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Community Board 2 Chair Takes Aim at Electric-Bike Vendor

Photo: QueensPost

March 8, 2013 By Christian Murray

The owner of a Queens Blvd electric bike store—which sells and repairs scooters and battery powered bicycles– is likely to be hearing from two New York City agencies soon.

E-Bike, which opened at 41-25 Queens Blvd a year ago, appears to be breaking city code by repairing broken down bikes on the sidewalk outside its store, according to officials. Furthermore, it is most likely violating city rules by parking a multitude of scooters on the sidewalk in front of its store and the vacant store next door.

Community Board 2 chairman Joseph Conley said that he has reached out to the Department of Sanitation and the Department of Consumer Affairs to investigate the matter.

“It’s a hazard,” Conley said. “The owner’s doing repairs on the sidewalk and oil and contaminants are going everywhere,” he said. Furthermore, the bikes on the sidewalk are “an obstacle” for pedestrians, he said. “These are clear violations.”

Conley said the Department of Sanitation has jurisdiction over the oil that is leaking everywhere and it has the ability to seize any unregistered vehicles left by the store. The Department of Consumer Affairs has the ability to ticket businesses for illegally using the sidewalk to conduct business.

The owner of E-Bike said he is not doing anything wrong. In fact, he said he is doing the community a favor.

He said he puts his bikes outside the vacant store to stop a homeless man from spending his day there. He said there is a man who stands there and spits all day, while asking for change.

email the author: news@queenspost.com

44 Comments

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Ogeebee

Stop storing motor oil on the sidewalk. it’s illegal. Stop using parking spaces with meters to park these bikes. It’s illegal.

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Sunnyside girl

If you don’t like those bikes, don’t order take-out, ever.

And I know the bum he’s talking about. I’m sure he’s telling the truth about that.

And the dog poop that gets left on the sidewalk is a much bigger offense than a few bikes, that have never actually been in my way.

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The Change Guy

I’m offended by your mockery. I’m just asking for change, what is wrong with that? I don’t bother you otherwise. “Teach not thy lip such scorn, for it was made For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.”

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43rd & 43rd

This did nothing to dissuade the CHAAANGE guy, he just stands right around the corner.

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wetcnt

Sunnyside is not China (or Flushing for that matter). Stop fixing the bikes on the sidewalk, storing them all over the place, and pick up your damn trash! The E-Bike store is a blight on the neighborhood and the homeless matter is a distraction.

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Pete

@rook: the store owner was the one who originally begged the comparison between the homeless man and his business practices, apparently in an attempt to deflect public criticism of those practices. I agree with you, this is a zoning issue and I also agree with BitchyWaiter that the 99 cent store next door is equally at fault. I’m not against business but I am for responsible business practices that don’t ghettoize our neighborhood.

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rook

I’m not sure what a homeless man has to do with this store or why we are entertaining this comparison. Oh well.

Anyway, to me the problem with the ebike store is that it functions less as a retail store (do you know anyone who has bought a bike there?) and basically is the equivalent of an auto repair shop. I walked by there with my kid as this guy kept a motor running that emitted all this black smoke across the block. Shouldn’t this be a zoning issue?

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Sunnysideposthatesme

You hippies show more passion about getting a working man out of business than ridding the area of a disgusting bum who shits in your yard.

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Dazie's Secret Eyesore

ok, let’s talk queens blvd eyesores if we are gonna single this one guy out.

how many of you out there are aware that one of the sunnyside’s business improvement development’s board directors lillian gavin (http://www.sunnysideshines.org/about-us/board-of-directors), yes the owner of dazie’s restaurant where they hold their board meetings, owns the wreck of a storefront right next to them- that old boarded-up korean auto part shop!

that storefront is owned by them and has been derelict for at least 15 years!! shame on dazies!!

now how good is that for neighborhood and business presence? come on, if we are going after this guy for his bikes on the sidewalk we might as well start at one end of queens blvd and make our way door by door.

and i agree with the earlier comment of the sidewalk outside of the 104 precinct!. wow you think bikes on the sidewalk are bad, try police cars!

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Oppressed Masses

This Saturday morning at about 11 AM the e-bikes were off the sidewalk and instead lining the curb in the street along Queens Blvd taking up numerous parking spaces. Queens Blvd is a center of commerce for the neighborhood designed for small store front retail, personal services and restaurant businesses (at least until the Van Bramer backed zoning changes are fully implemented) and not a place for store front vehicle sales and sidewalk repair shop. What if Major World decided to open an outlet in the closed pharmacy at Queens Blvd and 41st Street with cars for sale parked along the Blvd and the sidewalk used for vehicle servicing? I’m guessing the police/parking agents/sanitation police would blitz them with tickets and a way found to shut it down. By the way, what’s the over/under the e-bike guy is collecting and paying sales tax to the State on vehicle sales? If the relevant government agencies focused on this situation, this rogue business would be shut down in a couple of weeks.

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carolan

Good ol’ Sunnyside. God, I loved living there in the late sixties, right off Queens Blvd. “People get ready, there’s a train a’coming…picking up passengers, ….” Please look at this situation with kindness and love. Europeans have been riding mopeds and ebikes since forever, yes as far back as the sixties. Work with the man, compromise…”here’s how you do it without leaving gas and oil all over the sidewalk. You can do this outside, but only line em up on one side of the sidewalk.” “Oh yeah, and can you teach some kids in the hood how to do what you do as a community service?” As for the homeless…those of you who know what should be and could be done, go do it. Go for it. That’s how a village works. Everyone does what they do best. Peace and Love! Get with the program. At least it isn’t Jamaica with the garbage all over the sidewalks that the city has done NOTHING about!!!! Don’t hold your breath waiting on the city. Just Do IT!!!!

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lalala

President Bloomberg said the other day there are no homeless people sleeping on the street yet as others point out, we see this each night/morning in Sunnyside. Last year the person who slept at 40th street had his things destroyed, including medications, by DOS after several months of encampment there. Clearly help should be provided before it gets to be a quasi-permanent camp.

If you call 311 to report someone sleeping on street, they will ask you if it’s an emergency and then transfer to 911 if you say yes.
Coalition for Homeless (212) 964-5900 is another resource.

I wish people could stop belittling someone who asks for change or sleeps on the street. I think most people are concerned and understanding and want the person or persons to get help. Others here seem to get off on giving nicknames to someone who clearly has mental health/addiction issues. It almost feels like an obsession, the way some comment about the homeless man in our neighborhood. It seems to be asking too much to expect people to be respectful and humane. Instead of mocking him, why not try to get him some help? I’ve tried and will continue to try. (And my efforts do not include creating a menace on the sidewalk with ebike repair.)

I guess I just think it’s not really funny and not productive to mock him here. Let’s look for solutions together to help each other, rather than bully.

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Pete

Interesting how the owner assumes that residents prefer oil, grit, and spare parts on the sidewalk instead of another human being. What a humanitarian. Anyway, the homeless man just moved down one block. He isn’t doing anyone a favor, he’s only pushing the homeless to a different spot. This doesn’t reduce homelessness, it only gets it out of his immediate range of vision. Thanks for the “favor” pal. If this guy wants to do the neighborhood a favor, he can volunteer his time and/or money to help out with programs designed to get the homeless off the streets. There are many of them in the city. He could also lobby at City Hall to restore low cost housing for homeless families; something Bloomberg and Obama have done away with.

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Matt C

There’s plenty of empty storefronts that are a bigger eyesore than some guy making a living fixing mopeds. Tax dollars are better spent elsewhere than driving an entrepreneurs out of town.

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O'shea

What a nice hit piece by the post in an e-bike war that has been going on for years.
we need proper licensing and business regulation. Anything else is willfull interference in the business pursuits of a fellow American.
Jimmy ” the overoiled weather vane” bramer and his supporters need to get a life. E-bikes are here to stay.

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Rick Duro

An already crowded street w/ a mini pep boys isn’t acceptable, regardless. There are better areas for that kind of work. He can do it inside and no one would care. Those bikes, when not zooming on the sidewalk, are a great alternative mode of transit. It’s a smart business to start, but, it just doesn’t belong in the middle of the sidewalk.

You are right, all dog owners should pick up, and most do. Just like most people toss their garbage in a can, but….there some that don’t. It sucks.

Yuppies, oh my! If hoping that a business/person would do the right thing by the same neighborhood that they make a profit off of, then I guess I proudly wear the scarlet letter ‘Y’!

RD

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40th Street

Like other commenters here, I am uncomfortable with the homeless living under the 40th Street subway station. I’d like to think that I have empathy for the homeless, but when the piles of clothes and junk keep spreading out, and the homeless are drinking openly in public, it is just unnerving. The other day I saw a city maintenence worker sweeping AROUND the homeless man’s piles of belongings!! Why has no one intervened?

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RubentheProphet2

That E-Bike guy is a HERO . Let him stack a wall of E-bikes and barricade Squirts the Change Bum.

He’s like Leonidas stacking the wall of bodies to stop the armies in 300. It’s for the GREATER GOOD!

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Simon

Finally! Get rid of those damn ebikes!

If you must have them, then ride them following the rules of the road and not on the sidewalks.

Working illegally on the sidewalks on vehicles that are illegal to ride in New York, and breaking every traffic law imaginable. It’s time to go.

Simon

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haters

wow .. yuppies have nothing better to do .. got their stupid dog run in skillman park … now lets go after the small guy … how about doing something useful with your time …like picking up all the dog shit in the neighborhood

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Queens Blvd

Who cares about bikes lying about when there are bums lying about? Anyone visit the McDonald’s recently after 10PM? It’s a homeless shelter now that it’s 24hour! And why aren’t the locals trying to clean up the make-shift shelter at the 40th Street stop? This is the type of stuff that invites neighborhood decay, not some machine oil on the side walK!

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Anonymous

Hey at least the bikes are not asking for change, drinking booze at 10AM, and adorning the 40th Street underpass with sleeping bags and cardboard boxes. Let’s get a grip on the difference between a man trying to run a business versus men with no business in the neighborhood at all!

If we want a good look at where the real mounting problems are in Sunnyside, look no further than McDonalds (‘grade A’) after 10PM. It’s a virtual homeless shelter. I stopped in for food after work and counted about 8 people asleep in the booths with bags and a whole assortment of other urban camping equipment.

Has anyone else noticed this recent upsurge in the populous?

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Dunk

What about the homeless guy under the train at 40 , that mess is starting to spread out

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86Mets

A business such as this one should be located in some industrial area where garages and and scrap yards are found and nobody gives a damn what it looks like, not on a main thoroughfare like Queens Blvd.

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anonymous

f$$k this store, f$$k those bikes, and f$$k the a..holes that recklessly ride them.

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Sunnysider4Life

I wouldn’t mind just about any legal and non-immoral promoting proprietor in Sunnyside as long as they were honest. This type of manipulative, disingenuous, hypocrisy is worse for our community than graffiti.

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Sunnyside boy

I love how everyone from sunnyside knows the “Chaannge *spit*” guy. But I don’t think it was rational for his excuse to be to ‘stop the homeless guy from spitting’.
I personally don’t mind it as much because there’s still a way to walk, but i do think that jsut a little more should be kept inside. I mean come on guys, a business is a business

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Rick Duro

I complained about this to CB2, with photos, a few months back.

Before doing so I asked the owner why he couldn’t fix the bikes inside, he pointed and said ‘no room’. He leaves oil, etc all over the sidewalk. He said it was legal.

His excuse is pathetic.

The ever-growing amount of bikes that the
Golden (We got a ‘B’ grade) Wok leaves on the sidewalk is also out of control. They routinely have 7-8 bikes, of different kinds, on both sides of the sidewalk. They got a B grade and are trying to now cover it up by placing their sign in the corner of their window and putting older bikes around it to block it from view.

RD

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Jane

About time. I stopped going down to Arriba Arriba because of that bike guy.
Hopefully he gets the message.

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Thomster

Doing the community a favor, the guy is a douchebag. Fixing bikes for those assholes who ride on pavements go the wrong way down one way streets and have blatant disregard for people on crosswalks and red lights. Justfying his actions by pointing the finger at the “CHANGE!” guy.

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Webley

Who is the owner? Who spoke to the owner? He should put those damn bikes inside, and it is about damn time city require license for bikes of all sort, and ban the electric bikes that make no sound and the bastards sneak up right behind you on sidewalk or on opposite direction when you are about the cross.

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Time's Up

Wanna see a sidewalk that is perpetually blocked? Try 50th Ave between Vernon and 5th. Pushing a stroller or wheelchair is virtually impossible on either side. Guess who’s the culprit.

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Moneyside

I love his excuse! “I’m leaving the bikes in front of the vacant store next door to keep the bum away”. What a nice guy!

Reply

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