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Community Board 2 Votes in Support of DOT Plan to Create a Bike Boulevard in Sunnyside

39th Avenue near 50th Street. The stretch currently has a “shared bicycle lane.” (Photo: Instagram @swopenstreets)

June 25, 2021 By Christian Murray

Community Board 2 voted Wednesday in support of the Department of Transportation’s plan to create a bike boulevard on 39th Avenue in Sunnyside.

The plan, which got the backing of the board by 21-11, calls for significant changes to 39th Avenue, as the DOT attempts to reduce speeding and build a comprehensive bike network that connects Jackson Heights to Sunnyside.

The plan is complex and involves converting various portions of 39th Avenue and Barnett Avenue into one-way zones that will create space for a protected bicycle lane and pedestrian safety features. The DOT says that residents will not lose parking spaces.

The avenue is one of five stretches across the city that will be transformed into a bike boulevard by the end of the year. The DOT plans to create one “bike boulevard” per borough.

“This is all about traffic calming,” said Craig Baerwald, operations manager for the bike unit at DOT, who presented the plans before CB2 via Zoom Wednesday night. “It makes it safer to bike but also makes it safer to walk and drive as well.”

The City has already converted 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.

The bike boulevard concept is an outgrowth of the Open Street program.

Part of the 39th Avenue Bike Boulevard plan includes converting segments of 39th and Barnett avenues into one-way zones (DOT presentation)

The DOT plans to convert 39th Avenue between 45th and 47th streets (currently two-way) into a one-way street going west. It also plans to convert Barnett Avenue—between 45th and 48th streets—into a one-way street going east. Currently that section of Barnett Avenue is a narrow two-way street.

Baerwald told the board that the one-way streets would reduce the number of motorists using 39th Avenue as a through-street. Currently many drivers use 39th Avenue as a corridor, he said, and that the changes would help prevent speeding.

The conversion, he said, would also free up space for the DOT to add a protected bicycle lane and pedestrian infrastructure. It also comes at a time when Citi Bike is about to expand into Sunnyside.

The DOT also plans to convert 39th Avenue from Woodside Avenue to 52nd Street into a one-way zone—west bound. The DOT says that the change would lead to a reduction in speeding, and create additional space for a protected bicycle lane and pedestrian safety features.

Part of the 39th Avenue bike boulevard plan includes converting the segment between Woodside Avenue and 52nd Street into a one-way street (DOT)

The DOT plans to add a series of crosswalks along the avenue.

The plans, while having strong support, were criticized by some board members including community board chair Lisa Deller.

Deller said that the 39th Avenue Open Street, which was established during the pandemic when parks and playgrounds were closed, is seldom used by pedestrians and cyclists—and questioned the need for a bike boulevard on that stretch.

“I live on 45th Street and 39th Avenue and I know when I go down my street and take a right-hand turn there are Open Street barricades right in my face. It makes for an obstacle course on 39th Avenue and hardly anyone uses that space,” Deller said.

She also said that the DOT could put in speed bumps or traffic signals—or other measures to boost safety—something that Sunnyside Gardens residents, she noted, have long been asking for.

Meanwhile, Stephen Cooper, a long-time board member and Sunnyside Gardens resident, was also unenthused by the plan.

“I’m rather disturbed,” Cooper said. “This is going to make it very difficult for the residents of Sunnyside Gardens to be able to park their cars or unload their groceries or whatever they have in their car.”

He argued that parking spaces would be lost despite DOT assurances. He said that whenever a parking lane is pushed toward the middle of the roadway– to make room for a protected bicycle lane – spaces are lost.

The plans, however, did have strong support from most board members.

“I think this is really exciting,” said Laura Shepard, a board member and bike and safe streets advocate. “This is badly needed and is a key bike route from 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights to the Skillman Avenue protected bicycle lane.”

NYC Bike Map. 2021 (Green=protected bicycle lanes, Blue= conventional bicycle lanes, Pink=shared bicycle lanes). Transportation advocates want a safer bike network from 34th Avenue in Jackson Heights through to Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside

More than 20 people provided public comment on the plan that lasted for nearly 2 hours, with the majority in support of the plan. Many of the supporters said they were cyclists who lived on 39th Avenue and said the stretch needed to be safer.

They said the changes would benefit all road users, making it safer for children as well as drivers.

They also noted that it was important to have a safe bike network linking the neighborhoods of Jackson Heights, Woodside and Sunnyside.

The plan also has the backing of Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, whose representative told the board at the beginning of the meeting that he supported it.

Several board members, however, wanted to table the vote saying that more information was needed before they would support it.

One member was concerned about the impact the project would have on school buses, since 39th Avenue is a pick-up and drop-off point for many kids.

Another member wanted to know what impact it could have on the new middle school that is going up at 48th Street and Barnett Avenue. Another believed that the DOT had not given the public adequate time to properly vet the project.

Cooper made a motion to table the plan, which was rejected 21-10, with one abstention.

A motion to support the plan followed and the board voted in favor of the plan 21-11.

Van Bramer said that that he was pleased that the board backed the plan.

“I support the bike boulevard proposal,” he said. “The truth is that we will always be safer when there are more protected bicycle lanes and more space for pedestrians and bicyclists and when we reduce speeding and that is what this plan will do.”

For full DOT presentation, click here

Open Streets barrier on 39th Avenue at 47th Street (Photo: Instagram @swopenstreets)

email the author: [email protected]

108 Comments

Click for Comments 
Aviva Glass

I agree wholeheartedly with van Bramer’s statement that “…we will always be safer when there are more protected bicycle lanes and more space for pedestrians and bicyclists and when we reduce speeding…” However, this is not what the bicycle boulevard is doing. It is instead increasing traffic on what were once quiet residential blocks. For example for a motorist to simply go around the block from Mr. van Bramer’s street requires either rerouting though Barnett and onto 48th street, or taking 43rd to Northern Blvd, or heading up to Roosevelt and then all the way over to 57th street, three of the busiest streets in the area, even before the redesign. This significantly offsets the supposed positive gain of an environmental agenda. There is massive honking, and clogged streets, particularly 50th street. I don’t use my car often, it’s parked most of the time. But as a pedestrian, I don’t feel safer. I wouldn’t’ risk it on a bicycle. And what are fire trucks going to do? Roll over the barricades?

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Sunnyside resident

What I’ve been seeing in the bikes lanes on skillman and 43rd ave is mostly electric scooters and electric bikes speeding down the bike lanes and not stopping at the light, for signs or even for pedestrians. It looks dangerous. I guess it’s not practical to physically bike all the way to the city. I can only imagine how sweaty a person would arrive to work.

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SuperWittySmitty

I use them to bike over to Queens Plaza. I’ve gone over the bridge many times but yes, there is a lot of sweat involved. Nevertheless, bikes, along with electric scooters and electric bikes are the transportation of the future; they’re not going away. Cars, on the other hand, are relics of the past. They take up too much space and they’re dangerous. I’ve lived in Sunnyside for more than 25 years and have never “needed” a car.

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Ted

There are many elderly residents at Sunnyside Towers and Phipps. Ambulances are called regularly for them. This plan will make it much harder for emergency vehicles to arrive in a timely fashion.

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Mac

Wrong, this plan makes it even easier safer and faster for emergency service vehicles. No more double parked trucks or cars for one.

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Skillzman

Why are my high taxes (and going higher) paying for free street parking? It’s a luxury to have free parking. Are you kidding! Move to Long Island! Oh and slow the heck down. You people speed like crazy. There are close calls every day with kids crossing at Donatos, Woodside and on 51st on the way to and from St. Sebs. SLOW DOWN! Thank you CB2!

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St Sebs Parent

Unfortunately now you will not be able to drive your Kids to St Sebastian’s when it rains or snows. The street will be one way towards Woodside.

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NY Extremely Precious

Parents: come on
Walking from 39th Av from the entrance of Sunnyside Gardens Park to either St Sebs (via 39th Av to Woodside Ave) or PS361Q (via 39th Av) or PS11 (via Skillman) is one half of a mile (one half of a mile!) and doable in almost any weather. Unless we’re just going to accept that NY Tough is a myth and NY is instead NY Extremely Precious

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Aren’t there other streets?

Will something prevent me from driving up 43rd to Roosevelt? It actually is more direct for me. How will the bike boulevard prevent me from doing that?

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Blackfootlion

Why don’t you deduct the cost of parking from your city taxes? Put your money where your mouth is if you think it is such an outrage. And by the way, they city allows parking on the street. Talk to them if you want things to change. Attacking individuals is the least effective way to achieve your goals. And by the way, it makes you look very, very small, jealous and vindictive. That’s not a good way to present yourself.

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Lanford Lunchbox Loose Meats

I took my family to an appointment in Long Island City from Sunnyside the other day. It would have been a quick bike ride, but because there are no safe bike paths there, especially for my child, we had to drive. (Skillman protected bike lane would have been fine, but it ends at Queens Plaza.)

So instead of an environmentally friendly way of traveling that would have been nice exercise and caused no traffic, we had to drive into a congested area and do a long search for parking.

We’re not saying get rid of all the cars and replace them with bikes. But give bikes some safe way to move around. Protected from the cars.

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Gardens Watcher

Take an Uber next time. Everyone knows LIC lacks parking options. Maybe Long Island would be a safer environment for your family?

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Anonymous

Commenter is looking for “an environmentally friendly way of traveling that would have been nice exercise and caused no traffic” and this yutz suggests Uber

Sunnyside circa 1992 meets 2021 in a nutshell

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Gardens Watcher

Sounded like a push to get more bike lanes in LIC. The troll was not saying “get rid of all the cars and replace them with bikes.” They still own a car.

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Hans Gruber

The anti-bike comments here suffer from the belief that NYers prefer cars over other modes. The facts show that more people use the subway, walk, or ride bikes than use cars, and most NYers want the infrastructure to support safer and more convenient use of those modes of transportation.

If you see cats in an alley it doesn’t mean there are no mice. Just because all you see is cars everywhere doesn’t mean that’s the way we want it to be. People don’t bike because it’s far too dangerous. They don’t walk in the road because it’s too dangerous. Kids stay in parks because it’s too dangerous outside of the parks.

Is this the world we want?

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Blackfootlion

You are kidding, right? You, Dear Writer, are just wrong. far more people want to drive cars than want to ride bicycles. And, no, I don’t want kids playing in streets, a mad traffic scofflaw on a bike or two-wheeled electric vehicle would surely hurt them. Children should play in playgrounds and parks where they are safe from all traffic bigger deal faster than they are. And, by the way, even people who prefer cars agree that public transportation needs vast improvements. Drivers pay a great deal of money towards that every year. What do cyclists put in? Oh, wait. They are completely unregulated. No one knows who killed the last person to die by bicycle attack inadvertent or not. Cyclists think the laws of the road don’t apply to them. Weird.

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William Barlow’s Smart Brother

As expected, this comment section is full of vitriol, hate, and intolerance from a vocal minority of mostly older, whiter residents. The majority of residents support bike lanes.

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Yo Bro

‘Brother’- this comments section is full of the REAL community folks, the majority of the working class residents of this neighborhood. Not the non-residents or just moved here or just passing thru folks who spoke up and supported this at that CB meeting.

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John J. Lynch

Williams’ Brother: the mostly older, whiter residents are the ones that made this neighborhood the desirable community it is, since you’ve decided to bring race into the discussion.

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Bike Lanes Good, Truth Good Too

The bike people at the meeting were mainly white! White guys with beards. I saw 10 Alan B. look-alikes– although 25 years younger and not so mean.

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Anonymous

Board’s motion for support was made by a female and seconded by a female but sure let’s just erase them with “white guys with beards”

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Blackfootlion

Why don’t you deduct the cost of parking from your city taxes? Put your money where your mouth is if you think it is such an outrage. And by the way, they city allows parking on the street. Talk to them if you want things to change. Attacking individuals is the least effective way to achieve your goals. And by the way, it makes you look very, very small, jealous and vindictive. That’s not a good way to present yourself.

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DNAB

re: “Why don’t you”

“Talk to them if you want things to change”

How do you think this bike blvd got made? Of course people pro-actively talk to the city and to city agencies (and not just into the void comments section)

That’s how advocacy works.

(Both Won & Bagga the 1 & 2 council candidate finishers, respectively, are huge supporters of this btw)

Don’t comment, vote.

~ DNAB

Concerned Citizen

I’m a Latino in his 20’s. Stop trying to be like Europe. I have two cars and I love them. Cars follow the rules unlike cyclists who almost always go against traffic or run red lights or think the entire roadway is just for them. Ridiculous.

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Ridiculous?

I agree with your gist but since when do inanimate objects that must be operated by someone obey rules?

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Not trying: its done

New York may not be like Europe but Sunnyside can be like Copenhagen
Go park your two cars in Whitestone
Its over, you didn’t organize and you lost

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Blackfootlion

You are a dope. There was no community fight of any kind at all for the six decades I’ve lived here. The vehement pushback against you cyclists is because you brought an army of utter strangers to our community board meeting several years ago and forced your well-rehearsed, vindictive, ugly rhetoric on innocent people who actually believed the process would be fair. You folks are well-funded, practiced and fanatical in your hatred of the “old white people” you despise. If it hadn’t been for all of us dedicated neighbors, you wouldn’t have a beautiful place to cut to ribbons now. So, back off with your “tsk, tsk” attitude. You look like arrogant fools, mere tools of the latest plan people way, way, way above our heads made long ago. Stop being a tool.

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Anonymous

“there was no community fight of any kind at all for the six decades I’ve lived here”

Landmarking versus not in Sunnyside Gardens, circa 2007
nice try tho

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I remember it very differently

A few years ago, a handful of local residents organized a brilliantly successful campaign to improve the bicycle infrastructure in their neighbourhood. They were met with vehement pushback by a group that continues posting misinformation, lies, and poorly thought out think pieces under the name Queens Streets for All. You appear to be repeating their lies and matching their hatred. My suggestion would be as follows.

Find one of the things you write, stand up, walk to a mirror, read it out loud while looking yourself in the eye, and ask yourself the following questions
1. Who is a dope?
2. Who is an arrogant fool?
3. Who is a tool?

I get it, it hurts to lose to younger smarter and better organised civic activists. But the whinging, the incessant whinging….just makes it too easy to call you out for what you are. You alone can stop yourself from being yourself in this situation. Just move on already and save yourself the embarrassment!

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Who is Queens Streets for All ??

QS4A has been publicly represented by

QS4A Safety Rally, Nov 2018
– [ ] Gary O’Neil (Aubergine)
– [ ] Dorothy Morehead (realtor)
– [ ] Melissa Orlando (Chamber, Access Queens)
– [ ] Maya Saab (speaker in wheelchair)
– [ ] Mark Lewinski (Lion’s Club)
– [ ] Roque Rodriguez (Suryaside Yoga)
– [ ] Kristen McGowan (Jack’s Fire House, realtor)
– [ ] Eric Barthels (Cool Down Juice, QS4A press contact)
– [ ] Manny Gomez (Chamber?)
– [ ] Brent O’Leary (Hunter’s Pt Civic Association President, candidate city council)
– [ ] David Eisenbach (candidate, public advocate)

QS4A Save Our Neighborhood, June 2018
– [ ] Neil Margetson (Pastor Sunnyside Reformed
Church)
– [ ] Denise Keehan-Smith (Chair CB2)
– [ ] Berk Koca (Muslim Outreach of Sunnyside)
– [ ] Brent O’Leary (Hunter’s Point Civic Assoc founder)
– [ ] Melissa Orlando (Chamber and Access Queens President)
– [ ] Manny Gomez (Chamber Chairman of the Board)
– [ ] Gary O’Neill (Aubergine owner)
– [ ] Mindy Bichler-Greene (PTA President PS11)

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don't forget

And obv Pat at the bat
with typos for days
the SunnyDriver of the Year
no editor so we can’t forget-it-er
hot takes after a shot-takes
the southerner with no fun-in-her

39th Avenue resident

The barricades NEVER stopped through traffic. Drivers initially slowed down for them but only in the first few months of the pandemic. Five miles per hour is impossible. But through traffic stopped slowing to a more reasonable 10 mph ages ago.

But did DOT ever do a study of why traffic on 39th has increased so much (especially during evening “rush”)? Could it be commuters trying to avoid crawling traffic on Northern, as well as narrowed roads on Skillman and 43rd Avenues thanks to bike lanes and double parking of commercial vehicles who have nowhere to unload? Have the speed cameras on Queens Blvd proven so ineffective that they weren’t even considered for 39th Ave? How many people are now using bikes to commute because public transportation has been mismanaged and neglected to the point of being useless? What are our city officials doing to lobby the state to improve the MTA?

No one wants to see anyone hurt or killed riding their bike, crossing the street, or driving around or through the neighborhood. We just want consideration for everyone who lives here, not capitulation to people who think making biking easier and driving impossible will make all the cars magically disappear.

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Gardens Watcher

Very well said, 39th Ave. resident. The commuter traffic is a big factor and I would also add that 48th St. has become a traffic jam since BJs arrived. Just wait..it will get worse once the school construction at Barnett ramps up.

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Anonymous

You forget what it was like when Toys R Us was open. 48th St has been a traffic jam since the Shops at Northern opened in the mid-late 90s. We’re BJs members and we’ve been amazed at how not crowded the parking lot has been. As for the middle school, hopefully it will be more foot traffic than vehicular drop-offs and pick-ups.

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patret

Did the Dept of Education consider where the teachers at the new middle school will park? Of course not.

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ivehaditwitheveryone

Im a car owner and a cyclist and of course a pedestrian. People suck all around. We are innundated with bad drivers of any kind of vehicle. I hate the bike lanes esp on Skillman. I have more close calls with Peds xing into me and cars turning into me at every intersection. Plus the terrain of the bike lanes are filled with all sorts of obstacles. The bike lanes too are so narrow every e-bike passes me in a close and dangerous manner w/o warning.
Car drivers cant even bother to follow the simplest rules of the roads e.g. stopping at stop signs. Ive kicked the sides of so many cars with drivers only looking in the direction of traffic and not for
peds xing. Plus cutting off and tailgating cyclists. Ive kicked in many a side mirror in defense of my life.
And as far as peds go look the fuck around before wandering into lanes of oncoming traffic. Its a real mess and its everyones fault. Selfish indifferent psychotic behavior from everyone.
Until people learn basic decency and consideration for others’ safety nothing will
change no matter how they redesign the roads.

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Sunnysider

Will anything be done (ie: ticketing) to all the scooters, delivery drivers, motorized and electric bikes, who use bike lanes speeding through our neighborhood? Or are we allowing them to stay within the protected bike lanes possibly injuring pedestrians and bicyclists?

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Ticketing now holds no allegiance.

There’s an article on this ‘paper’ about how people can no longer lose their licenses for unpaid parking tickets.

So what’s the point of ticketing???

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Hank Havlicek

This is an incoherent proposal and most Sunnysiders have no idea that NYC’s Department of Transportation intends to quickly implement these changes before the end of this year.
We deserve better than a rushed plan with sham public input. There are miles of bike lanes literally one block away from this proposed site. What is the sense in further stressing local businesses that have seen the loss of hundreds of parking spots for customers and a community that stands to lose even more with the new construction of a school and housing? It’s just too much stress for a community that has already endured enough this year. Sunnysiders should CALL 311 AND IMPLORE DOT TO STOP rushing through these bizarre changes at this time of transition. We should wait until there is a new council person and new mayor who can thoughtfully and responsibly make our streets safer.

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Gardens Watcher

The job of circling the block looking for a parking space just got longer. Congestion pricing is coming. So will permit-only parking.

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New members needed for CB2.

If I were to guess this would be exactly the reason many of us did not vote for Jimmy Van Bremer this time around.

CB2 trying to change a previous middle-working class neighborhood into a private area. And JVB just happens to live there!
Private houses belonging to predominantly white home owners, in a private zip code, with private back yards, and a private park with tennis courts with a kids cycle path… insist on a private street for their private bikes, preventing fellow neighborhood and community tax paying citizens to drive on a publicly funded street!
What’s next? Private security?
Please…Tell me again how you are all “woke.”
The hypocrisy of it all!

Speaking of hypocrisy, witnessing these people not adhering to their own rules is almost comical! 5mph! HA!

If you want to live on the suburbs, then you should do exactly that instead of subjecting the rest of us to your ridiculous privileged demands.
Bunch of spoilt brats.
CB2 your actions have been noted. You are on notice.

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John J. Lynch

…another race baiter: “Private houses belonging to predominantly white home owners”….so go buy one…yeah, just as I thought….

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Build that...wall...er... bike lane!

When did fact become “race baiting”

Are these private houses with private backyards and courtyards not owned by predominantly white people who want to shut off the rest of the most culturally diverse borough in the world from driving through this predominantly white neighborhood…because of….bikes?!
Really? You’re really buying that?

I’m surprised they haven’t built a wall yet!

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John J. Lynch

Here are “facts”: Those homes were built with “private backyards and courtyards”, when the 59th was being built and no one wanted to live in Queens are it was farmland. You want to enjoy “the most culturally diverse borough in the world”? Go live in Jamaica near the courthouses. Go live near the Queens-bridge houses, or better yet Arverne in the Rockaways. See how I did that. Race not mentioned once.

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Mixie

You didn’t need to mention it. It’s obvious what you mean.

Nunya

This is a stretch. I am pretty sure their are plenty of Gardens people against bike lanes. I’m a little lost about the private zip code thing though. My zip code is the same when I lived there as it is now that I live on the South side. Also, a little look into the history of the area might do you some good. Sunnyside Gardens houses and yards was built when there was plenty of land.

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Bob

Bicyclists ride wherever they want. That includes the wrong way, side walk, blowing traffic lights etc. I’m nearly hit by one every day because the disregard for pedestrians and rules of the road. They should all have license plates for this reason. I’m not sure why a bike blvd is necessary except to force more people to leave NYC

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Woodside Resident

Question – are you honestly nearly hit by bicycles every day? That’s such a strange claim to me. In my 11 years in the neighborhood I don’t really remember any close calls with bicycles. Drivers of cars and trucks not stopping for the stop sign when I’m in the crosswalk, yes, regularly. Drivers turning and not respecting pedestrian right of way, yes. Not saying there aren’t reckless cyclists but you’re almost getting hit every day? Really?

Drivers blatantly disregard the speed limit, especially on 39th Ave – how many respect the 5 mph Open Street limit? Almost none. It’s reckless and dangerous. This is why almost 250 people died in traffic crashes in 2020. Having license plates doesn’t seem to stop the carnage. Maybe we can use GPS tracking to automatically give cars tickets when they speed? I imagine you don’t love that idea. Better, in any case, is to focus on infrastructure like protected bike lanes and bike boulevards that calm traffic and incentivize healthy, safe, and sustainable transportation modes over dangerous, polluting motor vehicles.

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Gman

Some people can’t ride bikes and need motor vehicles to get around especially those who have limited mobility. Selfish bike riders have no consideration for anyone else. They pay no street use taxes, no registration fees, no insurance and don’t buy fuel which is also heavily taxed. They don’t pay tolls or parking fees. Motor vehicle drivers are subject to millions of dollars in fines which subsidize the operating budgets in many cities. They also support many other businesses which deal with the needs of automobile drivers.
Get real. Bicycles support the store that sells them and nothing else.

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Blackfootlion

I think the city could raise plenty of money by putting GPS tracking on bikes and fining them for the zillion things they blithely do wrong. Way more than drivers. Oh, yeah.

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Victor

I will preface this by saying I do not use a bike.
I find it really hard to believe that you get almost hit by a bike everyday. I can’t think of a time that has ever happened to me. I can think of many many times cars have almost hit me by doing things like turning without looking, speeding, missing stop signs. Bicyclists earn their reputation for being obnoxious, but they aren’t this great danger. Especially comparatively to cars and trucks.

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Anonymous

The worst thing about this design in the conversion of most of 39th Ave from 52 to Woodside Ave to a one way street heading towards Manhattan. This means that if you want to drive to say a school in Woodside or the Post Office, you will have to take 48th street to Northern Blvd. I am guessing that the new orientation will more traffic to 52nd street and Skillman Ave. They also have not taken Fire Trucks and the Department of Sanitation into account either. This in addition to the new school and the new Phipps building is going to be a real experiment

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52nd Streeter

That’s not correct re going east and only being bound by 48th to Northern. Under the DOT plan one can turn right onto 52nd Street then left onto 39th Road to get to Woodside Ave. But what the plan didn’t consider is the extra traffic that will now be forced onto 39th Road, which is already an overly tight two way street with parking on both sides, and which is right next to a park. That road probably should be converted to an eastern bound one way, leave the parking on both sides of the street.

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overly tight two way streets like 39 Rd are...

…are ideal because the one thing motorists hate is to think that their property might get damaged (as we see with that tilt-in of the driver-side mirror move when parking) so 39 Rd being narrow and as-is is perfect for the new normal: road diets and slower streets. Thank you DOT.

Reader: please “thumbs down” this remark. Thank you.

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ABoondy

i support any politician that makes all bike owners fully accountable just like car drivers. that means obtaining bike licenses, require registration fees, prison for unpaid bike parking tickets, pass bike riding exams, defensive biking, and to be policed the same as cars to the full extent of the law, especially when they run red lights or speed. fines and the point system should be the same. there should also be a requirement to check bike tires and brakes by licensed agencies. its only fair. sounds crazy? well, when push comes to shove, just remember bike zealots, you started it. time to pay up. owning a bike is a privilege not a right.

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Nectarine

Bikes are far, far less dangerous and less expensive than cars, both physically and in the pollution and infrastructure expense they generate.

I agree that some cyclists are dicks, but they are nowhere near as dangerous as cars.

This happens all the time. https://gothamist.com/news/queens-woman-pushing-toddler-stroller-killed-driver-suspended-license-police-say

People getting killed by a bike is extremely rare. It happens, but cars and trucks cause far more deaths and injuries.

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Woodside Resident

Around 250 people were killed in car/truck crashes last year in NYC by “fully accountable” drivers. Over 40,000 deaths from crashes in the country last year. Where’s the accountability in that? And that’s to say nothing about air pollution and the impact on climate change. But yeah, bikes are the problem…

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Blackfootlion

yep. bikes are the problem. If you are so concerned about unnecessary deaths work against the illegal drug trade, work for a cancer research organization. Many, many more people die from those. The “deaths” you hide behind are sad and sorrowful, for sure, but bikes are for the small sliver of people, mostly males, who can ride them long distances in all kinds of weather.

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Michael

Yet another stupid, myopic plan by the DOT, approved by people with very few brains. Almost nobody bikes in the winter and this will make it harder for the disabled to get to their buildings. Speeding bicycles are a hazard for pedestrians, motorists, and the bicyclists themselves.

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Anonymous

Just wondering…if the purpose is about traffic calming, why we don’t implement stop signs and crosswalks at park crossings.

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DB

Because drivers ignore stop signs and breeze through them. It’s a joke. You design streets to be safer, not post signs politely asking drivers to obey the law.

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Why not speed bumps? It beats a bullet to the brain!

So why not implement speed bumps?
Wouldn’t that be the most logical way to slow traffic whether it is a car, truck, bike, scooter?

It amazes me that the people in this CITY neighborhood can’t see past the zip code they live in, and are so short sighted that they can’t see that if the community is divided, then it’s not a good idea. As soon as everyone is forced to drive at 5mph this stupidity will end. Hopefully nobody will be shot before then for driving too slow.

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Anonymous

Impatient motorists go over speed bumps, and then speed to make up for the lost time.

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Denise should have dropped out and ensorsed Brent (duh)

The opposition has done so poorly on this (and: couldn’t coalesce around a D26 candidate, even knowing well in advance the JVB term limits) but most of all, the road use opposition messaging has been scattered and laughable. Messaging wins. And drivers on 39th Av are terrible, and reckless, and that message won out.

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Blackfootlion

Drivers breeze through stop signs. You make me laugh. I’ve been stopped at the signs and red lights and watched multiple cyclists just fly through. Think before you write.

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Board of Scaredy Cats

The meeting not published or well attended. Over a dozen people left the meeting before the vote. Sheila Lewandowski was there and hung up before having to go on the record. Lewandowski is Co-Chair of the Transportation Committee hung up before the board vote.
At the Committee Meeting which preceded, not enough people were there for a quorum.
What kind community board is this? Why not listen to Lisa Deller?
Why all the running away? Must be so they would not be blamed for insane traffic coming on peaceful street with no problems. This is big change which will affect thousands of people.
Where is the recording of the meeting? Why was the meeting online?
It is not a Community Board. It is the official Jimmy Van Bramer Branch of Transportation Alternatives.

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patret

Exactly right! If the DOT really wanted to hear the opinion of the community, then fliers should have been distributed to all apartment buildings and houses around 39th avenue that would be affected. They don’t really care. Orders have come from on high because PR is needed for a” legacy”. Neighborhoods around the City are having the same complaint about not be included. We should all make a stand together. And where is my original comment?

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The meeting was well attended, the concept released 6 weeks ago

Geezus
from 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.

Sorry this crept up on you and you didn’t do any legwork (& Pat Dorfman didn’t do any of her famously ineffective community organizing/fact bending)

30+ members of the community made public comments
30+ board members were given an opportunity to make public comments
A few did most of the talking. Only 11 of the 30 board members were opposed.

The plan was released (to CB2) on June 1
It was publicly released on the DOT website June 3 so don’t call babe in the woods on this plan.

the Community Board supports it
the mayor supports it and that goofball was actually elected
the local CM supports it and he was also elected (and trounced O’Leary when he ran)

(Thanks though for volunteering to “distribute flyers to all apartment buildings and houses around 39th avenue” though. Oh you didn’t volunteer and you want the big gov to do that for you? got it)

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Joe

So let me see if I have this right, the DOT is going to have 39th Avenue go one-way from Woodside Av. to 52nd Street (1 block), then two-way from 52nd to 47th Streets (5 blocks), then one-way again from 47th to 45th (2 blocks) then two-way again from 45th to 43rd Streets (2 blocks). Four direction changes over the span of 10 blocks (a half mile)? Not only is Van Bramer an idiot, so is CB2 and the DOT!

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Chicken FEEEEET

So you’re telling me everyone in the neighborhood will keep their parking and access to their homes and deliveries and emergency vehicles can still move around, but the street will no longer be used for speeding through AND bicyclists get a safe route to Woodside and Jackson Heights and beyond? That sounds phenomenal.

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Sara Ross

Enough with the dam bike lanes!!! When they start obeying laws (and getting ticketed when they don’t), start paying for insurance, registration, inspections, licenses and for parking, THEN they should be allowed to share the road! Between cars, trucks, buses and first responder vehicles, there is no room for the bikes!

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urbo

this argument is so so so flawed but everyone seems to be thoroughly convinced of it.

insurance = money that goes to a private company
registration = state level
licenses = state level
parking = outside of meters where you’re only parking for a short chunk of time, EFFING FREE on our Queens streets, especially on the north side of queens boulevard.

taxes = paid by people regardless of their method of transportation

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This is fanaticism

Now that Baron Von Bumbler added enough of his obedient poodles to CBoard2, the board has no legitimacy. The board is fake. Anyone left who values open debate should resign.

Why bother to go anymore? No dissent was allowed without attacks in this preplanned torpedo. Why? You fascists are in charge.

Save us all money and disband CB2.

We can all see bits and pieces of one way will mean circling and adding more exhaust to our air.

It will hamper emergency vehicles, already circling around like ants from one lane on Skillman.

Van Bully, you live next to 39th Ave. You use it going both ways, and park every day on the street. Turn in your car today we pay for.

Queens Blvd., Skillman Ave., 43rd Ave have been taken, why this street with no known issues?
Attention liars, if safety is desired, install speed bumps, cameras, stop signs, traffic signals, and lower speed limits. This is the “war on cars” by hypocrites driving free cars. Julie Won or Amit Bagga. Are you going to accept a free car, too?

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patret

So, let me understand this. I live on 46th Street. I am a senior who cannot ride a bicycle and am limited in walking ability. If I’m doing my grocery shopping at Food Bazaar on 43rd and Northern and am driving home, what route do I take? I’ll not be able to get to 46th street by turning onto Barnett, as the traffic starting at 45th on 39th Ave will be one way going west. Will I have to continue travelling south on 43rd St to 43rd Ave, to 47th Street, to 39th Ave, to 46th St? Or maybe, I will have to continue along the one-way Barnett to 48th St (heavily trafficked and soon with school buses), then turn south on 48th to 39th Ave to 46th St. Hopefully, there will be a parking spot because I will no longer be able to circle the block looking for one. There has been no outreach to or consideration of the needs of seniors or disabled. This plan is discriminatory.

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The streets are discriminatory against everyone but the auto'd

We all have to make changes, friend. It’s okay if you have to give up something for a better world. It sounds like your trip to the grocery store is going to be five minutes longer. As for parking, that’s already an ordeal, and it probably added ten to thirty minutes to your trip anyway. You should have the same or better chances of finding a spot as you do now, since this doesn’t remove spots but may force many to consider ditching their expensive cars for the freedom of a bike. You can have groceries delivered to your house if it becomes too much trouble. I hope it works out for you.

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Sis

Public streets have always had vehicles that carry people on them. It is a capitalistic system. Those who can afford them buy cars, just as the wealthy of years ago bought horses and carriages. Are you a Communist?

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John Birch

I am a communist, yes. I started out not wanting to be crushed by the wheels of an automobile, then I saw I was being crushed by the wheels of capitalism. I am in this fight even for you, sibling. We will win together!

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ready, set, go

as before, get ready for anyone questioning at all this poorly-thought out street takeover to get 5000 dislikes and anonymous attacks from the transportation alternatives goon squad.

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agag

Surprised the CB supported this. Thought they were fully of insane old right-wingers who only care about cars.

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John J. Lynch

Van Bramer and this “community board” is a stain on this neighborhood.

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Blackfootlion

I heard the bike people went crazy. Why don’t you communicate their loud, aggressive and contemptuous attitude toward reasonable people who disagree with them. Most citizens, not political activists just the people who pay all the taxes supporting them, are not in favor. Bicyclists are elite political fanatics. Jimmy Van Bramer is the worst thing that ever happened in this neighborhood, but I hear his ilk is staining the city everywhere. Yet, they don’t like him. Wonder why?

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I remember it much differently

There was a vicous Queens Streets-inspired troll in the chat accusing supporters of living elsewhere and threatening to sue them, and then I actually left after one vile commenter said the biggest problem in the neighbourhood is “all these newbies and their bikes.” It’s very common in my experience for the advocates to come armed with reasonable fact-based arguments and opponents being the loud and aggressive ones. This seemed no different to me. It’s a great plan. Glad the board saw it the same way!

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Blackfootlion

Well, you already drank the koolaid, buddy. Many, many people see it a terrible transformation of a beautiful quiet neighborhood street into a faucet for aggressive traffic scofflaws. The neighborhood is no longer for neighbors, we who live here are only the inhabitants of traffic islands in a sea of two-wheeled fanatics.

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Might want to check your glass

Dial back the aggression as it isn’t helping your argument any. This redesign will undoubtedly improve the street for neighbourhood residents. Be patient, cut down on the Queens Streets hater-aid, and watch the beautiful transformation after it is built. You’re completely wrong in your opinion, the board has been asking for many of these changes for decades, and just move past this. There are more important things in life than hating your neighbors!

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Sis

JVB decided not to renew the appointments of people who actually know the neighborhood and how it works best for people. He filled it with TA fanatics who know nothing and March to whatever time he happens to be whistling. Watch out, he changes colors like a chameleon.

Donny

The bikers are absolute nuts. Another idiot biker applauded at a meeting for CB1 when Costa Canstandinites states “any loss of parking is a victory”. Who elects these retards and how do they get in office? Jimmy Bramer is another nut supporting the loss of parking which has hurt practically every resident and business along the streets of skillman and 43 Av. I witness at least 100 bikes per hour violate traffic laws such as running stop signs red lights riding the wrong way interfering with cars and trucks cutting off pedestrians at crosswalks and even one biker on a city bike with his kid in the basket who took the opportunity to assault a young lady crossing 39 Av at 45 St who shouted at him for nearly killing her dog. If anyone has CCTV or cell phone videos of these perpetrators on bikes pleaSe upload to YouTube and social media and share.

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anon

Great, just trying to understand something though. If cars and bikes are in the enhanced shared lane going west, pedestrians should be on the sidewalk, correct? Just trying to understand as this grew out of Open Streets, thanks.

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Gardens Watcher

Seems like the bike lobby overruled the pedestrians, thus the end of using the street as a playground. The Open Streets barriers were a mess, and the 5mph rule was not realistic no matter how slow I tried to go.

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Rosamond Gianutsos

Pedestrians need to cross the street safely. Fewer cars commuting through, slowed traffic, narrowed lanes will contribute to this end.

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Nom de plum

Where is the concern for the entire neighb

orhood? How about including those who pay taxes and don’t ride bicycles?Shouldnt the neighborhood residents allowed to contribute to the conversation A town hall would be more appropriate.

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Cycologist

I ride a bicycle and the government still takes a whole lot of taxes out of my paycheck every single week. Enough with this “ohhhh but you don’t pay taxes” bullshit.

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Anonymous

a sensible question
“Just trying to understand as this grew out of Open Streets, pedestrians should be on the sidewalk, correct?”

Yes, this will effectively replace the 39 Av Open Street. As for the Open Streets legacy, a plaza is built into the plan at 45th St/Barnett for non-vehicular space. Here, in this small public plaza, users won’t be at the mercy of bad decisions made by infringing & reckless motorists.

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Gardens Watcher

Bad decisions? The “Small public plaza” is a joke. Can’t wait to see how many “users” abuse this area.

How much will this all cost?

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How much will this all cost?

In the 7 stages of bike infrastructure grief, the question of cost is 6th

1 is “no one uses dem,” interchangeably with, “its like the Tour de France…” (s/o to S.U.D.S.)

Buffoonery like “bike licenses” is 2nd
It will be more dangerous, 3rd
What aboutisms/both-sidesing with e-bikes: 4th
5th is the chef’s kiss. What about SNOW.

But giving up, and using the roadway, “the acceptance,” is 7)

The Sunny Post comments are complete.

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