they do have their own set of “rules’ to follow, i.e., constantly running red lights, riding on sidewalks, riding against traffic flow, running into and knocking down people with impunity, no fees to pay, etc. Just another bunch of phonies backed by the biggest phony of them all, JVB!




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what are taxes?

Cyclists don’t have to pay taxes?

The taxes that pay for the roads your heavy cars use and destroy, requiring more tax money?

Why didn’t anyone tell me?!




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Woodside Resident

Drivers don’t come anywhere close to covering the costs of road construction and upkeep from user fees (like registration, tolls, gas tax, etc.) As a pedestrian, cyclist, and non-driver, I am essentially subsidizing your car use. Do you really want everyone to pay a fair price for their road use? Not to mention the real estate value of free street parking in one of the most expensive cities in the world? I would totally support a proposal for users to pay their fair share.




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VelvetKnight

Using that argument we should rip out all the sidewalks too. Pedestrians pay nothing and break laws far more than bikers. Think of all the parking you could add without those pedestrian lanes!




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Getitright

No, you are subsidizing the ability of the community to function. We all pay general taxes for the society to function efficiently with the most benefit to the most people. I rarely take buses yet I benefit from the ability of someone else to take the bus to get to work at Con Ed and make my lights come on.




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Catherine

I am a life-long resident of Sunnyside, 48th and Skillman. I’ve been screamed at by cyclists, my vehicle has been hit by a bike, a cyclist has stopped to bang on my car because I was unloading my 80 year old mother and her walker and had no choice but to double park. I have NEVER seen NYC move so swiftly and quietly as I have seen these new bike lanes go up. The actual driving lanes have been narrowed, there was NO notice, I didn’t see any “what’s happening here” flyers in late July. What is the point of a Community Board vote, if it is overridden by no doubt money motives???? I have already seen an accident, a cyclist so sure the driver saw him, but driver didn’t because YOU CANNOT SEE THE CYCLISTS WHEN MAKING A RIGHT TURN OFF SKILLMAN NOW!!! When I ride a bicycle, which I do in many different cities and in Manhattan, I am extremely careful, and I don’t play Chicken with the vehicle that can kill me. Why? I value my life more than I want to prove a point. You’re right, cyclists, most drivers are not careful, I am a pedestrian first, cyclist second and driver third, but most of all I’m careful. Careful of other drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. We only have one road, I suggest we all learn to follow the traffic laws put in place for everyone’s safety. Now, back to these ridiculous new lanes, I wonder what the final cost is? My driving commute has already increased double on Skillman Avenue. The risk factor has just increased for everyone. I think cyclists should have to pay for licenses, insurance, inspections and permitting. Perhaps then they would have more of a buy-in to be careful. Who pays the medical bills when the cyclist is at fault? How do we know the bike is safe for the street? What about cycling under the influence? How about charging for bike parking? Cycle Parking Meters? I mean I could go on, but really my point is, no one will ever make NYC a non-driving city, and if that’s truly the goal, how about fixing that dreaded MTA? I mean it was bad enough in the 90s, today I can’t do the bus/subway anymore at all, I’d rather walk across the bridge in a blizzard than hop on any of our subways out here.




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Suncoast

Why can’t you do the bus/subway anymore? The Q32 leaves me a block from work in Manhattan and returns me to CVS on 41st street – 2 blocks from where I live. Perfectly pleasant. However, more busses and subway cars are needed to accommodate the influx of yuppies in Long Island City paying thousands of dollars a month in rent to live by the screech of the 7 train.




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Sunnyside Septuagenarian

This evil bike lane (probably Hillary’s fault) makes it harder for me to drive my gas guzzler to Wal-mart to buy a new TV set to watch Matlock and Fox News on. Who needs bicycles, we know climate change is a hoax since Trump said so.

Also, one time I saw a cyclist run a stop sign.




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Steve

My goodness. Bike lanes work all over the place. They’ll work here too. People are complaining about a project that isn’t even finished? This is like complaining about not being able to drive over a bridge that’s only half done. Give it time. The world will keep on spinning, as it has in every neighborhood with bike lanes. Sunnyside is a nice place, but it’s not special.




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raymond fredeick

sorry but if you want to see where bike lanes are a failure go to 9th ave in hell’s kitchen! the bike lane is the fast food express! the sidewalks overflow with people, the avenue with traffic and the bike lane has a few delivery guys flying down the ave dangerously moving faster then anyone else! bike lanes have their place but nyc ain’t amsterdamn!




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interesting

Wow, sounds like there’s a huge demand for bike lanes, and lots of people are using them huh?




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VelvetKnight

It’s true that the bike lanes on 8th and 9th ave in the Theater District end up being pedestrian overflow lanes, but the takeaway from that shouldn’t be that the bike lanes are bad, but that the sidewalks are insufficient.

They were too narrow before the lanes, they’re too narrow after. The problem isn’t the bike lane, but too many car lanes.




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Anonymous

The implementation will come and go. The real issue is the mess that has been created when the City decided to “know better” than the residents who work, live, and send their children to school in that neighborhood. Keep fighting.




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Annie

This is correct, the implementation will be completed and, like in every other case, the number of crashes will go down, the injuries will decrease, and the deaths will cease. Those opposed to change will then realize they never had an argument to begin with. Life will go on, people will adjust, businesses will thrive, and the network of safer streets will continue to grow. Those fighting grow weaker by the day.




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Poisonedpublic

Your predictions are all wrong. Haven’t you ever learned that people who have been played for fools will resent it for the rest of their lives? The wound betrayal leaves is deep and won’t heal without sincere effort by the offenders. They mayor shows no remorse and our councilman wrote pe in another paper that the issue is closed as far as he is concerned. The wound deepens.




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The naked truth

This is a perfect example of a community member who views their own opinion and feelings about what happened as mattering more than the safety of the community at large.

They need to ask themselves who exactly has been played for a fool? The community asked for safer streets and the city designed and installed a plan to achieve this. It’s not a perfect process but a pretty staid one that has worked across the city and was certainly not done anydifferently whatsoever in Sunnyside.

However, there was something different in the mix here. Somewhere around the end of last year a group led by the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce emerged and tried to poison the discussion and spread fear about the plan. By making an emotional pitch to their “members” that joining their ridiculous crusade against the plan was the only way to stop it from being implemented at all. They tried to manipulate the members of the community board to influence Jimmy Van Bramer. It was an exercise in futility that left the neighborhood deeply scarred.

So, with some more instrospection this time, ask yourself who played whom?




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Tyson White

My GOD! Do you people just look for things to complain about? The bike lane will be just fine. They put one in my neighborhood and people were freaking out. Now that it’s done they totally forgot it’s even there… lol. It’s been 2 years now!




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Anonymous

Check your sources and vet facts before you print them. “DOT staff, according to a spokesperson, went out on the first day of school to make sure drop-off ran smoothly.” THEY DID NOT SHOW UP! School representatives waited for them and they never came. Drop-off and pick up every day is dangerous traffic chaos and the lane hasn’t even been installed yet. The DOT is doing nothing to help this problem.




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Immoral Society

I propose a title change from ‘CB2, Residents, Claim Roll Out of Bike Lanes Has Been Unorganized, Poorly Handled’ to ‘Sunnyside’s dumbest get together and have a cry over how it’s going to be more difficult to live like a pig now’.




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Sunnysigh

It’s not Sunnyside residents, it’s like a couple dozen loud drivers who would rather endanger people than have to find somewhere else to park. Their complaints look even dumber now that there’s pictures of the bike lane… with plenty of parking remaining.




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Sonny

As I recall, it was opposed by several schools and their PTAs, a number of churches, a synagogues, a mosque, and the local Chamber of Commerce.

‘A few cranks’ would better describe the so-called advocates that were pushing for this.

Bring on the carpet tacks!




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Robert Green

nice to know that this news organization allows comments that are directly threatening to members of its community and readership. hey sonny, if i threatened to key your car, put sugar in your gas tank, and leave broken glass on the street where you drive, would that be ok? or are you a sad and broken person maybe, and just hate anything that makes the world slightly nicer for people not named “sonny”? also–THIS COMMENT WAS SUBJECT TO MODERATION AND WAS STILL APPROVED? smh




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Peter Beadle

This is absolutely outrageous. Screen capturing this for the cops should that ever happen. The amazing level of selfish entitledness expressed by some drivers in a neighborhood where the majority don’t even own a car is just astounding. If you cause damage to people or property because you can’t adjust to a safer street design, I hope you are found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And the rest of you having a fit over this change need to consider your rhetoric, because you are fueling this violent thinking.




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Wonderwhoyouare

Violence came from the TA people. It has not been part of Sunnyside’s character before. You want to invade and shove people aside?expect pushback.




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Sonny Wants Felony

Inciting people to attempt vehicular homicide (carpet tacks can overturn and even kill a vulnerable person on a bike) is, in itself, a crime.




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Greg

Hey Sonny, I hear dry wall screws and car tires don’t go together. Better think twice before you threaten peoples lives.




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Patrick L

It will be a great day when its changed back not soon enough! In the eye of De Blasio and Van Bramer!




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Against All Odds

Usually, you sacrifice a few for the sake and betterment of many. However, when it comes to our egotistical mayor and photo-op JVB, there is no such consideration, i.e., they do as they wish IN SPITE OF the voice of the people/constituents who are most directly affected!




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Suncoast

Against All Odds was (is?) the name of a boat owned by Bart. Is your screen name related to this boat?




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ann

Observed for many days: despite the bike lanes, bikers are NOT in the bike lanes (no regulation requires them to be). Most continue to run red light. Some go the wrong way. Few wear helmets. Motorized scooters in the bike lanes too. What a mess. Not to mention the sneaky removal of 15 other parking spaces, unrelated to bike lanes, DOT says.




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Woodside Resident

Hi Ann,

Please keep in mind this project isn’t complete. I live a block off Skillman and cycle to work. I use the lanes where I can, but they’re not finished and there have been obstacles (cars, a large road construction sign, trucks, etc.) so I cannot always ride in the lanes. It’s premature to criticize cyclists of not using lanes when the project isn’t finished. I’ve seen photos posted on Facebook criticizing cyclists in the road, yet they conveniently leave out the obstructions in the bike lane.

While we’re complaining about lawbreakers, come to the northerner corner of Skillman and 52nd and count how many cars come to a complete stop before the line, rather than roll right through the crosswalk. With cars parked there, drivers don’t have good visibility of pedestrians. Yet they just glide through as if it were a yield sign. Wish NYPD would put someone there at some point, but I’ve never seen any enforcement there.




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REALLY?

Excellent point and that corner (52nd) is high pedestrian traffic for the nearby school, adjacent Windmuller Park & high senior population (Berkeley), yet cars absolutely treat it like a yield or yellow light. No posts of shaky videos for those cars. No news cameras and local blog posts covering those lawbreakers.




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Five stages of grief

1. Denial and isolation; 2. Anger; 3. Bargaining; 4. Depression; 5. Acceptance.

The small group against these lanes seems stuck at stage 1. They need to move past this.




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oledigital bill

what are you a 17 yr old psychologist. these bike lanes are discriminatory and cause major traffic issues for a nabe.




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Tree of Liberty

I wanted to go to the board meeting to complain, but I live in the quarantine zone on the other side of Skillman. We are trapped. I can’t cross the street since the bicycle lane was installed. The continual trash fire, pileup of bodies tangled up amongst cars, not to mention the wild animals roaming the shuttered storefronts has made it all but I’m impossible to exit the boundary of our garden prison.

Pray for us.




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Anonymous

The Skillman and 43rd Avenue bike lanes should be on Northern Blvd. Northern definitely needs the Transportation Alternatives “calming ” routine. Another death on Northern Blvd. this past weekend.




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Resident36

These articles help me know which anti-bike local businesses I should avoid spending money at. Aubergine Cafe was at the top of the list, guess I will never try Suryaside Yoga either!




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Concerned Woodsider

So its okay for you to change our neighborhood but it is not okay for us to be upset by it. I like the place and can walk there. I’ll just make sure I look twice because the lights mean nothing to bicyclist. I know as one already put me in the hospital. This should have been researched more before rolling the dice and seeing what happens.




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Optics

Seriously. Change is hard, but you knew these folks would have complained regardless of how things were rolled out. As someone who owns neither a car nor a bike, I am utterly indifferent. Surely it’s not just me.




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Chris

Aubergine Cafe. What a wonderful cafe. Love the strawberry lemonade!! The food is yummy and the customer service is great.




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Immoral Society

Sorry , but cyclists are now boycotting Aubergine. YOU GET NOTHING (and i’m 2 blocks away from you).




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Gardens Watcher

Sorry Immoralpal, but I witnessed 3 cyclists there at 8AM Tuesday. I just started going to Aubergine. Business was brisk and their lattes are way better than Starbucks. Thanks for drawing my attention to the place!




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Paul

The lanes aren’t even being used! I see cyclists riding in the car lanes constantly. This whole thing is crazy. Why not northern Blvd?




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raymond frederick

i live on skillman and sorry to say aside from a cyclist speeding down the bike lane who almost hit me i very rarely see any bikers using the bike lane. also with the loss of a vehicle lane when divers double park or trucks make deliverys you have traffic congestion and drivers honking their horns. skillman always is noisy with traffic especially fire engines and it’s even noisier now! also it’s haphazard to where these bike lanes begin and end so it’s even more dangerous for people especially seniors to cross the street! and it’s not just the chosen few who are against the bike lanes it’s many! and lastly it’s no surprise that the rider cynthia pictured has no helmet! btw i’m just a working class guy not a loaded with bucks garden guy! peace love happiness save the whales!




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go get your big wheel

walking this neighborhood since the 90’s, I have had few instances where I felt that I had to worry about a car while crossing the street. Maybe just a couple of times. bikes on the other hand almost daily: riding on the sidewalk, going through red lights and stop signs & driving the wrong way on the street. Now bikes are closer to the curb you almost have to stare them down to make them stop and they are flying down skillman without looking to see who is coming from the other side of the street. biker recklessness will lead to someone getting hurt badly, it’s not a matter of if, but when.




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Mythoughts

So glad these bike lanes are in the process of being installed. The fact that CB2 is so against this just shows how out of touch CB2 is with the full diversity of residents and opinions in the district.




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Slow news day?

This is simply not news. The plan has yet to be fully implemented. It’s right on track and not out of line with other plans of this nature and has already had a significant impact on vehicle speeds, slowing cars and leading to less lane changes at speed. The naysayers continue to make a complete mockery of themselves as our community immediately benefits from common sense safety improvements. For shame.




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A Woodsider

Bikes, motorized bikes, etc. should be licensed, registered and insured just as other vehicles. They should have to obey the rules of the road! Put the issue to a vote, as other issues are put to a vote. Let JVB give “lessons” on how to vote as he has done in the past regarding how taxpayers money should be spent.




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Anonymous

Mr. JVB has made a mess out of this from day one he could care less – anything for photo-ops.




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Anonymous

How can there be a single lane on Skillman Avenue by PS 11 going through to 48 Street? There is a video that an ambulance could not get past PS 11. Also, the FDNY has to turn on Skillman Avenue to get to locations. If someone is hurt or killed because of this plan due to the increase in emergency personnel response time, both diBlasio and Van Bramer should be requested to resign immediately from their offices. Both diBlasio and Van Bramer formally associate their put their name on this plan, despite CB2 and resident objections. Both of them are being held accountable.




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VelvetKnight

The ambulance couldn’t get by because of people double parking.

Blaming the bikes for that makes as much sense as when Republicans blame the minimum wage increase for restaurants shutting down after their rent is double or tripled.




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Stretching for a story

…Cue the 25 cranky people we have to listen to over and over again complaining about something the neighborhood supports by wide margins…




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Get Rid Of Them All !!!!

Is anyone shocked by this, we have a Sandinista mayor who spent his honeymoon in Cuba. Why would he listen to business people and the majority who oppose these lanes for motorized bikes. Communist don’t believe in majority rule or in business as a matter of fact.




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Immoral Society

Cry me a river you bunch of babies. Pathetic group of whiners. Waaaahhhh life is hard!

Time to pack up and head home to where you belong, New Jersey. Suckers! Plenty of parking there for you. Never fear.




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Immoral Society’s #1 Fan

You’re an amazing troll with a lot of time. Lol.

All you have been doing is whining all over these comments. Stop being so immoral.




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Enough.

I can’t believe people are still whining about this.

The lanes are installed. The sky didn’t fall.

Go complain about how you hate school children.




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Gardens Watcher

On the contrary, Enough. I would encourage every kid to learn how to ride responsibly and take advantage of these bike lanes to do so. Bring your bikes with training wheels, hey even your big wheels. Let’s roll!




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LIVING ON THE EDGE!THANKS TO JIMMY

Yes that is exactly what kids should do- learn to ride a bike on these ingeniously designed bike lanes. SAFE ENOUGH?




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Anoid

You don’t see the problems people are having with the lanes because the problems don’t necessarily involve accidents. They are changes in the way individuals live, how they conduct their day-to-day lives. Your facile comments show a real lack of sensitivity to life on these few streets and complete ignorance to how drastic changes disrupt neighborhoods. The fact that you can’t see it says more about you than anything else.




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