April 11, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
The controversial plan to add protected bike lanes and other safety features to Skillman and 43rd Avenues has been modified yet again.
The DOT presented the revised plan to a skeptical Community Board 2 Transportation Committee on Monday just weeks after it held a contentious town hall meeting regarding the proposal at P.S.150.
The latest plan—the third released publicly—would result in the total loss of 116 parking spaces through the two avenues, which would make way for protected bike lanes, pedestrian islands, and other safety features. The plan shown at the town hall said between 117 and 129 spaces would need to be eliminated.
Of the 116 removed spaces in the new plan, 66 are along what the DOT calls the “neighborhood corridor”, shown in the slide as two blue lines. The original plan, presented in December, saw 114 spaces eliminated in the neighborhood corridor, for a total of roughly 160 combined in the two avenues.
The agency said the updated plan stems directly from feedback received at the town hall and after subsequent conversations with P.S. 11, elected leaders, and local businesses and attempts to make the plan “right-sized” for the neighborhood.
“We really took to heart what we were hearing from you, from the local businesses, in how we can balance safety, the parking needs, the needs of the bicyclists, and the pedestrians,” said Nicole Garcia, DOT Queens Borough Commissioner.
She said the agency is looking for the board’s support to put the traffic calming measures in place, noting that the plan has come a long way. “We’d really like to get your blessing because we think it’s going to have a really positive impact on the community,” Garcia said.
But the DOT spent most of its time with the board answering questions raised by the community on the plan and its features, including who called for it, traffic on Skillman Avenue, and skepticism regarding the number of cyclists recorded using the two avenues.
Garcia said the plan was put forth in response to “a pretty loud call” by local stakeholders who asked for protected bike lanes along the corridors.
Craig Baerwald, a DOT project manager, added that the agency was asked about the feasibility of protected bike lanes through the corridor mainly after Gelacio Reyes’ death one year ago and a cyclist injury days later at the same intersection.
Denise Keehan-Smith, CB2 Chairperson and head of the Transportation Committee, said at the onset that the board would not be voting on the proposal that night, and largely pushed back on many of the points raised by the DOT.
“I don’t want people dying either, but you’re really gnawing away at the pure fabric of this neighborhood,” Keehan-Smith said.
The board challenged the DOT’s count of 1,400 cyclists and more on Skillman and 43rd Avenues in a 12-hour period in May. Keehan-Smith said many residents felt the numbers were misleading, as the day the agency counted saw a Bike to Work Day event.
Baerwald said the cyclists were counted on the two-way portion between Van Dam and 32nd Place, just off the Queensboro Bridge, where it can be assumed that Skillman and 43rd Avenues served as a connection point for many of the riders. He added that over 5,400 cyclists use the Queensboro Bridge daily between April and October.
“Of course, not every one of these cyclists is using 43rd and Skillman, but it’s that important connection between Queens Boulevard and neighborhoods to the west and east,” Baerwald said. “And that’s what the importance of this project is.”
The board also questioned how a protected bike lane would have prevented Reyes’ death, as he was struck at an intersection.
Baerwald said protected bike lanes add several safety features beyond a path for cyclists, including tightening the roadways and slowing cars down. “You can’t say for sure what would happen here or there, but we do see injuries at intersections come down with our protected bike lanes,” Baerwald said. “You can’t argue against the data.”
While Reyes’ death prompted the community, including Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, to call for safety features and protected bike lanes, Garcia said the incident is not isolated.
“He’s not the only one whose been injured or had a crash on 43rd Avenue and 39th Street,” Garcia said. “The map says it all.”
The DOT Queens Borough Commissioner was referring to a slide in the presentation that said roughly 300 people had been injured through the two avenues from 2012 to 2016. “These are corridor-wide treatments,” she said.
Keehan-Smith and several board members also rejected a portion of the plan to eliminate a travel lane on Skillman Avenue between Roosevelt Avenue and 49th Street. They argued that the existing traffic, double parked cars, and the morning and afternoon frenzy at P.S. 11 make the concept untenable.
Baerwald said the agency took several extensive looks at this location, and found that traffic capacity could be maintained without creating backups. The new design would actually allow cars to drive around a double parked vehicle and force vehicles to slow down near a school zone, he said.
He added that protected bike lanes against P.S. 11’s curb would not be a danger to crossing students, as shown by several protected bike lane projects by schools in Williamsburg and around the city. The hill at this portion of Skillman Avenue, in addition, ensures that cyclists are going at slow speeds.
But the Transportation Committee Chair called this feature and many others unrealistic, and asked if the agency can scale back their approach for the two avenues or work section by section.
“Do you understand my hesitation?” Keehan-Smith said to the DOT. “There’s so much opposition to this, and I get it—people are concerned.”
Pat Dorfman, Executive Director of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, was granted a few minutes to speak at the meeting by Keehan-Smith. Dorfman has been one of the key figures against the DOT’s proposals, believing that the loss of parking spaces will be an affront on local businesses.
“If I wasn’t executive director of the chamber, I’d probably be in support of this,” Dorfman said. “But there’s such an outcry. It’s exploding. It just feels like somebody upstairs wants to have 10 more miles of protected bike lanes and this is where we want to put them.”
Garcia wholeheartedly denied that the push for the plan was coming from the mayor or other high-ranking officials.
The meeting saw several transportation advocates who vouched for the DOT’s plan, many of whom resented the board’s continued push-back on a plan they say has changed considerably since it was introduced in November.
Macartney Morris, Chair of the Transportation Alternatives’ Queens Activist Committee, told the Sunnyside Post after the meeting that he was frustrated to see CB2 raise what seem like “delay tactics packaged in a guise of concerns”.
He said the DOT has reduced the number of parking spaces that would be lost as a give-back to the community.
“Any logical, fair person looking at the situation would observe that the DOT has nearly bent over backwards to accommodate the concerns, whether its parking loss or whether its P.S. 11 or 150 focused on the safety of school children,” Morris said.
The transportation advocate said the board doesn’t entirely reflect the community’s voices, citing the support he’s heard from local residents and data that shows a small percentage of area residents who actually use their car for commuting to work, for example.
During the meeting, Morris pushed for a long-time Sunnyside resident, Roz Gianutsos, to speak after Keehan-Smith granted Dorfman some time. “I wasn’t against Denise giving Dorfman a chance to speak,” Morris said. “But I want to make sure that she’s giving that chance to everyone else.”
Gianutsos recounted an incident where she was hit by a car while cycling near her home, and said the community needs “a diversity of options” for getting around. She urged the board to take the plan “seriously”.
Keehan-Smith, who said the board has been “taking it seriously since November” requested that the DOT hold another town hall to discuss their project, which Garcia said she’ll have to bring up to the agency.
In a statement issued Tuesday, the DOT said: “We are reviewing the comments we heard at last night’s CB2 meeting to determine next steps, and we will be in touch with the board.”
I would like to know how will bike lanes make bicyclists safer. Aren’t most of these accidents occurring at intersections? I haven’t seen any articles about a bicyclist getting killed riding into a car door. oops.
Aside from safety lets say everyone starts riding bicycles to work. How many of these people will have access to showers once they arrive to work, unless of course you work at the gym in which case you probably don’t need to ride to work cause your already in shape. The rest of you who say you will ride to work now cause you will feel safe with the bike lane are the same people who say there new years resolution is to go on a diet every year and do it for one week. The same thing is going to happen when we invest millions of tax dollars to have these bike lanes put in. People will try it out and then realize they don’t really like sitting at there desk with swamp ass or lose customers cause patrons wont want to be around your swamp ass. Not to mention are you really going to go to work in the same outfit that you would use at the gym hmm maybe but most likely not but you will have to clean up before getting to work or anywhere for that matter. Riding bicycles is fun and healthy but lets be realistic.
I rode bikes when I was a reckless stupid teenager and never crashed and I never wore a helmet. I just knew how to ride a bike and so did all my friends. Accidents happen and it sucks when its close to home but its driver and rider awareness that prevents accidents not protected bike lanes. What everyone fails to realize is the real reason these lanes get put in is so someone or corporation profit (DOT/CITI) . They are a business like any other and are always looking for ways to create work and make profits. While everyone argues back and forth Corporations laugh and move forward without notice. Good luck fighting amongst yourselves while things are getting done behind the scenes to create the next best business plan.
time to make a choice… Do I choose health / fitness, clean air and a fat wallet? Hmmm.. duuuh…. i am resistant to change…. Clean air?? what ya need clean air for…. duuuuuurrrr… GOt an IQ of 80 what do i need clean aaiiiirrr 4??? Uhhhhhhhhhhh durrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
A protected bike lane will not only save lives but also reduce congestion on the 7, reduce traffic, and increase the overall health of the community.
Those are the good effects. It will also make two local streets into “bike highways” when they should be safe local streets where the people who live and work there can live in relationship very peaceful safety. The bike highway belongs onQueens or Northern Blvd.
No it won’t.
Yes, it does.
Please stop claiming bikers are dying in Sunnyside. More people die crossing the street and when riding their bikes. The most recent, over a year ago. Which, all-do-respect to his memory and his family he also carries part of the responsibility of the accident, as per an article I read right here in the Sunnyside Post: (go to paragraph 9) https://sunnysidepost.com/dots-bike-lane-proposal-for-skillman43rd-avenues-causes-alarm-agency-to-amend-plan.
As per the DOT, Bike lanes will reduce 20% of the number of accidents. This means, that 80% of accidents still will always happen, with or without the bike lanes! In the meantime, business will lose sales, ask Solomon Moses, owner of Stix Kosher restaurant; and Jay Parker, owner of Ben’s Best Deli in Forest Hills (just to name a few) who sales have been experiencing a drastic reduction in business since bike lanes were placed in front of their businesses. If you want an aesthetic change in Sunnyside, with bike lanes you will get t it. But if you want to solve a safety issue, then bike lanes are not the solution. You would hardly notice the difference in accidents if installed. The problem is education (graphics and signs like those hanging next to the traffic lights that tells you thinks like No Left Turns, paint the bike lanes green, etc.) and reinforcement of traffic rules, especially throughout the proposed corridor.
It is true that it would reduce congestion on the 7 train (it is also true that it will increase pollution: slow moving and idling vehicles, more CO2 goes into the air) at the community expense to benefit those high rises that are going on right, especially in LIC. That’s has been the plan since the beginning when LIC started development. Please notice that there has not been any proposal to improve the transportation system. Transportation system should improve to keep pace with the huge number of new families moving to our neighborhood. But so far, the only investment is on bike lanes, claiming to be the safest way to commute, which BTW, is not.
Nothing entitles a car owner to leave their personal property on the public property of a roadway.
They bought a big object and now they want to leave on the street. Why should that be allowed?
The city entitles car owners to leave their cars on public roads. Look up Carbie, there are alternate side street signs everywhere. Cars also pay muni meters which feed into the city’s revenue, about 9 to 11 million per year and rising. Not to mention the hundreds of millions(over $500 mil) the city collects from parking tickets yearly.
So yeah, the city entitles the cars to park. It’s big money.
My taxes still pay for the roads and other people’s parking spots. I should get a tax break for not owning a car. I have to pay for the subway.
Everyone, you’re all complaining about the bike lane, the bike lane isn’t taking away any parking spots, the pedestrian improvements are. Those pedestrian improvements are coming with or without a protected bike lane.
Pedestrians walk too fast. One bumped in to me the other day.
Private duty nurses take jobs all over NYC and Long Island. Without my car I would be severely limited in my ability to care for the sick, suffering and dying. My life stopped revolving around the city a long time ago.
Amen. I too do not revolve around the city. The city revolve around me. Take that city! The hole city can sink in a whole for all I care.
Your derision is exactly why neighborhoods all over the city do not want bikers.
Drug dealers rely on cars to pick up and drop off their drug packages. Pimps need cars to shuttle their prostitutes around.
The DOT can pry my car from my cold dead hands
NO WAY. Councilman needs to remember who voted him in – the residents of this area, not the bikes passing through! He is already campaigning to be the new Queens Borough President and it shows to Western Queens residents so early in his new term!
Agree one hundred parcent! No to pass thru-ers. They drive there cars here and think they can park. No thank you pass threws! Keep on passing don’t pretand like you are gonna vote. not on my watch! Go park somewhere else
But cars are the biggest pass thru. Way more than bikecycle.
I don’t see the big deal about putting in a bike lane. The sky won’t fall. They’ve done it in so many other places where people freaked out at first, but now they forgot it’s even there.
If it does turn out to be as bad as some people think it will, you can always switch it back. Why not give it a try and see?
Do you not understand, ever read a history book, ever heard of atlantis, it was covered in bike lanes look at it now. dead
Yep. The old new yorkers were scared of cars lanes when they were clip clopping on thier one horse powered carriage. Guess what, there’s no more horsey wagons. It’s all motor cars now. Sorry old new york! Can you spell proggress?? Get use to it loosers!
Do you really think there is such a thing as “switch back”? How about Transportation Alternatives think about the SUBWAY alternative and lobby for switching back the 7 train to a better state.
The DOT doesn’t need CB 2’s approval to put this plan in place. They overruled CB’s in Harlem and Jackson Heights. “We’d really like to get your blessing because we think it’s going to have a really positive impact on the community,” Garcia said. Big difference between blessing and a vote that counts.
The Chamber or Commerce can request that more metered spaces to serve the businesses.
As for residential parking, NYC and most major cities around the world are discouraging car use and encouraging sustainable transportation (including LA of all places). Agree with it or not, that’s the way things are going. You can read the DOT’s strategic plan for more info. Building more parking is not on the agenda of public or private interests that are capable of making it happen.
To see the abject stupidity of the DOT in action visit the intersection of 41st Street, Greenpoint Ave and 48th Ave. Several years and God knows how much money to accomplish absolutely nothing. The people that brought you this mess wish to plan the entire city.
The DOT has marked these avenues a “vision zero priority zone”. If our existing bike lanes are a “priority” because they are dangerous, has anyone been wondering why the DOT hasn’t done anything to quickly improve the safety on them?.. at least for the time being? LPI signals, changing the timing of lights to slow traffic, painting the lanes and cracking down on vehicles obstructing the lanes. These are all common, non-invasive & highly effective changes that they can implement tomorrow.. Rational changes that a majority in our neighborhood can agree with.
We are now over a year after Gelacio Reyes was struck and killed on 39th street. It’s really hard to buy the “It’s about safety” selling point if 1. they are stalling on making ANY safety improvements and 2. this is an all or nothing proposal for the DOT.
These reasons lead me to believe that these protected lanes are just a citywide De Blasio mandate to deter car ownership & increase bicycle riding. Which pairs up nicely to our looming over-development & longtime neglected subway situation. Unfortunately our little neighborhood bike lane ordeal serves as a larger example of what is wrong with our politicians. No one wants to adjust or fix what we have, they all just want that damn shovel plaque.
Thanks all you commenters. It’s inspired me to write an educated testimonial to the CB directly. I’ve followed comments on safe streets projects before. Its bubble politics. Enraging, inspiring and practically an exercise in futility.
Forgive me for poking at you but finding your inspiration to write an “educated” testimonial based on anonymous trolling on SP is outrageously funny. Like an Onion article. Good luck with that;)
Couldn’t disagree with you more. The writer has gathered a lot of information from a lot of different commenters. That helps educate her.
You say you’re going to write testimonial, but I have no idea what you’re going to say. What do you have in mind?
Which CB? You don’t live here. You wrote a letter to the community board of a community you don’t live in to share your thoughts on how they should change their community?
Developers are deciding every day how much parking is available in our neighborhoods by increasing the number of apartments. Today you drive around the block for an hour at night to find a spot. In a couple of years it will be two hours even without the bike lanes. That is the future, more people, less parking spots. The bike lanes are not there to get your grandmother on a bike, they will offer new younger residents a safe option to bringing another car to Sunnyside. In the long term there will be less new people with cars and less crowding on the 7 train, but make no mistake about it there will be more people living in Sunnyside and no new parking garages. Developers make money on apartments not parking spots.
So anyone not suited to enriching the overlords who own our politicians should buy a cemetery plot and make haste to occupy it? Why is no one protecting the right of people who have spent decades living here to continue their lives? Why must we cheerfully hobble our selves so younger stronger people can make developers happy? And mostly, why are we so severely criticized and scorned for telling our truths? Do you see in yourselves the ugly profile of the colonizer? We do. You feel yourselves and your projected way of life are superior to the one established here. Of course this is only a metaphor and the truth of life has many, many facets, but the one I mention is among them.
Because fuck the younger generation right…? You got yours so fuck everyone else
I have lived in Queens for over 5 decades and still do. Change happens without our consent. You can’t stop a developer from legally converting a two family house into a three or four family house. Those people buying houses in Sunnyside Gardens for well over a million are not a family of four with one car but a working couple with two BMWs. You do not have a right to a parking spot unless you bought a house with a driveway and then only your property is within your rights. Queens is changing, more people will be living in our neighborhoods and no one is investing in transit, so we have to look at other options. This project will also greatly improve pedestrian safety for our elderly and children.
Eric, I’m a longtime Sunnyside resident. I personally know over a dozen Sunnyside gardens homeowners(newbies & old timers) that own 1 vehicle. I just met a couple that moved here from Brooklyn heights with 3 kids that bought a legal 2 family. They have 1 car. You are spewing BS to validate your point. Stop. And yes, car owners do have a right to park on public streets. Read the alternate street signs. Read the muni-meters. Cars can legally park on the street. It’s a major revenue stream for the city and it’s not going anywhere.
I do agree that most neighborhoods would benefit from protected bike lanes. The dot needs to pick wider thoroughfares for them though. Running them through areas that already have a tight parking situation is just poor planning.
[…] CB 2 Cranks Will Never Agree to a Safer 43rd/Skillman — Where Is Jimmy Van Bramer? (SP) […]
Those Streetblog people are tunnelminded advocates who call respected citizens of this community “cranks.” Their commenters confess to “hating” car culture and the people who live it, I suppose. One unbalanced fanatic rejects the idea of protected lanes either under the viaduct or beside it because he doesn’t want to ride in the shade and the small neighborhood streets are “a nicer ride.” He wants to imperil people’s livelihoods, encumber drivers with hours of wasted time, make local pedestrians feel they need eyes in the backs of their heads before they can be safe from scofflaw bikers and turn a safe, secure local street into a regional bike highway so he can enjoy 10 minutes of sun on a “nice ride.” bikers like him give them all a bad, bad name. Who would willingly make their lives worse to make his life better? Stay home and make the world a better place. Arrogance is a poor attitude to bring to negotiations.
Macartney Morris is an extremist who believes anyone who owns a car is evil. He went on a social media rampage the night of the CB2 meeting, painting the entire transport committee and Pat Dorfman as negatively as he could. These are people who have volunteered and helped Sunnyside in a variety of capacities for years now. To have an outsider like Morris come in and slander hard working individuals and members of our community just because he doesn’t agree with him is disgusting. It’s hard to sympathize with cyclists when they’re lead by such a loathsome individual.
I put my name to my comments. How about you do the same? Until you to, it’s fairly ridiculous for me to comment to the slander and misstatements in your words.
From someone who has had their name dragged through the mud by half-wits with no conscience, it is too dangerous to put your name to your thoughts on this website.
Macartney is one of the most welcoming, honest, inclusive people I’ve ever met. Perhaps take the time to actually get to know someone and where they’re coming from (and ya know, not hide behind some weird user name…) as opposed to name calling and acting out. Macartney is thinking of all the people that are unable to raise their voices; perhaps because they work nights, perhaps because they aren’t connected with local politics and community meetings, perhaps because they have a family and are unable to spend precious time fighting for safer streets, or perhaps because they’re an immigrant afraid to come out to a public meeting and risk ICE swooping in and destroying their lives.
Try taking a step back and gaining the perspective of someone significantly less fortunate than you what they have to deal with on the daily. People’s lives shouldn’t be at risk as they simply travel and try and make an honest buck. We need to protect more vulnerable people, not criminalize folk because they live in poverty. I know that Sunnyside & Woodside is a great, inclusive place to live. It’s unfortunate that a small group has been giving this typically welcoming community a bad name for half a year now.
I checked his social media and there’s nothing slanderous there. There’s nothing wrong with criticizing committee members for their decisions. Everyone in public service understands that.
Calling him “an extremists who thinks anyone who owns are car is evil” is extremist in itself. Check yourself!
I take up two spots with my limozine. Favorite place to eat on Saturday night date is Dog and Duck (love the dog). Where will I park now? I guess I will go to All U Can Eat Buffet next to Chunky Cheese.
Put protected bike lanes and on Queens Blvd, on the inside near the viaduct. Regional bike traffic on its way to and from Manhattan has no business demanding a bike highway through a quiet neighborhood.
“Put protected bike lanes and on Queens Blvd, on the inside near the viaduct. Regional bike traffic on its way to and from Manhattan has no business demanding a bike highway through a quiet neighborhood.” I heard the other argument from the Forest Hills anti QB Bike lane people. Bikes dont belong on big main roads, put them on smaller roads , for their own safety. lol its crazy
So, people having a difference of opinion are crazy? You disqualify yourself from the adult table.
TONY is right out the bike lanes on skillman and 43ave.or better yet get rid of them completely . Bikes are no good on queens blvd or any other busy street. Bike people are basically reckless and abuse traffic laws. I hate them all
It’s currently a dangerous car speedway through a not-so-quiet neighborhood. Cycling IS quiet.
Untrue. Cycling is quiet, but cyclists are no where near as responsible or disciplined as people in cars. They are lawless. It is a better ride and much less physically demanding to ignore all the norms and rules of the road, so bikers do what is convenient for themselves rather than respect the people around them. Established fact.
A lawless cyclist cant do anywhere as much damage or harm as a lawless driver, which there are many more. It simple physics. You are comparing two things that cant be compared.
You are incorrect. Cars do not always kill people. Most people in cars never kill anyone. Your focus is too narrow. I know I heard of a man who died after being hit by a biker. I know a biker who has lost teeth, broke his arm, broke his hip, scarred his legs and face among other personal injuries. He is the worst advertisement for frequent city biking I know. none of his work juries came from being hit by a car. He skidded on sand, didn’t see a low hanging branch, faceplanted over a curb, went the fast down a hill and collided with another biker and got a flat and run into a parked car. He alone experienced different conditions and was hurt. Bikers need to do more to protect themselves, including riding more slowly.
The stat is that less than a tenth of a percent of all pedestrian deaths are caused by cyclists in NYC. So the other 99.9%% of deaths? Cars. You heard of a man….You are citing one small exception.
No mixing zones. No mixing zones. No mixing zones.
what is this referring to
Do no incorporate mixing zones (turn slips) at all in this plan. It is utterly unnecessary. It’s a lose, lose situation for both the driver and cyclist. Its the same thing as leaving bike lanes unprotected. You’re making an existing situation more dangerous. Just implement the pedestrian islands on every turn. As a driver I’d rather turn full 90° Slowly than mix with cyclist coming down the hill. When I use the turnslips my first instinct is to look for pedestrians than to first look at my side mirror for a cyclist. As a cyclist it’s a nightmare when a driver isn’t yielding & looking out and it’s usually just based on instinct or just thinking about it. Maybe it’s just me but I believe it just makes it more complex for no reason. Keep it at 90°. Protected.
Also for the parking situation. You wouldn’t have to eliminate as much as the turn slips would.
You taking away more spots for parking is bad thing for business owners..Where is customers going to park?…Very stupid idea buddy.
don’t worry Mr. JVB approves of this – all will be fine – I think NOT – since he gets driven everywhere he goes with his own car
Show us the data that in a neighborhood where most people don’t own a car, that so many customers actually need parking space. I shop at the Butcher’s Block, one of my favorite shops in Sunnyside. I ONLY go there on my bike or by train. Several people at the town hall said the same thing. Most customers walk and take mass transit. More still ride. Only a very small percentage of people use their cars to to reach these stores and DOT now has the parking loss down to only a couple spots per block. The outcry against the loss of parking, as if it is more important than peoples lives, has just been too much. People really need to develop some perspective. These lanes have been going in all over the City, with parking losses, and no shops are closing down because of them. No neighborhoods have been destroyed. In fact the opposite is proving to be true. The exact same objections get raised to every single project and after the project happens, the doom and gloom is proven to have been nothing but hysterics. Pull it together people and lets save some lives.
http://m.qchron.com/mobile/editions/queenswide/bike-lanes-are-murder-on-rego-pk-businesses/article_1108bdd3-3119-50b5-af98-cb209eef07e1.html Rego Park & Forest Hills. Bad for biz. There are many articles about this. Do your homework.
That isn’t data. I live right behind Ben’s Best, I know these guys. That’s a couple angry business men who keep repeating the same things over and over again. They even recently lied on Facebook that a shoe store that had been planning on closing for months before the bike lanes arrived had recently closed because of loss of parking. Despite numerous local folks explaining how that wasn’t true it took serious push back before they finally edited the post.
Only 3 business bothered to come out to a CB6 Economic Development Committee meeting on this issue – Mr. Parker, the owner of Green Zenphony and an owner of a restaurant further down. Only the owner of Green Zenphony [which looks like a very cool restaurant] stayed after so I could give him the business card of the Rego Mall across the street from him and Ben’ Best. The mall has 3 large half empty parking lots and are willing to discuss a ticket validation program. And that is before we even talk about how these businesses sit on top of subway stations with upwards of 16,000 riders, at the confluence of 3 major bus lines, in the age of Uber, with a taxi stand across the street, in a neighborhood with 30,000+ people in walking distance. Again, where is the data? Not the angry biased automatic hatred of “cyclists”, but the data. The only data we have is that 300 people have been hurt on this street in the last few years and here is a design proven time and time again to reduce injuries and fatalities. Bottom line.
Now if you want to take the position that your extra parking space is worth a few people getting hurt, maybe even killed, then stand up and try to articulate a defense of that pretty terrible position, but don’t pretend that isn’t what you are standing for when you fight against this plan in a neighborhood where the majority of households don’t even own cars.
Oh sorry, you just wanted the data of the effects on businesses that protected bike lanes caused within 1 year in random parts of Queens.. hehe. C’mon Petey, there is no data. Can you show me data proving an increase in business in Queens? Nope.
Peter, you live in Rego Park. I live here, where the dot is proposing these lanes. I have friends that have been driving here for years from Maspeth, Ridgewood and Floral Park to frequent some of the businesses in Sunny & Woodside. They park, sometimes it takes 45 minutes. We eat. We catch up with the staff & owners. We drink(they stay, don’t worry;) I don’t own a car or a bike but it’s obvious from my standpoint that certain businesses will be hurt by a loss of parking. The dot should be proposing this on Northern or Queens blvd. Both have many lanes and customer parking lots.
So which is it – that outsiders shouldn’t dictate how “your” streets [which all the rest of us also pay for] or that the needs of outside drivers should be accommodated above other road uses? You can’t have it both ways. And they have been putting in protected bike lanes all over the City for 10 years. I haven’t seen a single business district destroyed because of them – have you?
There is nothing so unique about Sunnyside that it would suffer disproportionally compared to other locations — or that it would fail to benefit as other neighborhoods have. And really – almost no person’s personal experience is particularly representative of reality. I only go to Sunnyside by bike, I think we’d agree it would be wrong for me to say therefore, “that’s the only way people travel to Sunnyside.” So yes, of course there are people who drive there, and yes this will inconvenience them somewhat. And yes, businesses will feel a bit of a pinch and have to adapt. But they have options. Businesses should be deliberately marketing to #bikenyc, You and your friends have a range of options from changing the times when you meet up, taking a bus or a train, going for a bike ride even – Maspeth is the same distance from you as I am, use a taxi, etc.
As others have commented here, the math is prohibited. As neighborhoods all over Queens get more and more dense, more cars are coming in to the neighborhood, causing congestion and impossible parking situations as it is. The solution is not to do nothing and keep our streets designed to promote car use. We need a different vision to keep moving people. That means changing the balance of street use so that buses and bikes have more dedicated infrastructure. Burying our heads in the sand and refusing to change anything is guaranteed to just make matters worse. And this has been proven over and over again in Cities around this country and the world.
Ultimately, this neighborhood should make the final call. After all, it will effect this neighborhood, not yours. So yeah, you don’t get to “dictate” a massive change in a neighborhood that you don’t live in(unless you’re the DOT which obviously has no problem undermining the concerns of a neighborhood, e.g. jackson heights) If accommodating drive-in customer parking is part of that decision, then so be it. I’ve spoken to a few business owners that say they will be effected by the loss of parking. These are good, honest working men and women that have loyal customers and people, like my friends, don’t have a problem driving here to support them. Marketing to #bikenyc is wise for some and completely ineffective for others. It’s also irresponsible for our bars to do that.
Peter, I don’t think the majority of our neighborhood, including myself, are against a protected bike lane. Most here are progressive thinking, rational people that understand that this is a complex situation. It’s not black & white like most of the trans alt. people make it out to be. It effects everything – our farmers market, our elderly & disabled, our children crossing the street to get to school, our church goers that drive in, our fire dept. which use skillman/43rd exclusively to rush out, our businesses, etc. The point is, the DOT dropped the ball on choosing the location for these lanes. They should be proposing this for Northern Blvd.. the obvious choice. It’s the most direct route. It’s wide enough for a median protected lane. It’s mostly big box stores with customer parking lots. I find it completely irresponsible of the DOT to have picked small community blocks with an already existing parking problem to insert these bike lanes, especially when we already have safe lanes in place(do the numbers).
There are many articles about the DOT forcing these into other neighborhoods in Queens. Residents & businesses are standing up and even starting organizations to get them removed. There are lawsuits filed. Again, this is a complex issue involving more than just a cyclists commute to work. It’s unfortunate that the DOT isn’t required to do more street vetting before they decide where they want to draw up the plans. For Sunnyside, the lane would’ve been approved immediately if they proposed it for Northern.
(Plus it looks like the bigger issue is the deliveries only zone if you read the article)
Most people walk to these businesses, most people in Sunnyside don’t own cars.
Also, the bikelanes aren’t what is reducing the available parking, it’s the pedestrian improvements. Curb extensions are now a standard in pedestrian safety and they’re being added to every crossing. This is a good thing as the extensions greatly improve pedestrian safety by reducing crossing distance and reducing the speed of vehicles turning into crosswalks.
Take the Subway!!!!!!!
I think people just adapt this suburb mentality when they look out their windows and don’t see the East River. Honestly neighborhoods west of Elmhurst/Jackson Height don’t need cars.
A lot of these butthurt people about parking are just wannabe bridge and tunnel folks TBH