May 3, 2019 By Alexa Beyer
A Family Fun Bike Ride is scheduled to take place in Sunnyside tomorrow.
The ride, which starts at the Lou Lodati Playground at noon, will celebrate the protected bike lanes that the Department Of Transportation installed last summer on Skillman and 43rd Avenues.
The celebratory ride is a follow-up to a November event commemorating the installment of the lanes.
The event is being hosted by the Transportation Alternatives Volunteer Queens Committee, whose stated purpose on its website is to “organize Queens residents to fight for street redesigns including protected bike lanes and better crosswalks, in order to make our streets safer for everyone.”
While the group’s mission statement may not sound controversial, the bike lanes in question were. Community Board 2 rejected the plan last summer in response to resident concerns that the replacement of parking spaces with bike lanes would worsen an already troublesome parking situation and harm businesses on the two avenues.
But the mayor instructed the DOT to go ahead with the project anyway—a move which he justified in a July tweet: “Nearly 300 people have been injured along Skillman and 43rd Avenues in Queens. 2 lives have been lost. @NYC_DOT has listened to voices across the community. I’ve instructed them to move forward with pedestrian safety and protected bike lanes that will save lives,” he said.
Transportation Alternatives’ Queens Organizer Juan Restrepo thinks that events such as the ride could serve as antidotes to the drawn-out neighborhood squabble over the project.
“We’re trying to follow up that negative history with something more positive,” he said.
The 3-mile ride is set to last two hours, and people of all cycling abilities are encouraged to participate. The group expects 30-50 people to attend. Children under 14 will be required to wear a helmet.
For details, click here