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City to Create “Bike Boulevard” Along 39th Avenue in Sunnyside

39th Avenue (Photo: Instagram @swopenstreets)

May 11, 2021 By Allie Griffin

The city will create a “bike boulevard” along 39th Avenue in Sunnyside by the end of the year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced today.

The avenue is one of five streets across the city that will be transformed into bike boulevards by either November or December this year. The Department of Transportation (DOT) will be creating one “bike boulevard” per borough.

De Blasio shared few details during his press briefing this morning as to what the new initiative involves.

According to a press release from City Hall, the DOT aims to slow down cars and limit traffic volume along bike boulevards “to create low-stress bike infrastructure in a pedestrian-friendly environment.”

De Blasio didn’t name the cross streets along 39th Avenue where the bike boulevard would be created.

The City has already converted a section of 39th Avenue, from 45th Street to Woodside Avenue, to an Open Street, which is closed to through traffic from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on most days. Local traffic, however, is permitted access for parking, deliveries and drop-offs at all hours.

“[Bike boulevards are] going to come with a variety of measures to make it a safe environment for bicyclists and connect key bike lanes to each other,” de Blasio said during a morning press conference.

The Department of Transportation will present proposals for each bike boulevard to local lawmakers and community boards in the coming weeks.

De Blasio also announced that the DOT will be creating a new protected bike lane along Northern Boulevard to connect the 34th Avenue Open Street in Jackson Heights to Manhattan via the Queensboro Bridge.

The DOT has already installed “Bike route” signs along Broadway, which connects Northern Boulevard to 34th Avenue.

De Blasio announced earlier this year that the DOT will create a new pedestrian pathway on the Queensboro Bridge and convert the existing bike/pedestrian path into bike-only path.

He also said Tuesday that new protected bike lanes will be created along 61st and 62nd Streets in Manhattan, which feed into the Queensboro Bridge.

The new bike lanes will be part of roughly 30 miles of protected bike lanes that the city will construct throughout the five boroughs this year.

“Street safety is a paramount concern for all us in New York City—and here in Queens, that is especially true,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said in a statement. “Our cyclists should not feel unsafe when out commuting, and installing more bike lanes will give them the protection they need.”

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83 Comments

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William Taggart

Yes, we need more car-free streets for families and pedestrians. How much more street and lot space do we have to give up so Shaun from Sunnyside can park his 3 cars that he only uses to commute 5 blocks? New York City should really take a note from European cities, where entire city blocks are open to citizens who can socialize and enjoy the sunshine! Car ownership should be disincentivized and public transportation should be re-modeled from the top down.

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Tommy Lombardi

Shaun who? How much space have you given up? I’m curious when sidewalks became an unreasonable place for families.

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Woodside Resident

Always the same comments on any article about bike infrastructure… I know this is a bitter pill for the minority of NYers who own cars. They’re are used to their subsidies – free street parking and the vast majority of public space dedicated to their use. (No, your gas taxes and registration fees don’t come anywhere close to covering the cost of roads – so let’s retire that argument). If we’re serious about stopping climate change we can’t keep subsidizing the most environmentally damaging way to move around our city. And despite the usual comments about how dangerous bikes are, cars continue to kill and injure tens of thousands of American every year. The stats for deaths and injuries caused by bicycles just don’t come anywhere close. Bicycling is safe, healthy, and good for the environment.

I welcome bike boulevards. Just look at the transformations in other major cities like Paris and London. Expanding bike infrastucture is good for cities and their people. NY still has a long way to go.

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I actually have a brain

I suppose ambulances should be abolished and EMT and Paramedics should show up riding bicycles?! Retire then gas taxes that pay for the roads? So bicyclists pay anything for the upkeep of streets? I like cycling but it’s people like you with extremist views that if out of touch with reality. I suppose UPS, FedEx, US Postal could deliver packages riding bicycles with a tiny trailer behind them. London’s experiment with surge pricing was a failure. Paris has to have people take classes because they were getting into too many accidents. It’s like people who believe green energy can replace carbon fuels now. It can’t.

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Ben

“But what about emergency vehicles” is a nonsensical argument, but popular with bike haters. I guess it gives their selfishness a veneer of altruism. If you bothered doing some research or thinking about it for half a second, you would know that auto traffic congestion (and ubiquitous double-parked cars) are what delay emergency vehicles. A good number of emergency vehicles are also responding to car crashes in the first place. If you’re really concerned about people’s safety and well being, reducing car travel should be your top priority. But I suspect that this argument isn’t made in good faith.

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Kirk

First, more people on bikes means less car traffic to block emergency vehicles, so that argument actually goes against you. They get by just fine in Amesterdam and Utrecht, and a greater proportion of people call ambulances there since its free. Second, most deliveries in the city are already made by guys pulling carts, so I don’t really see your point. Also, your claims about London and Paris are just plainly false. Accidents have gone down in Paris since they’ve become more people-friendly and London traffic has gone down considerably after they introduced congestion pricing.

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Pedestrian

The city incentivizes you to get a car? I missed that memo when I got rid of mine in 1986. If I wanted to drive I’d move somewhere where there was parking.

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Wow

Uh yeah it does everything is designed for cars. I can get from a to b to c in record time as opposed to taking the subway or bus which will take me hrs. No thanks. Fix (update)alternative transpo first then take away all you want.

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Heidi Schwartz

what about the person who is walking and these bike people go thru red lights and also in the wrong direction and then they curse you if you say something to them …………..

where are the safety paths for the elderly ?

there is no enforcement of the rules of the road

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Cars cause the vast majority of pedestrians deaths

Ever seen a car run a stop sign? You’re outraged by that too right? 😂

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Anonymous

Ever see a pedestrian criss the street without looking and have there head buried in there phone

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?

Cars go through red lights at about 1/100th of the times that bikes do. Try harder to refute the common sense people write here. Your emoji’s don’t cut it.

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Kirk

Except not only is that not true (stand at any busy intersection and the last few people to go through are all but guaranteed to be running a red, not to mention all the people who turn right on red), but cars are also far, far more dangerous than bikes. In fact, most of the time, the safest thing for cyclists to do is to run the red light. If they’re already at speed, and there’s nobody coming, the safest thing to do is to keep going. Otherwise it means more time spent in the intersection, and therefore a greater risk of being hit and killed by a driver.

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Lydia Kelfa

Great for bikes. But many of us pedestrians in Sunnyside have had to be extra careful with bikes as most don’t follow traffic laws and use sidewalks to get to bike lanes. Hope they do a study to evaluate increase in pedestrian and pet injuries since adding the bike lanes.

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Numbers guy

Crash numbers are collected by the NYPD and are public information. They show a significant 36% decrease in injuries to pedestrians in the two years following the installation of the comprehensive street safety improvements along Skillman and 43rd Avenues as compared to the two years prior to installation.

Those are just raw numbers, but an underrated benefit (but not public data) is that the severity of injuries to all parties has gone down as the road diet has slowed average vehicle speeds on the avenues. So overall crashes have gone down 15% but they are also less damaging in terms of injury and damage to property, which is good for both safety and insurance premiums.

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Anonymous

Yes that might be true but we have been in a pandemic for over a year. Wait till all is back to normal and let’s look at numbers

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Noel Redding

I don’t see how they can have this on 39th ave when there is a middle school being built. How will buses and parents pick up and drop off kids? They must have meant 39th street.

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old as dirt

the picture shows 39 Ave that school will be on 48th st so maybe it wont come up that far?

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Ben

Maybe more kids can walk and bike to school? It would be far preferable to the traffic mayhem outside schools every morning.

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Linda

This needs to be done to keep and attract younger folks with good paying jobs who bike ride as a leisure activity in this city. Most people that i see bike riding for fun and exercise are typically young and of a certain demographic. They either rent a bike as a leisure activity or own a bike if they use it for exercise.

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Justregularcitizen

Why do we need a certain demographic? That seems like racism to me. Mostly young, white and wealthy people ride to work. Shame on that plan if it is one.

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CC

Yes ride a bike to work and get around in the city so they can save money and move out when its time to settle down and have a family or simply get tired of the city life. Western Queens was once an escape from the noise and crime associated with big cities. Its no longer considered quiet safe or family friendly. Its just considered cheaper than Manhattan and brooklyn.

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Jeff

The press release indicates that its 39th STREET. The whole idea is moronic, but it does make more sense for it to be there.

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Patret

That is a lie. Anyone can go along 39th Avenue anytime of the day and you would be hard pressed to count the amount of bicyclists and joggers on one and a half hands.

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Had enuff

Why is so much being done for these bicyclist – dont pay any tolls ,road tax & etc and uninsured . They think they can go through red lights and speed like demons . Between the outdoor huts and this where do we park our cars !!!😐
Blaz time for you to go to pasture.

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Brenda

To keep the typically young white usually progressives who pay a lot for overpriced apartments and meals happy. The city wants them back after so many fled during the pandemic for less populated and cheaper areas. Just take a look at who rides those citibikes in our area.

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DB

I wonder if you think the same about car drivers. They think they can go through red lights and speed like demons. I mean, it’s super easy for a 2 ton car to go to 50mph but the max speed a 300 lb cyclist can go is maybe 20 mph (which is considered extremely slow for anyone driving a car). It’s quite ridiculous to treat it like the bikes are the problems in this case.

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Anonymous

Pretty sad that I’m being passed by a bicycle in a 25mph zone. Besides I don’t see to many 300lb cyclists. And let’s be realistic 5mph I can walk faster than that. Let’s put up speed cameras for bikes and see how fast they really travel.

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Q>

Do they not pay taxes? And I hope you never ordered delivery for takeout before, otherwise you’d look extremely hypocritical

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Anonymous

I wonder if i see the day when some streets will be declared “bike and pedestrian free”

It’s a loss to the community that could’ve been prevented if people voted the leftist crazies out of power from the mayors office and the NYC Council. Unfortunately the voices of reason are not enough to reverse the tide of progressive onslaught, so everyone enjoy your car-free streets!

…. i wonder what else can the city government get rid of for me

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Dietmar Detering

“I wonder if i see the day when some streets will be declared “bike and pedestrian free”” – we already have that. LIE, BQE, FDR, West Side Highway, Major Degan/Bruckner, 95, the Tunnels, RFK Bridge (no bikes), plus many more – are you not from here?

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M from Queens

Limited access roads, you forgot the Grand Central and more in Brooklyn, did not exist until traffic engineers developed the, specifically to get cars off surface roads, leaving them freer for pedestrians and bicycles. People live their lives on surface roads. Are you not from here?

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Steven

Have you heard of highways? Have you been to queens Blvd? Have you been out of your house lately? Hehehe people free streets, are you serious? All of them are people free.

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M from Queens

Limited access roads, you forgot the Grand Central and more in Brooklyn, did not exist until traffic engineers developed the, specifically to get cars off surface roads, leaving them freer for pedestrians and bicycles. People live their lives on surface roads. Are you not from here?

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M from Queens

Queens Blvd was developed after the Queensborough Bridge was built in 1909 specifically to serve as a fast road to carry goods between Jamaica and NYC. It was widened and widened and widened over the years to accommodate growth as farmland turned residential. Perhaps the city should have elevated it long ago, or put a train on it, above it or under it, but they didn’t. Now they’ve changed their mind and are scrambling to make adjustments that most people don’t really want. So many, many neighborhoods in Queens were left in transportation deserts that many have developed as car-based neighborhoods.That was by government design, or government neglect, you choose. That’s why most people don’t walk there. So, know how things happened as they did, how people were left to make do as they could and stop blaming them for problems generated by forces far, far above their heads. It’s a hellova long bike ride from Jamaica to, say, a job in Midtown. Give people a break.

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Andre Kosziollek

If NY wants to put in all these bike lanes to protect them then they should also carry insurance, plates, and registration for all the times these bicyclists ride the wrong way don’t obey any traffic laws, cut vehicles off and yes do more than 25 mph. Ps who pays for the damage when one of these bicyclists crash into a car or worse run over a pedestrian. O and let’s not forget the scooters, skateboards, one wheelers and electric and gas powered bikes. These are still streets not parks.

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Andre Kosziollek

If NY wants to put in all these bike lanes to protect them then they should also carry insurance, plates, and registration for all the times these bicyclists ride the wrong way don’t obey any traffic laws, cut vehicles off and yes do more than 25 mph. Ps who pays for the damage when one of these bicyclists crash into a car or worse run over a pedestrian.

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john

Another bad call by the worst mayor I’ve ever seen. Bikes ride on every street, sidewalk and in any direction regardless of the lanes. Most don’t stop for red lights or yield to pedestrians. He will push more tax paying citizens out of the city permanently. I guess this is his goal.

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Steven

I ride my bike almost everyday and I can say the same thing about cars. I’ve been ran over a couple of times, it’s always the same excuse “I didn’t see you.” Of course you didn’t see me! I look like a Christmas tree but you didn’t look that’s why you didn’t see me .And I also pay taxes too. I don’t have a car but I still have to subsidize your road use and i get nothing in return apart from paint on the street and metal plates on my body. I’m most saying bicycle users are not dumb by putting every road user in harm’s way. I’ve seen them but you can’t compare them with a 3 ton metal box.

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Wow

The city incentivizes you into getting a car then gives no new opportunities to use it. Either ban cars from being sold from the start or just stop this bullsh!t.
You can’t take away things without getting nothing in return.
Everything in the US, for the most part is designed for car use. Long miles & long distances. Give us real efficient alternative transportation first then take away all you want. Not take away and have crappy options.
Where are we supposed to leave the cars, in bed?

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Pedestrian

The city incentivizes you to get a car? I missed that memo when I got rid of mine in 1986. If I wanted to drive I’d move somewhere where there was parking.

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Wow

Uh yeah it does (not directly) however, everything is designed for cars. I can get from a to b to c in record time (even sometimes with traffic) as opposed to taking the subway or bus which will take me hrs. No thanks. Fix (update) alternative transpo first then take away all you want.

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Gardens Watcher

The Mayor’s graphic presentation today said “39th Street” not 39th Avenue. NY1 also reported it in their story as 39th Street.

Was that a typo or does his staff not know those are completely different roads?

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Mitch Mitchell

It would be better on 39th st as a connection between Astoria and Brooklyn. 39th ave makes no sense because there are already bike lanes on 43rd ave and Skillman. 39th street is also much wider.

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Sickofthis

And on Queens Blvd.! Every street between the railroad and QB has been sliced up for bikes, except Barnett, which has the
least traffic. Go figure. Planning from the top of the ivory tower always looks ridiculous on the ground.

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JP

Just today was almost run over by yet another “safe cyclist” running a red light while I was crossing the street.
Sick of all the concessions to bike riders who don’t care about anyone’s safety.

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Woodside Resident

Always so many anecdotes about “almost” being run over a bicycle in the comments. Meanwhile 96 NYC pedestrians and 24 cyclists were killed by drivers in 2020.

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Anonymous

Google CBS News for this article
“With Injuries Piling Up Across New York City, Mayor De Blasio Is Considering Bicycles Being Required To Have License Plates”

Injuries have gone up and De Blasio was asked by reporter would he concede cyclists don’t obey traffic rules and to have cyclists get plates and he acknowledged finally it makes sense.

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Anonymous

Yeah and it’s always the drivers fault because bicyclists and pedestrians are all angels. I’m not saying that in cases it isn’t the drivers fault but we don’t know all the facts just statistics.

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Fred

I bike and also own a car. This is getting out of hand. The bike lanes on 43rd and skillman aren’t enough? What is a “bike boulevard?” This guy has go to go.

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Have you considered paying to store your private property?

This isn’t a socialist country. Cyclists pay the same taxes that you do, where’s their free parking?

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Driver

By not providing adequate public transportation, by building shopping malls with parking lots, by allowing stores that sell in bulk. That’s three right there.

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Live on 39th Avenue

He is just bound and determined to make us into a bikers paradise and completely erase the quiet community we used to be. Will he remove the lanes on Skillman and 43rd now? I never thought I would have a personal animosity against a politician but the last years have proved me short-sighted.

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DB

The horror. Imagine living in a place with all of these noisy bikes and removed from all the nice and quiet cars.

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Not so common sense

Stop looking at your phones when you’re walking, that may help.

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skillzman

This is very much needed on 39th avenue. The traffic and speeding have gotten out of control. There are hundreds of bikers and joggers on this street everyday and this will help in keeping everyone safe.

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patret

I drove on 39th Ave today from 47th Street to get to Woodside Ave. It was 11:30 a.m. and a beautiful day . There was 1 scooter in the street around 50th Street – not one bike, not one pedestrian.

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Anonymous

This person is saying NYC is not as good or capable as Portland, now that’s an odd take!

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Optics

Anticipating all the “but PARKING!” posts: a) we don’t know that this plan will remove parking spots and b) why, if you must own a car, do you live in an area where parking is such a problem?

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A real local

Because some people like myself work outside of the city,and you need a car. PLEASE don’t tell me to move. Born,raised and have lived here all my life.There are some parts of Queens that you can’t reach by public transportation.I would rather put up with finding parking,than live in the burbs

Queens

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Sunnyside Resident

parking wasn’t an issue 30 years ago when I moved here but these last couple of years have made it increasingly difficult to park anywhere here. With all the construction zone parking removed and the bike lanes pushing cars into the middle of the street along 43rd ave and skillman its plan old annoying at this point. Not to mention the countless bikers who refuse to use the bike lane and bike in the only two lanes of traffic that the cars have.

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Anonymous

Nothing is being done to make pedestrians safer and bikers have become very rude. I have close calls on the sidewalk nearly every day but I’m sure the mayor could care less.

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