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Cycling Advocates Will Hold Memorial Bike Ride and Rally For Gelacio Reyes on Sunday

via Transportation Alternatives

April 6, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

A group of cycling advocates will honor the life of Gelacio Reyes one year after his death at a Sunnyside intersection on Sunday.

The event, organized by Transportation Alternatives and Cyclists Latinoamericanos de New York, includes riding through Reyes’ regular commute from the Upper East Side in Manhattan to Flushing Meadows Park in Queens.

The riders will stop along the way at the intersection of 39th Street and 43rd Avenue, where Reyes was struck and killed by an SUV driver last year. There, the groups will rally for safe bike lanes to prevent deaths and other tragedies. Speakers include Reyes’ family, the manager at the eatery Reyes worked at, and Queens-based safety advocates.

The same intersection also saw another incident 10 days later, when a cyclist was seriously injured after being struck by a driver. A “ghost bike” has since been installed at the location.

Juan Restrepo, Queens Organizer for Transportation Alternatives, said the event should see dozens of cyclists, but noted that the act is more important than the numbers it attracts.

“We want to do something that will be meaningful,” Restrepo said. “This one is just to remember the loss of life.”

The event comes after the Department of Transportation’s town hall with the community last month, where the agency presented a new proposal for safety improvements along Skillman and 43rd Avenues. The proposal would see a variety of safety improvements, most notably a system of protected bike lanes that would require the elimination of about 120 parking spaces through the two avenues.

The DOT’s original proposal caused much alarm when it was unveiled in November, as it called for over 150 parking spaces to be removed. The new plan, however, did not appear to change any pre-held opinions from the community.

The push for safety improvements along the two avenues was first called for by Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) after Reyes’ death.

The event will begin at 10 a.m. at Oaxaca Taqueria, located at 1198 1st Ave., on April 8. The rally in Sunnyside will be held at 11 a.m. At midday, the riders will continue to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Those interested in attending and riding can RSVP through the event’s Facebook page, or ride along during the day.

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43 Comments

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Carbie Barbie You sure have a lot of time on yiur hands. Are you on SSI and mooching off the system??




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Mythoughts

I see so many cyclists on this path every day, right there in the traffic with the cars. Protected bike lanes are a great idea.




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Littleloo

I do not see a lot of bikers on QB or 43rd Avenues. Hardly ever. I believe TA and the city want to put them there to attract riders to them. It is xactly the opposite of grassroots. It is management by a committee of strangers from far away.




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Rikki

I don’t think QB is in question. There are quite a few bike commuters on Skillman and 43rd Ave. Just folks getting too and from work. Hopefully we can find a way to encourage more riders as it takes stress off of the MTA and traffic. Lord knows they need the help.




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Fan of doughboy park

Angry people will just be angry. I can’t imagine ever trying to stomp on a memorial for someone else’s family member…yet they show up here. I assume these are the same types of folks that call victims crisis actors and picket alongside the westboro church folks.




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Carbie Barbie

To state the obvious, it takes time for people to realize there’s a problem and to attain critical mass to try to fix it. Publicizing your issue with artwork is one way of doing that.

This kind of thing can be both highly personal and systemic at the same time. “Amber Alerts” are one example. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AMBER_Alert The M.A.D.D. campaigns were others.

Personal stories lend weight to “the math,” which, by the way, shows there are at least 163 other times a cyclist has been killed by a car since the art installations began, not to mention people on foot and people in cars killed by other motor vehicles, which is more than 33,700 per year according to the CDC. https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/overview/key_data.html

To state that the numbers speak for themselves is patently untrue. If that were the case, we’d be seriously working on global warming, ballooning student debt and other problems. But until people raise awareness through advocacy, we’re busy working two or three jobs, doing the laundry or Instagraming dog ears on our friends.




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Indigogo

Numbers do speak for themselves, despite your opinion to the contrary. No one is holding memorials for 33,700. They held a memorial for one man who’s death is being exploited by big organizations to further their agenda. I think everyone is in favor of saving lives and protected bike lanes are a wonderful way to do that. They need to be in places that will not harm the communities they go through. The powers that be must accept the will of the people who’s lives are effected by the decisions they make from far, far away. TA and their supporters need to work harder to get agreements rather than stoop to shameful emotional manipulation. They use PR firms and lawyers to attack and overwhelm communities of honest citizens who feel blindsided, despised and patronized rather than taking their concerns seriously. Snide, contemptuous remarks and attitudes shut down honest communication and sew the seeds of bitterness. In that atmosphere conflicts grow rather than diminish, wasting time and energy better spent finding common ground. Peace.




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Carbie Barbie

Hi.

I agree with much of what you’ve said here.

On the numbers speaking for themselves–they can be used in many ways. The ways they’re publicized, interpreted, unknown or ignored are part of that. In that way, they don’t really speak for themselves.

It seems a matter of opinion whether the family is being exploited. They may, for all I know, be deeply interested in the bike lane issue or knew the slain man’s wishes about it. Either way, their loss is terrible and it happens too often.

There’s a lot of emotional manipulation and snide and contemptuous remarks on both sides. I’ve made my share. I guess people get into the habit of sniping at others and then returning fire when they get tagged with one.




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Pi S. Sedoff

If Bicyclists are to share the road with Motorists, they should be Licensed and Insured. Most Bicyclists don’t follow the Traffic Regulations at all and especially those pertaining to “passing on the right”. Many don’t even have proper lighting that would allow a Motorist legally making a “Right Turn” to see a Bicyclist ILLEGALLY overtaking their vehicle on the right side, nor do most Bicyclists actually look at the Motorist’s directional signals.
At best Bicycling is a “Seasonal” mode of transportation, and “Protected Bike Lanes” are a disaster for Local Business. Caving to “Special Interest Groups” like Transportation Alternatives is a huge Governmental mistake.




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Carbie Barbie

Ostensibly every car is licensed and insured. I see them breaking the laws multiple times every day. Cars kill and injure many more than bicycles. From a purely utilitarian perspective, enforcement should be ramped up on motor vehicles. Bikes and jay walkers break laws too, but the low hanging fruit is motorists.

As for your assertion that bike lanes are bad for business, what evidence do you have? Or is that just your gut feeling?




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Oil Beef Hooked

what do you think is the goal of special interest groups like transportation alternatives




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Too many cars

Poor man and family. Terrible. This is still a very dangerous intersection. I saw several cars fly threw the red light over the weekend while at the SCC. Swerving around turning cars to get through the light. Bad bad bad situation. There is going to be another deadly accident.




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Woodsid4Lyfe

Just to let everybody know… all of this traffic stuff taking away the parking spots on skillman and all the way down.. it’s happening cuz of VanBrommers husband. His husband has some connections in DOT and is forcing Jimmy to do this.. let’s stop jimmy everybody.




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Barbie Q.

It is not that I don’t like private signs, or art or graffiti, it is that the city has laws about these things. Are they applying the law equally? Is there a selective application of the law that indicates a design? I’d bet dollars to donughts that the city supports these because they help advance their plan to displace the settled residents of neighborhoods for others who fit in better with their gentrification plans.




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michael buoni

I read that the accident, although incredibly tragic, occurred in the intersection and would not have been prevented by a protected bike lane. I am so appalled that they are using this serious incident in order to further their agenda. SHAME!

SUNNYSIDE, Queens (WABC) — A suspect has been arrested after a man on a bicycle was killed in a hit-and-run in Queens early Saturday morning.

Around 3 a.m., a red 2002 Ford Escape was traveling south on 39th Street when it t-boned a bicyclist who was traveling east on 43rd Avenue.




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silent majority

I echo Michael’s thoughts you people are disgusting using this tragedy to further your own agenda. No law or ” bike lane” would of prevented a drunk reckless driver from killing this man. Just another example of what kind or people are behind this.




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Ann

Haha, “silent majority” … Oh to align yourself with Nixon supporters. Good luck with your conspiracies!




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Anonymous

This ghost bike has been here since 2008. Image: Daily News

There are 67 Ghost Bikes in New York City, memorials to cyclists killed by automobiles and trucks. Now the Sanitation Department wants to remove them after thirty days. According to the head of the sanitation department’s cleaning unit, it is the result of a “handful” of complaints.

According to the Daily News,

The families of the victims are outraged and heartbroken, including the mom of a 22-year-old man crushed to death by a truck in 2008. “This is shocking. I can’t believe it,” said Lizi Rahman, whose son Asif died at 55th Road and Queens Blvd. – dubbed the Boulevard of Death.

“I go there because that’s where he breathed last. When I go there, people see me cleaning the ghost bike. They stop and talk to me. They feel close to the family.” “I find him there. They can’t take it away from me,” she said.

Other cities already have this policy; in Toronto, Canada, Ghost Bikes are removed by the city after a period of time. In Washington, removal of a ghost bike became a big issue last year.

Ghost Bikes are a reminder to everyone to ride and drive carefully; Perhaps they should stay in our faces. More in the Daily News




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Ciclistas Latinoamericanos de New York

“Anonymous” , that’s why you want to call yourself Anonymous because you know you are LYING. I installed this ghost bike last year on May with my group, it was my mountain bike and I wanted to honored my friend’s life.




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Carbie Barbie

I don’t remember seeing the ghost bike before this particular accident. Yeah, yeah, memory is fallible, but I don’t remember it being there before.




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michael buoni

Dramatization to further an agenda. Accident had nothing to do with protected bike lanes

SUNNYSIDE, Queens (WABC) — A suspect has been arrested after a man on a bicycle was killed in a hit-and-run in Queens early Saturday morning.

Around 3 a.m., a red 2002 Ford Escape was traveling south on 39th Street when it t-boned a bicyclist who was traveling east on 43rd Avenue.




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Go in Peace

Would you let the poor soul Rest In Peace? Fight for your point of view, but it is incrediblely tasteless to put his ghost on your flag and wave it manically.




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Carbie Barbie

This argument is disingenuous. The loss of their loved one IS the point of view. That family, wrongly or rightly, is aligning itself with the bike lanes. You cannot tell them how to grieve or to advocate for what they view as improvements.




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Willim

If/When a biker dies on protected bike lanes bu getting a door opened on them, or if they hit a child who don’t expect a bike to be zipping on sidewalk side of the road, what will be the next demand? Ban cars? In all honesty, it’s the only solution. Bike-Only roads is the only solution. You want to kiss up to bikers for some reason, then build bike-only roads, but make sure that bikes who get to ride on those roads are registered and licensed and they follow rules and regulations just like car owners who pay thousands in add’l taxes and insurances every year.




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Carbie Barbie

That ghost bike is really affecting. I shudder every time I see one of them, but that one hits hard for some reason. I didn’t know another rider got hit on the same spot just ten days later.

The cars over there tend to drive way too fast. Skillman too.




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Pi S. Sedoff

Protected Bike Lanes will not help, most of those accidents are at Intersections, those accidents are subject to “Contributory Negligence” where BOTH parties fail to do everything possible to avoid the accident. The “Protected Bike Lanes” will however, be detrimental to local business by restricting access to those local business’ where the concrete barriers are placed. They are a very bad solution.




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Carbie Barbie

What’s the evidence that they’re bad for local businesses? I see a lot of people say this but have not seen evidence one way or the other.




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Tommy O

Anonymous- That is not a conflict of interest. I told you once before, educate yourself on the topic before shooting your mouth off and spreading misinformation.




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Barbie Q.

Private signs on public property is against the law. Talk to anyone who has been ticketed for putting up a garage sale sign. Stop draping yourself in self righteousness. It is a despicable way to conduct an open democratic discussion of the proper use of public resources. Using his grieving widow to gin up sympathy is despicably abusive of her and the poor dead man who can not speak for himself.




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Carbie Barbie

A man died on that spot. He was killed by a car while doing nothing wrong. That generates sympathy. Those are facts. When I read that story here on this website, my stomach dropped. It doesn’t take any “ginning up sympathy.”

Your sense of what is self righteousness, despicable behavior and how to conduct democratic discussions is based on your opinion. Thankfully, we have a democratic process to sort out which opinions will prevail.

Usually when someone points and claims “self righteousness” it’s to make him or herself feel self righteous–in this case about protecting the public space from private signs he or she doesn’t like.




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Barbie Q.

Are the people who set up his memorial planning for 163 more? Is it really coming from a sincere effort to honor a life or is it a cynical effort to advance an agenda? Compare this singular effort and it’s timing to others and do the math. Then no one has to form opinions. The facts will speak for themselves.




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Carbie Barbie

I doubt the co-opt angle. Bike safety stuff is in the air, baby.




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