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NBC: Queens’ ‘Boulevard of Death’ Safer, But Neighbors Gripe About Cyclists, Traffic

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October 27, 2016 NBCNewYork

Queens Boulevard seems to be on its way to shedding the nickname nobody liked: the Boulevard of Death.
After the city imposed lower speed limits, wider crosswalks and protected bike lanes, there have been zero deaths along the boulevard in 2015 and 2016.

But surprisingly, many neighbors in Sunnyside, Woodside, Maspeth and Elmhurst are furious.

“This was a disaster,” said Peter O’Donnell, who says that crossing the street is now tougher for him.
“I have to go across the boulevard — the bikes under no circumstances would stop for the light,” he said. “They don’t stop. They give you the finger or tell you to ‘go f yourself.'”

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email the author: news@queenspost.com

74 Comments

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Styn

If you want to ride your bicycle on the street you should have to register and use a licence plate (like motorcycles) so when they go through Red Light Cameras they can get charged. The same with Citi Bikes, have a plate on them so that person’s credit card can be charged if they don’t obey the rules. It will make it easier for Police to pull them over and ticket cyclists.

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Anonymous

I saw a taxi in the bike lane the other day speeding around all the traffic. Crazy looking asian guy. Lucky that there wasnt any bike or they would have been hit. Then he flew across 58st and kept going ,i thought for sure he did it on purpose but when i caught up with him at the light on 65pl i asked him do you know your in a bike lane? He said what bike lane. True story, a green cab and this guy drives for a living

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FU

Btw yeah right the bike lanes get used alot. You dont know sh]!t. Yeah right people ride on cold rainy days. The your stupid, or cheap, or both. Go buy a prius.

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Fan of Dough Boy Park

Where did all these pro-cyclists come from? Total shenanigans. And some of the arguments , though under different names , have the same ” lemming” tone. Carry my tools on my bicycle? Lol. Clueless. 99% of cyclists openly flaunt the law, if you’re the 1 cyclist who stops at stop signs, thanks, but , be honest. Most cyclist don’t.

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Anonymous

Christina wtf do you know. I work on qb all day, the bike lane is rarely used in the 8hrs a day im there. Its incredibly stupid to put a bike lane on a main road like q.b. but then again your probably the person who goes through he lights, doesn’t respect the traffic laws and goes for a ride once every other sunday with your tribe

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PWBNYC

Anonymous coward, WTF do you know about her? Do you know that she and her family get around Queens almost exclusively by bike? do you know that she lives quite close to QB and has to ride and traverse it frequently? do you know that every single time I ride on QB I see plenty of other cyclists out there with me? Even on rainy cold days? You can make up all the facts you like, but lets be honest that you are just making stuff up because it fits your personal narrative.

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Cristina furlong

I was there when that picture was taken. My husband and son are in that photo and many friends. Not fake.

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Ed

As a cyclist who feels safer now commuting these are good changes. I agree that we follow traffic rules. Police do not enforce drivers making u turn or going through red lights. Let’s be fair and enforce all rules

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A Queens Bicyclist

Reality check: it’s real. I’m the guy walking with blue shorts. Nice to meet you!

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PWBNYC

ok, now convinced that there is someone trolling on here refreshing their browser to do down-votes on pro-bike posts. Just realized several of your posts have exactly 12 down votes. The good news is that perhaps means there aren’t as many sick twisted folks in Sunnyside as I thought. The bad news is that there are a lot of fact-based reasonable posts with 20, 30, 40 down votes. So, then again, maybe I was right the first time.

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Anonymous

The hot dog guy on qb by pc Richard’s is dangerous too. He crosses the blvd at a snails pace diagonally, he goes in the bike lane ,he thinks driving rules dont apply to him, i saw him speed thru a red light, and if you ever got a hot dog from him dont you wonder where he washes his hands after the pees? Buyer beware

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Wolfsbane

I’d support stationing a plainclothes police sharpshooter at random intersections and having them shoot every scumbag bicyclist that ignores traffic signals and pedestrians in crosswalks.

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A Queens Bicyclist

How did this despicable comment pass moderation? How??

What about all the drivers who plow throw red lights/intersections without right of way/AND KILL MORE PEOPLE. The media shows 1 or 2 cyclists breaking the law and its like a call-to-arms. Drivers kill people every day and yet your reaction is silence. Should we propose shooting a cannon ball at every driver drives 10+ mph over the posted speed limit? I don’t even feel human for the thought!

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PWBNYC

Not only did a virtual death-threat pass moderation, but your totally right comment got 30 down-votes. There are some really sick and twisted people on this thread. Safe streets advocates want safer streets for EVERYONE. We are not looking to harm anyone – the exact opposite. And everyone’s gripes and complaints notwithstanding, the FACT is that every protected bike lane we have seen added to NYC streets has improved safety for ALL road users. In fact, almost ironically, protected bike lanes actually help improve the safety numbers for drivers and pedestrians even more than for cyclists. Get over your hate of people on bikes and understand the real issue here is road geometry. reshaping the road so that drivers naturally and automatically slow down, take wider turns, have better sight lines, etc. all things that protected bike lanes and other features in this redesign help create. The irrationality on here is just stunning.

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Doc

Pretty soon its gonna be safer on the street than the sidewalk because of the characters that come out of the homeless shelters

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Born and bred in Elmhurst

Oh you mean the babies and children at the homeless shelter? They are vicious. Watch out everyone.

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John

Of course there are no fatalities driving down Queens Blvd is like playing station to station baseball one light at a time. Who photo shopped that pic? I have never seen that many bike riders at one time nor I have seen one person using the wall lane. I live right off the Blvd. By the way what suit decided to punish the residents of 56th street by denying them access to the east bound local lanes thx Jimmy VB.

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A Queens Bicyclist

Once the Boulevard is completed you’ll see more. There’s a timeless expression: if you build it, they will come. When the network is complete more cyclists will use this bike lane. Cyclists finally have a safe place to ride on the most direct route to Manhattan in Queens. Time to share

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The drama continues

First off i work right there on Qblvd. I have never saw that many bikes in my 8 hrs a day ,5 days a week so who staged the photo,2nd- the bike riders are wreckless, they travel west on the east bound side, east on the west bound side, dont stop for lights. no laws seem to apply to them, they dont mention how the accident rate has gone up, car on car, bike on car, bike on pedestrian ect, just fatalities. Hopefully were saved 3rd-this is a smoke screen for what a disaster the bike lanes are. Itll cost money to do away with this horrible failure of a project. Bikes are good, just not on q.blvd

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Paul Maringelli

Everything on Queens Blvd. is safer only because pedestrians are paying more attention to safety. Less jaywalking and more attention paid to “walk, don’t walk” signs. Because most of us know it’s unsafe to do otherwise. Cars and bicyclists don’t give a crap. They never slow down nor give right of way to pedestrians.

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A Queens Bicyclist

Are you serious? Queens blvd is the most dangerous street in the entire city. More deaths on the Blvd of Death than Atlantic Avenue and Grand Concourse combined.

Let’s take a second to remember that people had to sprint across 12 lanes of traffic. Imagine being elderly w/ a disability or a child. Longer crossing times, Extended Crosswalks and protected bike lanes make everyone safer.

Your views, sadly, do reflect a lot of people ranting on this thread.

Do us all a favor and bike. You’ll feel better 🙂

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No Name

I have been lurking on sunnyside post for couple of years and this article has touched a nerve. I HATE CYCLISTS for the love of god. Like others have stated, they simply decide that traffic laws do not apply to them. I have had many incidents with cyclists in sunnyside, as a resident of 10 years. one particular instance, a cunt of cyclist (excuse my profanity) has the audacity to ride in the middle of the street, i understand the city is small , and trains are if not moslty always late. So getting back at the cunt, I honk at him because i am behind him (obiously) and he is not letting me pass and i am going 10mph. This cunt is still on the middle, mind you it is a one way street, instead of letting me pass this cunt in his fucked up mind starts cursing at me and wants to throw his fists at me…so please i understand the cyclists dilemma. There are lots of us in this cramed up space. Please try to be considerate of each other. End Rant

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Cristina furlong

No excuse for your profanity. It negates all you say and garners only disrespect for anything you say.

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No name

Well, clearly you are angry at life and unforgiving. It would not matter what I say, you would be critical of it.

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A Queens Bicyclist

Hello Mr. rant who could really use a hug,

Cyclists are allowed to take the full lane the same way cars do if there isn’t a bike lane. I would ride even slower and stop completely at stop signs because that would make me feel safer. In NYC we get a nice $50 fine if a police officer catches us on the sidewalk. I’d imagine the cyclists didn’t want to get doored and probably felt safer in full view than off to the side and out of sight. With the anger and profanity you spew I pray for the cyclists potentially in your cross hairs when you get this road rage.

Please, be kind to cyclists. Cycling has gotten popular and its here to stay.

A Queens Bicyclist

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No name

Well, I do like hugs but not from you. Sorry not sorry. You may be a safe cyclist but there are many that are very rough. Have you seen the video where a cyclists hits a pedastrian and tells the pedastrian “is this the sidewalk” and “to keep on walking” and the cyclists that i mentioned in my op, he tried to follow me lol as he was spweing profanities and giving me gestures. Here is the link to the video. Enjoy. https://youtube.com/watch?v=Z9-HlPmYYec

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Anonymous

The bike lane was built at the very end on 2015. So.. according to this… there were no deaths on Queens Blvd for the year before the lane was built. Seems silly to conclude from this information that the street is safer or more dangerous then it was before.

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eliz warrens shreiking, like nails on a chalkboard

zero deaths? are they still being brought to elmhust? that was probably also the problem. and yeah, cyclists are selfish lunatics, must be stopped.

cyclists b!tch about drivers then they turn around and run over pedestrains and curse them while pedaling away. quite evil SOBs.

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Anonymous

How stupid do these people think we are? The city named it the Boulevard of Death about 20 years ago. IT had been dangerous for decades, but they didn’t care. They only cared when they could use it as a Trojan Horse to cover the massive theft of Queens from the people who have loved it and lived here for their whole lives. The bike lanes are part of forcing people to stop driving. This concern for safety is High Holy Baloney. The people of Queens mean nothing to them. They are doing this for the developers.

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PWBNYC

Another bizarre comment on this thread. I am a Queens guy. I use Queens Blvd all the time to bike or drive (surprise I own a car!) to work, shopping, recreation. Before this bike lane I had to ride on QB with folks in their cars like you, who either didn’t see me until I suddenly “came out of nowhere” or resented me taking any space on the road. They’d pass too close, rev their engines, shout at me, beep at me. I’m sure reading the comments and seeing the down voting of fact-based reasonable statements, that more than a few of the people on this thread are exactly that type of impatient driver. This bike lane serves thousands of Queens residents. I have yet to bike on it without seeing other cyclists. You need to expand your definition of what a “Queens resident” is before you start dreaming up weird conspiracy theories.

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Fan of Dough Boy Park

But what about the damages from all the cars sitting in traffic running their engines? Before the “construction”, my drive from Woodside to Rego park was 15-20 minutes. Now it’s at least 30. How many thousands of hours of extra car fumes are we pollutioning the air with? And a bicyclist being ticketed for breaking the law never seems to happen, encouraging more recklessness. There is no accountability for the highly aggressive cyclist who blows through lights expecting you to jump out of their way.

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Me

Hey, lives are saved, who cares about fumes or frustrated drivers or excess congestion! More gas sales, less mpg, what else do you want? /s

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Gray Area

Take the train. It takes less than 30 minutes and you don’t have to worry about insurance, gas, or someone messing up your car. Not to mention circumvent all of the environmental problems you just mentioned.

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Fan of Dough Boy Park

I’m sure everyone on the already congested train will appreciate all my tools and equipment on the cattle car of a subway. It’s a city, we need roads for vehicles. On Saturday, on a 30 minute commute, there was 1 cyclist between 58th st and Queens Blvd and 108th st. And he was on the wrong side. On the return trip, there was none. Bike lanes are a joke.

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A Queens Bicyclist

Bike lanes are amazing. If you know there will be traffic you can 1) leave earlier 2) take your tools in a bike bag and ride.

Basing your views on a very limited sample cyclists will not make your argument better.

If you have a problem with cyclists on the wrong side of the road maybe advocate for biking education programs. We have the NYS department of motor vehicles which apparently hasn’t reduced the overwhelming # of car crashes in the country but currently no statewide agency that supports cycling education

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PWBNYC

This is rubbish. For most of the length of QB where this lane is not a single travel lane was removed. And before this bike lane went in traffic was backed up all the way from Woodhaven Blvd to Woodside in the local lanes already. I know because I would pass everyone on my bike. Not to mention that it only effects the local lane, which is for local traffic. You should be in the express lanes most of the way. And before when I passed all that congestion I just knew that once the next section of bike lane went in, everyone would suddenly have a selective memory and blame it all on the bike lane instead of remembering the congestion that existed before. And boom, you just proved me right.

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Super cautious driver. Share the road and save lives!

Are you guys kidding? Daily I am threatened by cars as a pedestrian and never, in my 17 years of living in NYC have I felt threatened by a bicyclist. The people I do see breaking rules all the time are drivers: Speeding, running red lights, passing other drivers while on a single lane street, honking (yes, honking because you are impatient is against the law), idling cars even on a 60 degree day, talking on the phone when driving, texting when driving, generally being aggressive and entitled. I have rarely been a bike rider in New York city and most often a pedestrian and a weekend driver. Never, never have I felt threatened by someone on a bike.

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Anonymous

I have. When I step out into the street in front of my building they come out of nowhere. They do not obey the red lights. Other traffic stops but not them. They weave around obstacles because they don’t want to stop, and surprise the hell out of pedestrians and drivers alike. They are obnoxious and arrogant, believing because they don’t want to that they don’t have to stop for other travelers. Horrible people. Never met a more hateable bunch of people on the road before.

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PWBNYC

Always amazed by these “come out of nowhere” comments. With only a few exceptions our streets are largely arranged in a grid with pretty straight roads. Bikes generally run between 8-14 mph depending on the rider and slope – 1/3 – 1/2 the speed of a car [assuming the speed limit is being obeyed]. Yet somehow no one can see them. What you described has happened to me numerous times. Someone “steps out into the street” right in front of me, I call out, ring my bell or managed to miss them, and they are startled and screaming at me. How did they not see me? I’m a big guy, yet it happens over and over. Now absolutely there are people on bikes who are not as careful as they should be – as there are drivers and pedestrians who are the same. So when you say the “cyclist came out of nowhere” stop for a moment and think that maybe it was you who wasn’t careful that time and pay more attention.

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Love your neighbor

You literally “hate” a group of people? That is messed up. How can you hate a whole group of people? What a sad world we live in.

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Gray Area

I’ve bike-commuted from Sunnyside to Manhattan for nearly 10 years, and this comment nails it. Yes, there are a lot of cyclists who are jerks, and they make responsible bikers (I’d say the vast majority of all bikers) look bad. I wouldn’t complain if there was more police enforcement — especially for the no-cycling-on-on-the-sidewalk-if-you’re-over-13-years-old law. I can’t count the times I’ve seen someone on a bike almost nail a dog, a stroller, or an elderly person. It’s gotten really bad in the neighborhood.

Anyway: Bicycles do not weigh a ton, like cars do (literally), nor do they have the power to kill someone as suddenly or horribly. And in addition to being deadly and bad for the environment, cars are stupid. They are a waste of space in a city. They choke streets, fill up parking garages (which could be more rental units/lower demand and decrease rents), spread out cities (so they’re less efficient), and hamper mass transportation. Not saying no one should own a car in a city (my wife does), but we’d be a lot better off getting more of them off the streets and making more and better ways for the majority of people who live in this city without an automobile.

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A Queens Bicyclist

Hi Anon,

Thankfully more people think like Grey Area and less like you. We are voting, leading active lifestyles and passing all the road rage drivers in the protected bike lane. Biking lets you feel like a child so you are right in that respect.

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RALPH: Norton, were going bowling but were NOT going bowling!

That comment about the bicyclists is so true, they believe the rules dont apply to them and they are dangerous and obnoxious. Then strap go pros to their helmets so they can have video if they need to (potentially) sue someone for breaking the rules.

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Jessame

They strap go pros to their heads so there is footage when they are found dead on the road and the driver tries to claim “they came out of nowhere”.

35K people lost their lives on car crashes in 2015, but the public has a disproportionate and illogical fear of cyclists and airplane crashes. The car is an extremely dangerous tool that we allow our citizens to operate in our communities with wild disregard for safety. While we all should move through our shared space with more courtesy (jay walkers yield to traffic including bikes, cyclists yield to peds when they have the light, everyone being more polite to elderly) let’s focus more on the the true threats to our life and limb, rather than some strange cultural battle over transportation modes.

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Anonymous

Agreed. However, cyclists need to obey the law. It’s a scourge all over the city. NYPD needs to start ticketing them heavily.

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Torre

Sorry–the city should be enforcing DRIVING violations more seriously if they want to improve safety. Yeah, cyclists can ride like a-holes, but a shit-ton of their a-holery is defensive because of reckless drivers in cars, which are way, way more dangerous than the bikes.

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Albert

And if someone dies by a cyclist that is a tragedy. BUT no one has died on QB since 2014. No one, pedestrian or cyclist.

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Brian Howald

No one has been killed by a cyclist in New York in over two ears. Go blab your cyclist fearmongering to the 500 New Yorkers who have been killed by drivers since then.

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Anonymous

No that is not all that matters. Lives would be saved by an all out ban on bikes too. Would that be all that matters?

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PWBNYC

What a bizarre statement. People on bikes have been linked to maybe 3-4 deaths in the last 5+ years. Whereas drivers can kill that many people sometimes in a single week. Really absurd false equivalencies here. And saving lives is what matters. Are you really going to take the position that more parking or being able to get somewhere 5 minutes sooner is worth a death or two? How sick is that.

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Anonymous

Since not one pedestrian has been killed by a bike on Queens Blvd your comment is completely unsupported by the facts. But who needs facts when we can have unsupported opinions.

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Cristina furlong

That’s ridiculous. Maybe you don’t realize over 400,000 people cycle in this town daily.

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PWBNYC

12 down votes? On what basis? Its a literal fact. No wonder Trump is doing so well. We want to make major policy decisions based on our pet peeves and baseless personal opinions. Deal with reality better people.

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Me

Close down queens blvd more lives will be saved. Making a mess so people can’t move is not very efficient. I don’t think you drive much.

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Brian Howald

How disturbing it is that a post that says that saving lives is the ultimate goal is disliked by twice as many people as who like it. What else could possibly be more important than lives?

I’ve never been so disappointed to be a New Yorker. Maybe that’s the problem: the ability to identify with different people across our city must impede narrow-minded provincialness to only identify with my neighborhood, with my block, and the people whom I see every day.

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