March 14, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
The much-anticipated town hall on the Department of Transportation’s proposal to install bike lanes on Skillman and 43rd Avenues has been scheduled for the end of the month.
The town hall, organized by the DOT, will take place on March 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at PS 150. The school is located at 40-01 43rd Ave.
The DOT is expected to reveal an updated proposal for the two avenues during the meeting, and will speak to corridor-wide safety improvements, which include traffic calming initiatives like protected bike lanes and improved school crossings.
The city’s first plans for the two avenues were presented in November, which saw an initial proposal that implemented protected bike lanes and removed a combined 158 parking spaces through the corridors.
The initial plans alarmed community residents and businesses who were fearful of losing parking spaces. But groups on both sides of the issue soon began petitioning either in support of the bike lanes, or against losing a single parking spot due to DOT measures.
While the DOT had already began working on an updated proposal for the two avenues, and was ready to present it at a December town hall, the event was abruptly called off after an emergency meeting PS 11’s PTA had with the DOT.
The emergency meeting saw parents lash out at the agency for introducing a plan that failed to include the safety measures they demanded, like stop lights and cross walks by the school. Some even claimed the DOT’s plans would bring more danger to students.
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said the town hall would be postponed indefinitely until the city came up with a plan that addressed safety concerns called for by PS 11.
Earlier this month, the DOT announced that two traffic lights would be installed by the school, which paved the way for the agency to once again kick off town hall proceedings for the two avenues.
Van Bramer has not taken a position on the issue, and said he will reserve judgement until he hears from the community at the town hall.
For questions, contact the DOT Queens Borough Commissioner’s office at 212-839-2510. Those needing accessibility accommodations should provide advance notice.
Update 3/15 1:28 p.m. – The DOT announced today that the location of the town hall was changed to PS 150. It was originally scheduled at PS 11.
I see a lot of like for bike lane supporters. I wonder, how many of them actually live in Sunnyside? Are you like those that spoke during the Townhall claiming to love Sunnyside, they feel the love when they bike through Sunnyside? I would love to accommodate your streets to my liking so I can enjoy it once a week on summer time. How many of them are going to be affected by traffic congestion, pollution created by idling vehicles, noise, etc. Remember, Sunnyside is a residential neighborhood with small business. 15% reduction in sales could be catastrophic for small businesses.
Once again… THE LIBERALS just like what they’re trying to do in many cities in AMERICA are now RUINING Sunnyside. We dont want Fake/Trendy/Liberal/$5 Dollar Coffee/Extreme LEFT/ SF and LA loving, Williamsburg and Greenpoint wanna be people in SUNNYSIDE.
Liberals are no different then the Terrorists- They want to change our ideology!
P.S.Liberals are also SINNERS and going to hell!
Pat Dorfman and the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce are more in touch with 1978 than the current rapidly changing neighborhood. We don’t have to support people who don’t support our safety. I’ll be shopping off Skillman until the new bike lanes are put in.
I was also at the meeting last night and noticed a funny thing. Out of all the business owners who have posters up saying their businesses will be decimated by bike lanes, only one owner actually stood up and spoke (Good for him, even though I don’t agree with what he said). Promoting a false narrative at the expense of people’s safety is what is going to decimate their business.
As for the people against street safety, once you get past the uniformed verbal diarrhea, you realize they are all talk and no action. What are they doing to get more parking besides endangering other people? Probably too busy feeding stray cats…
Was at the Town hall last night I will just say that the intellectuals on the Bike Side thoroughly walloped the Car Folks.
SEPARATED BIKE LANES ARE DANGEROUS!! DONT FALL FOR THE CURRUPT DOT HYPE!
This is the DOT’s strategic plan which they are carrying out with the full support of the current administration.
http://www.nycdotplan.nyc Please read.
The city is moving away from encouraging car use and encouraging sustainable transportation. This is the new reality that business owners and residents are going to have to adjust to.
BIKE LANES CAUSE POLLUTION! … THEY CAUSE MORE TRAFFIC AND CARS IDLING.. more cars will circle looking for parking which will equal to more smog and noise… BIKE LANES also are a magnet for litter-just look at Manhattan(no separated bike lane is clean or swept)…we already have painted shared lanes- lets use the money for more GREEN SPACE AND PARKS in Sunnyside instead of horribly designed bike lanes.
I can also ASSURE you there WILL still be CYCLIST riding in the middle of the street even if separated lanes are built.
Resident 46, please enlighten us all as to where these parks and green spaces are going to go. Are you donating land?
Is that all you can say to support the bike lanes???
It’s easier to attack some else’s ideas (regardless of their feasibility) than proposing your own.
I would propose to keep the existing flow of traffic but turning the proposed corridor into a Zero Tolerance area like QBoulevard. In addition, all bike lanes can be visually treated like regular bike lanes by painting them vibrant-green. Then, drives and bikes need to be educated about the road they are on by adding signs up next to the traffic lights to remind them of each other. Also, installing rumble strips or small bumps with reflective lights on the line that separate bike lanes from vehicle lanes; and above all, reinforce the existing traffic rules like speeding, ignoring red lights and stop signs, riding opposite to the assigned traffic flow, etc. These ideas will pay themselves off eventually, quite the contrary with building a separate bike lane, where it requires a huge investment and never getting any revenue.
The truth is DG, you don’t have factual proof of anything. Stop wasting your time trying to convince me (not working), and spend your time thinking about how your business is going to deal with upcoming changes. If the lanes don’t get approved this time, they will the next. Any way it’s done will involve losing parking spaces. That’s called compromise.
Your arrogance is disgusting.
Folks, this is what we are trying to avoid in this neighborhood.
Idiot.. is this an example you looked really hard for??…More bikes hit pedestrians than cars now…look at the statistics…
Here are two links that will correct your incorrect statement about more bikes hitting pedestrians than cars.
Jay, You’re deflecting and not providing any data or info. I’ve been reading a lot about this topic(on both sides). I’ve spoken to business owners in Rego. I’ve walked door to door along Skillman & 43rd to ask owners if they will be effected. I’ve spoken to the FH Chamber. Have you hit the streets? Or are you just sitting behind your laptop reading articles about why protected bike lanes have not effected the businesses in Portland, Park Slope, Vancouver? As if that data is relevant to every city/town across the US. Point is, I’ve sent you proof of this problem, in close vicinity, and you’re clearly rejecting it to protect your statements.
If you are reading citylab “data” or articles referencing citylab, you are reading agenda-driven info owned/edited by the “ultimate champion of gentrification”, richard florida. Be careful.
“I think they are running businesses that are out of date with a changing neighborhood” — Do you mean the famous kosher deli that people flock to from all over to eat in? The furniture store? .. no, they’re not out of date, they’re losing business from people not being able to park close by. Man buns & leotards is homophobic?.. Don’t be so sensitive dude. It sounds like a hipster knock to me.
Lastly, Reyes was struck on 43rd ave & 39th street which I agree is a hairy spot for both cyclists and cars. The DOT should be focusing on these major intersections. Creating a protected bike lane on each 3 to 4 way intersection in the city would make WAY more sense than uprooting an area of a neighborhood that has never seen a bicycle fatality. The idea of protected bike lanes is great for the city, but to stick them in the middle of a local, mom & pop block while disregarding the voice of a business community and it’s residents is straight up wrong.
Gee whiz. Just look to northern Blvd to see the businesses that have lots of available parking … They are dropping like flies.
If you think parking is the key to a great business, you’ve already lost.
Actually parking sucks on Northern blvd. Not sure where you’re talking about.
People who want this… are people who may or may not even use the lanes a couple of times a year…they dont drive…
“Man buns & leotards is homophobic?.. Don’t be so sensitive dude. It sounds like a hipster knock to me.”
Really DG? Calling out homophobia is now a hipster knock?
Just so you know, I am actually sitting behind my computer reading the DOT’s strategic plan. Have you read it? The DOT’s mandate is to encourage sustainable transportation over cars and to implement Vision Zero. Please read it so you understand what the future direction of New York is. Remember, businesses that are failing to plan for change are planning to fail.
Parking for residents and business customers is not a guaranteed right. No matter what taxes you or a business pay. It is a right given to us by the DOT that allows us to store private property (our cars) on public space (city streets). They can give, or take that right away in order to carry out the policies and enact change. Again, they’re current mandate does not favor more parking or driving. It favors sustainable transportation with an emphasis on safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.
“Above all, DOT strives in everything it does to achieve Vision Zero—the City’s multi-agency initiative to eliminate deaths and serious injuries from traffic crashes. DOT places a particular focus on protecting pedestrian and cyclists, our most vulnerable street users. DOT is committed to significantly boosting the share of trips made by walking, biking, and transit through a more balanced distribution of street space and the implementation of innovative street designs from around the globe. Our continuing growth as a city depends on more people using the most space-efficient modes to get around. This approach is consistent with protecting our most vulnerable street users and meeting the City’s climate change goals.”
Regarding the studies on the effects of protected bike lanes; if you are not swayed by the numerous studies done by agencies and people who study and work on transportation issues for a living, I don’t know what to tell you. The studies themselves were not done by a gentrification guy.
I have now heard the same refrain from businesses and residents in three major cities when bike lanes were being put in. After the bike lanes go in, nobody goes out of business, babies don’t die, and life goes back to normal with the exception that pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers are safer and healthier.
It seems like we are going in circles here. I’ve read about vision zero, transportation alts and dot’s plans. I know about the cities war against cars, and I can get behind it to a certain extent. But there are repercussions to that war that I’m referencing with factual proof, while you deflect and throw out vague statements.. “studies done by agencies” “not done by a gentrification guy”. Well then, by who? Protected bike lanes are a fairly new thing, especially for the outer boroughs, how can the data even be valid? I call BS. Your other rebuttal is that “businesses are failing to change”.. enlighten me Jay – What kind of businesses are exclusive to just its neighborhood walk-ins and bicyclists? Can you actually measure that? I, for one, appreciate a neighborhood with a thriving butcher, bakery & restaurants. These are not locals-only kind of business models. They also rely on drive-in customers, especially on a slow week.
“Man buns & leotards is homophobic” – You misunderstood. I think you’re reaching to even call that homophobic. That guy was knocking hipsters.
At the end of the day, the irony in all of this is that the same people that want a car-less city, in 15 years, will be complaining about how all the cool, unique & diverse businesses were priced out of “their” neighborhood.. about the large chains stores that are taking over.. on some neighborhood blog.. and you’ll be scratching your chins wondering why.
Jay, You have heard this refrain in the cities? Are you a traveling social media opinion influencer or do you live here? Do you work for a bike manufacturer? Are you a DOT employee? What is the basis of your point of view?
I am the president of the evil Acme bicycle conglomerate, I work for the DOT, I’m the president of REBNY, and I spend my days plotting how to move the numerous chain stores I own into Sunnyside from my mansion in Beverly Hills.
Actually the basis for my point of view (based on living in the neighborhood for 14 years) is that I don’t want my wife to be killed while she is riding to work. Sorry if that offends you.
Thanks for clearing it up. It is a personal fight for you. Ok. So then we can all fight for our personal gain, not giving a hoot about how it affects anyone else, right? You drew that line, not anyone else. And by the way, no one wants your wife killed on her way to work. It is rather tasteless of you to imply anyone would.
If you can’t take the punches, don’t step into the ring.
The DOT is the proposing they bike lanes. The data they have is meant to justify their proposals. It is called Sales Business. Just look at their claim that in one day of May, they count 1,400 bikers on 43av and 39th street. I live in the area and I spend a lot of time on the streets. I’ve never seen anywhere near that number of bikers going through that spot. That’s around 1 bike every 2 minutes for 12 hours straight. Even if you include delivery guys on mopeds would not reach 1,400.
Note for those who are planning to go to the Town Hall: The DOT has changed the venue to PS 150 at time of this comment.
It wouldn’t surprise me if the DOT ends up: (1) changing the venue again, (2) changing the date/time again and/or (3) doing whatever they were planning to do anyway regardless of what the residents have to say about it.
No to safer streets! Who’s with me? Harumph.
“Because I LOVE the idea of NYC playing musical chairs with our lives and livelihoods, paying for the game at our own expense and repeat it all over again when people realize there are fewer winners in this game than they felt there should’ve been”
You get it!
All bicycles (motorized or not) should be insured and have a license plate, just as cars and motorcycles. This way, all who pay taxes and use the roads will share the same responsibilities. All who pay taxes will have equal say in how the roads are shared by cars, motorcycles and bicycle riders. Share the roads, share the responsibilities! Create a problem and there should be a way of identifying who you are!
I have a car AND a bike – whoa. And guess what? I am 100% in favor of the protected bike lanes. Yes, we can have both!
we already have both…road and painted lanes.
No mixing zones (turn slips) + Protected bikelanes/intersections = (No parking loss)(Safe infastructure) Win, Win.
Aaaannnddd they’re offfff!!!!
Serious question: Why do owners of cars feel they’re entitled to parking spaces on public roadways?
Roads are paid for by the taxes of all of us, including those who can’t afford or choose not to have a car.
Why shouldn’t pedestrians and cyclists be able to use the spaces for cycling and pedestrian-ing?
Serious answer: What’s preventing pedestrians and cyclists from using the existing spaces for cycling and walking?
I saw in 30 years of living in Sunnyside and still see to this day cyclists safely using the main roadway to travel whether or not there are “bike lanes”. Heck, I see people walking and running even when there’s a wide open and better protected sidewalk to accomodate them. I don’t see most drivers (not under the influence of alcohol or drugs) going out of their way to run over anybody who dares to encroach on “their” blacktop.
I’m not opposed in principle to protected bicycle lanes, especially if implemented with foresight on larger roads that can handle it without adversely impacting everything else in its wake. I do not think that Skillman/43rd pairing one of them.
Making matters worse, the DOT has largely botched the implementation on feasible roads (Queens Blvd. east of Roosevelt, Woodhaven Blvd, etc.). That should be a reasonable cause for concern and skepticism on its own right.
I am opposed to the City of New York’s plan to systematically deteriorate capacity and conditions of infrastructure while our population keeps expanding. (Which they are effectively doing with many of the DOT’s projects)
Whether you own a car or not – you, I and everyone else around us are ultimately dependent on oil and motor vehicles for our NYC lifestyle. Even if you don’t do deliveries and are willing to move houses by carrying everything on a bike, we are still DEPENDENT on long supply chains and just-in-time logistics for everything else. (NYC no longer has large farms, factories that produce most of what we use and housing are developed far from railroad stations/ferry docks). I don’t want to be around when the myopics and the solipsistics of the city FINALLY realize they weren’t immune to the effects of the city constricting one of the few means of sustaining our lifestyles.
Amazing! A thoughtful response!
Unfortunately you side-stepped my question: I’m suggesting that car owners should not have the right to on-street parking. Just because someone paid for a car should not entitle them to the whatever-by-whatever space they take from public streets by parking their car at the curb. Without all that parking space on either side of every street there would be lots of room for extra traffic lanes and bike lanes to boot.
You’re right, I didn’t address it directly. I usually prefer to address causes and longer term implications over short-term symptoms. I’ll humor you this time.
Your suggestion on its own merits sounds promising. However as the situation stands now and for the foreseeable future, it is not a feasible one as it puts vehicle owners / operators in a catch-22 situation in light of existing infrastructure and existing laws governing legal parking.
(1) Despite the (latent) demand of more parking space, both private developers and the City of New York have failed to address (much less acknowledge) the circumstances.
The City of New York has been systemically eliminating off-street parking options as well. What happened to much of the municipal parking lots and garages under de Blasio’s administration? Sold off to private developers and demolished. Multi-story residences built in those footprints (and sometimes much taller than nearby buildings).
That also dovetails with this development: There’s been a hard push to reduce/eliminate the requirements of private developments to maintain off-street parking spaces proportionate to the size of new developments. This includes neighborhoods that were historically dependent on private vehicles for day-to-day transporation (and is still minimally covered and served by public transportation)
Private developers have not developed stand-alone high density garages in appreciable numbers. Anecdotally, private garages seem to be disappearing as property values reach new highs.
(2) Individuals who own private property with a feasible space to maintain off-street parking are legally restricted from doing so by city ordinances.
In the case of Sunnyside Gardens, I believe there was something of a rush to get in applications for alterations before special rules applying to historic districts came into effect. Installation of curb-cuts was certainly one of them. (SOL to existing residents who didn’t foresee the state of transportation coming and the new residents who didn’t buy a house with such amenity.)
Outside of this borough, I believe neighborhoods like Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn were affected by laws passed that prevented homeowners from parking on the front sections of their property even if they had a legal curb-cut made prior to the passage of the law. It wouldn’t surprise me if such retroactive style of legislature is part of the city’s next line of attack.
So there’s already quite a lot of restraining factors in place that directly conflicts with those willing to pay their own way to maintain ownership of their vehicles. (And that’s just only the private passenger side. We haven’t even touched the commercial side which the city is ultimately dependent on as I mentioned in my previous post)
Private transportation has reached the same sorry state as public transportation in this city. The city can continue to ignore reality, but it will ultimately find itself unable to ignore the consequences of ignoring reality. If the only thing it can come up with are “improvements” that benefits one class at the expense of everything else in its wake, perhaps it’s better off sticking with the status quo.
Thank you for the histori-legal response. I lack that kind of deep woods, inside baseball know-how. Consider me partly humored.
If I understand you correctly, you’re agreeing with me in principle that that car owners, for example, should not have a right to place their objects on public property. But the historical conditions on the ground have created a situation where that has become permissible and to address the root cause would be too much hassle for all involved. Is that about right?
No simple solution for complex issues. Sometimes you can get lucky there, but NYC needs more of that!
(It’s unfortunate how often the city’s solutions turn out to be quite the misnomer.)
P.S.: Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams and Billy James says “Hi!”
You are aware this is NYC right?
You probably do not own a car or have a garage. I have a disabled daughter and it’s hard enough getting to the curb todropyher off for doctors appointments if curb it available it would have to e in the middle of the street.
Sorry for the mistakes. I wanted to say it’s hard enough dropping her off at the curb. If I’m restricted by a bike lane rail I would need to let her off in the middle of the street. I think we forget senior citizens share our neighborhood
Theorem Ox, I think you are discounting the increase in distracted driving, and general disregard for peoples lives that occurs on NYC streets. Also, Skillman and 43rd are the most direct way to connect existing bike lanes with the Queensborough bridge. Northern Blvd. and Queens Blvd. below 51st have buses going in both directions, and too many businesses with exiting traffic, rendering them unfit for protected bikelanes.
I don’t believe I mentioned distraction at all. I agree with you that it is a legitimate issue overall, but the disregard of life isn’t limited to those behind the wheels – motorized or not.
While the city loves to bring up the narrative about distracted and unsafe driving (and the standard equipment now present in newer cars sure invite it!), they also largely discount the role of pedestrians and bicyclists regarding distractions and their contributions to accidents as well.
I’m sure you saw somebody tripping over a curb, bumping into somebody or crossing streets obliviously because they were so fixated on their phone or whatever else that happens to take precedence over their own safety. How about those who overestimate their abilities and end up playing real-life Frogger against the light with vehicles at dangerously close distances?
I strongly disagree on your latter point by reason of geography. Look at the NYCDOT’s own bicycle map! Skillman and 43rd is NOT the most direct way to connect to the existing protected bike network. (If anything, it’s a detour from the existing network and it is not a particularly conducive routing in creating a contiguous protected path!)
If the DOT goes through with their plan of converting the entirety of Skillman + 43rd into protected lanes, it will likely end abruptly in the east where both eventually intersect at Roosevelt (roughly 56th and 52nd Street respectively). None of the side streets near those intersections are particularly wide enough to accommodate protected lanes without heavily disrupting existing traffic to the stretch of Queens Blvd. where there are existing lanes.
That is, of course, unless the city has an unmapped separate right of way that they intend to share with us for the first time.
P.S.: I’m not sure if you appreciated the irony of your closing statement. especially in regards to Queens Blvd. There are buses running in both directions and even more businesses with off-street traffic (especially after New Calvary Cemetery) east of Roosevelt too. That sure didn’t stop the DOT from implementing protected bike lanes anyway in the most clumsiest way possible (somehow managing to expose both bicyclists and motor vehicle drivers to dangerous situations when traffic builds up) on Queens Blvd!
Sorry, but Queens Blvd. past where the 7 goes to Roosevelt Ave. are completely different. Access roads, more lanes, no train.
You say Skillman/43rd is not the most direct and viable way to connect the bike paths. What is? I’d love to hear an alternative.
Try Queens Blvd between Skillman and Roosevelt.
And don’t let the train viaduct scare you – generations ago, a double tracked streetcar line ran directly underneath it for years. Even in our generation, pedestrians still use it as a through street and some car drivers did too – until the DOT sealed off parts of the roadway under Bloomberg’s administration. Think inside and outside the box!
They can actually get a fully contiguous protected bike lane network out of it with fairly easy access from both the north and south side of Sunnyside.
Just have the brain trusts think of a way to get around the obstructions at 35th and 39th Streets. If they’re really earning their paychecks, they can even preserve a fair amount of the parking spots underneath (protecting city revenue) while keeping the bicyclists on their own protected right of way.
(Seems like a better alternative than sticking to their disjointed detour route on narrower streets that already carries a full local traffic volume during daylight hours and ending up with asymmetric gaps of protected bike lane coverage in a neighborhood where residents and storeowners are lukewarm about the idea at best.)
because car owners pay insurance (which the city tax them heavily); cars must pay registration; constantly paying for parking tickets (Parking Enforcement Officers are everywhere and always hiring more); pay a HUGE gas tax that is meant to be for road repairs, etc. Without this tax, gas prices would be almost half what we pay right now. Last time I checked, cyclist don’t have any contribution of any kind, but yet they demand a special lane just for them at a cost nobody know.
I support safer roads, bike lanes only reduce 20% accidents. For areas like Sunnyside create a huge inconvenience to neighbors and businesses. To put it in perspective, if you have a pain in one of your legs, and surgery will only reduce 20% of the pain but you will be limping for life as a result, would you go ahead and do the surgery? I put all my money that you won’t. If were the other way around, bike lanes reduce 80% of accidents, then I would unequivocally support it 100%.
The last thing Sunnyside needs is less parking spaces. I do not understand why the City of New York favors bicycles over motor vehicles given that bicycles provide NO revenue for the City. How about requiring bicyclists to become licensed (since so many of them apparently don’t know bicycle laws), registering bicycles and enforcing cycling laws before providing perks like bike lines to the detriment of the population that provides the City with revenue. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve almost been run over by a bicyclist racing up the sidewalks or blowing through red lights.
I would suggest the last thing Sunnyside needs is more cars. They take up a lot of space and cause accidents and environmental problems.
If in the future you, a loved or good friend needs to be transported to a hospital are you okay with getting there via bicycle or maybe a rickshaw
I did not suggest outlawing motor vehicles. I am suggesting reducing them. That would allow the ambulances, fire trucks and cop cars and rickshaws to move faster.
We can have both. Registration of bikes, traffic enforcement of bike laws…and bike lanes. All city residents pay plenty of taxes, not just car drivers.
Neighbors, please don’t fall for the misleading falsehoods, fear mongering, and unsubstantiated claims being spread by the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce on this issue.
“Local businesses will be decimated and forced to close”
Have they had a study done by an independent third party that backs this up? Thousands of miles of protected bike lanes have been installed in cities around the country, and businesses have not been “decimated”. There is nothing to back up this claim. Remember, we had a bicyclist killed by a drunk driver this year. The last thing we need to do is encourage people to drive to local bars.
“The majority of cyclists who live in the neighborhood are on the side of their small businesses.”
Really, SCC do you have a comprehensive study to back that up? I thinks the majority of cyclists who live in the neighborhood would like to be able to ride safely to small businesses in the neighborhood. We have 2 dead cyclists already this year.
“Transportation Alternatives are pushing an agenda of protective bike lanes at all costs to the detriment of our community.” Really? Let’s ask the bicycle commuters who’s lives are threatened every day what “detriment to our community” is. Too bad we can’t ask those that were killed.
Sunnyside, we don’t have to be held hostage to Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce’s backward thinking, selfish, and shameful agenda. It is not 1972 anymore!
I resent you implying that Skillman Avenue is a place where cyclists go to die. Any death is a tragedy but accidental deaths happen all over the world all over he time without people engaging in ugly finger pointing, such as you are doing now. The businesses on Skillman Avenue have worked hard both as individuals and a group over the past 15 years to make Skillman a nice place to be. They deserve to have us take them at their word. I highly resent you calling the Chamber of Commerce selfish. I’ve lived here all my life and know for a fact that the chamber is a revolving group of business people who work without pay to support each other. It is a grassroots network with very little funding that has been nurtured along by citizens themselves. The rabid anti-car pro-bike attitude infecting this city comes from a political master plan to destroy the Queens we know in order to put in place a Queens that will make the REBNY members as rich as Croesus. Don’t be their patsy.
Sorry, but the point of the Chamber of Commerce is COMMERCE. The clue is in the name. Yeah, some of them may be nice people who are, incidentally, interested in aiding the community, but their primary reason for existing is to make money. It’s the Chamber of Commerce, not the Mutual Beneficial Society of Sunnyside.
As for REBNY making themselves rich, you’re right, but don’t be fooled that the COC is anything much more romantic than the most local step up that particular food chain. That want your money. They’re not in it for our admiration.
Carbie, you clearly don’t really know what you are talking about. 1. No one is asking for “more car’s” 2. Car owners feel entitled because up until now, they never worried about losing parking. It’s always been there, for decades upon decades. “pedestrian-ing” can happen where it always has, on the sidewalk, like normal neighborhoods. That said, I do own a car but have been cycling to work(in Gramercy) from Woodside for 6 years. I stop at every light & use hand signals when turning. Never ever had a problem. You have to wonder why the DOT is pushing this proposal when we already have a roomy, safe lane to use.
So, yeah, “Car owners feel entitled.” That’s a big part of the problem.
I’m glad you follow traffic regs and I wish there were more like you.
But you’re sidestepping the point too: What entitles car owners to use the public streets to put a large object out there, taking up two lanes on either side of every road?
Carbie, Q: What entitles car owners to park our cars on public streets in NYC? A: Paying the city to park our cars on public streets.(i.e. muni-meters, taxes)
If you’re still confused, you can simply read an “alternate side parking” sign on almost every street in the city. The city entitles us to park without a penalty, unless we don’t move our cars on said days – then we pay a fine. Does that help?
Sorry, but people need commerce. Don’t fool yourself that you can pick your own veggies off the windowsill or fashion yourself some shoes from old carpeting. You need people around you supplying those things. They are “business people ,” some of whom have made living in this neighborhood very convenient for decades. DOT ignored this place for decades until REBNY said the city would reap taxes in the future if it let REBNY destroy what has been here for something bigger and better and richer. DOT is in business,too. And they all got together and sold the neighborhood, among many others, to people arrogant enough to think they know better than the people they are displacing. Anyway, I just prefer to do business with people rather than vast corporate behemoths. A matter of taste I suppose.
Sorry if this posts twice:
Of course people need commerce. My subsistence farming gig really did not pan out. I prefer to spend my money at local mom and pop type places too. You won’t catch me in a chain shop if I can avoid it.
I’m just saying not everything the local COC says is correct or purely for the benefit of the neighborhood. That, of course, goes double for REBNY and the BID types.
Nameless, While you are entitled to your opinions and your REBNY conspriracy theory, your crude use of a derogatory slur originally aimed at Irish immigrants is not welcome in this neighborhood.
Carbie Barbie, I would bring the car into the store or house with me but the door’s aren’t big enough. The nation promoted car ownership for nearly 100 years. Only the rich owned cars when my father was born but the powers that were saw it as a vital engine of economic growth. Public transportation in the form of trains, trolleys and busses were neglected and then abandoned. You and people who see the world the way you do are just the leading point on a massive sea change. It will take decades to change public behavior and find new engines of economic growth to replace the auto if that is what must happen. Until then, we must coexist peacefully. I would pay for off-street parking but unfortunately for me and you, who wish us to take our private property off your street, the only neighborhood parking structure that isn’t chock full is being turned into school.
Jay, I had to reread my comments to find what you meant. I apologize for the use of the word, I actually didn’t realize it derived from a predjudice until you pointed it out. Thank you for the information, but you could have been kinder. It was not meant as an insult. I am of Irish descent and very proud of the contributions my family has made to the neighborhood for the 95 years we have been here. Peace.
I appreciate that. Best of luck and good health to you and your family in the future!
Jay, I urge you to research what’s going on in the Rego Park business community as a result of the DOT’s protected bike lane plan on Queens Blvd. They were recently stripped of 200 spaces and businesses are claiming up to a 20% decrease because a large number of customers give up on finding a place to park close by. It’s happening already, 15 minutes east of Sunnyside. http://www.qchron.com/editions/queenswide/bike-lanes-are-murder-on-rego-pk-businesses/article_1108bdd3-3119-50b5-af98-cb209eef07e1.html Also, reference a few patch.com articles relating to this matter. The Rego Park businesses, along with their Chamber, have organized and are trying to get those parking spaces back. This is the reality. Also, I haven’t heard any of the businesses or the COC wanting to erase the plan for a protected bike lane, the idea is to work with the DOT on another route that doesn’t impact the small businesses of 43rd & Skillman.
Thanks for your thoughtful reply. However, I can’t put much stock in an article with the following line, “Unlike Parker, who said DOT representatives “in leotards and manbuns” tried to gauge his interest in a bike lane last year, Taylor said no one from the city ever visited him to inform him of the pending project.” Lot’s of opinion, but no hard proof.
That being said, one possible solution to help businesses is to add more pay per hour parking on the side streets between Skillman and 43rd. That takes away from resident parking, but people have to come to terms with the fact that Sunnyside/Woodside have probably reached peak parking. There will be dozens more people coming in to the neighborhood who can afford a car in the next 5 to 10 years. A neighborhood that was not built for this many cars, and has little or no room to build new garages.
Again, Skillman and 43rd are the most direct way to connect existing bike lanes with the Queensborough bridge. Northern Blvd. and Queens Blvd. below 51st have buses going in both directions, and too many businesses with exiting traffic, rendering them unfit for protected bike lanes.
Jay, I appreciate you reading, but don’t let some distasteful remarks distract you from the negative impact the protected bike lanes are having on these businesses. It’s real. Rego Park is proof. https://patch.com/new-york/foresthills/bike-lanes-cripple-sales-rego-park-businesses-owners-say The most direct route to the city is Queens blvd. Protected bike lanes coexist with bus lanes in the city, there’s no reason the DOT can’t make it happen here. A change from 4 to 2 hr parking under the 7 train would be ideal for patrons of the Q blvd/Greenpoint business community. We need to discuss other options.. Skillman is not the only route.
You’ve repeatedly mentioned Queens Blvd as being “unfit” for a protected bike lane. I completely disagree, and along with Theorem, I see the irony in you saying this. Let’s talk about why Queens blvd is the best route. – 1. It has the potential to be the safest. With 5 lanes on each side, there’s enough room for a median protected lane, which is ideal for both cyclist and driver. 2. It is the most direct route to the city, cyclists coming from the east don’t have to ride north to go west. It’s a straight shot. Also, the DOT already made the protected bike lane on Queens Blvd, it’d just be continuing the path they’ve created. 3. Small businesses will not feel the blow – there is ample parking under the train for their commuting customers 4. For those pushing the loose theory that protected bike lanes will actually bring more business, there is no greater potential of that being a reality other than Queens Blvd. A protected bike lane would beautify, slow traffic and invite people to bike down a street that was once dubbed “the boulevard of death”. You can disagree with me, but this is the safest, most direct route for our cyclists that will not impact our small, mom & pop businesses. If the DOT’s new proposal is just a reiteration of their old one, they will be failing to see the needs of our residents & our business community.
Myself, I’m sticking with the numerous studies that have been done in NYC, cities across the US, Canada and Europe that show no loss of business from protected bike lanes. I am also not in favor of encouraging people to drive to bars.
However, just to hedge the bets in favor of local businesses, the DOT could install more pay per hour parking, and change the timing under the train as you suggest.
Can you provide an example of a street where buses stop on the same side of the street that a protected bike lane is on? Would a protected bike lane work on the train side of Queens Blvd.? Something to ask DOT about at the meeting.
Another issue is that we now have rental car companies like Car2Go parking their inventory on our streets. Only a few Smart cars now, but if they are successful we will see a lot more of that in the future.
Jay, I’m quite surprised that you would be willing to dismiss the links that I’ve posted. There is a business community 15 minutes away that is experiencing a decline in business ever since the protected lanes were installed. You might be able to find some legitimate data supporting business growth in certain neighborhoods(mainly angled ..citylab) feel free to attach, but you can’t argue what is happening next door. Unless you think the Rego businesses & the Forest Hills Chamber are in cahoots with the automotive industry 😉
I would never support anyone driving to a bar. Don’t know where that came from. There are 2 bars? on Skillman & 43rd ave that don’t serve food. The rest are food establishments with a fair amount of customers that drive in from other parts of Queens, LI & brooklyn… frequently.
I’m not totally positive, but doesn’t the Q60 run east/west down Queens blvd on the service rd?
I do think the Q blvd lane would be best hugging the 7 train.
The city needs to work out a deal with these new rental car companies. Just as cab companies need a lot, the city should enforce these companies to work out a situation that doesn’t encroach on residential parking.. or this will be a big problem in the future.
I am willing to discount Rego Park because I think they are running businesses that are out of date with a changing neighborhood. In Pete’s case, I’m thinking people don’t want to do business with a homophobic knucklehead anymore. You can Google “effects of protected bike lanes” for more info. Yes, some studies are biased, but taken together they show no business loss, and in some cases a slight increase.
Change is coming to Queens, and cities around the world are taking action to make the streets safer for cyclists and discourage car use because the current model is unsustainable. Businesses and residents that can’t adapt to the new reality will go down like record companies did when Napster came in.
We can talk all day, but Queens Blvd. or any other route is not on the table here. Probably because the professionals at the DOT who study this for a living have decided it is not feasible. I’ll stick with them.
Both you and I have suggested ways to ameliorate the parking problem. That’s where the energy is best spent here.
Just to set the record straight on the amount of bars on Skillman/43rd: There are now 5 bars and 3 restaurants that have bars on Skillman, not counting the Firehouse Bar on lower Skillman. There is also the Alcove just off of Skillman. There is one bar on 43rd Ave. and alcohol heavy Atomic Wings just off 43rd Ave.
I was at a local bar for a friends event recently, and sat next to someone who had driven into the neighborhood from LIC. She was already completely blotto at 7:30. We’ve had a bicyclist killed by a drunk driver this year. Can you see why I’m not in favor of encouraging people to drive to our neighborhood bars?
the bike lanes will also keep the busses away. So, extend the bike lanes on QB instead of 43av. and Skillman. QB has a lot of business, but also community parking under the train and a lot of foot-traffic. The impact would be far less severe in QB.
First I’ve heard of these bike lanes in sunnyside. Sounds good to me.
Why doesn’t DOT reveal the plans in advance so people who attend the meeting actually has something to say about it, instead looking at for the first time?
because they are sneaky and Mr. JVB knows exactly what the plans are so be prepared to be losing alot of parking spots –