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Thumbtacks Found in Protected Bike Lanes, Police Called to Investigate

Near 48th Street and 43rd Avenue. (Photo: Nathaly Pesantez)

Nov. 29, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Thumbtacks have been found in Sunnyside’s newly-installed protected bike lanes, with many believing that the sharp objects were intentionally placed by opponents of the controversial lanes in an attempt to damage bicycles and hurt cyclists.

The alarming incident first came to the fore in a Facebook post on a local Sunnyside page just before 10:30 a.m. today, where a man, father to young children, wrote that the tires on his bike and on the bike cart he carried his kids in were blown out yesterday as he rode through 43rd Avenue.

He then wrote that he found thumbtacks in the 43rd Avenue bike lanes yet again this morning, scattered through four unspecified blocks.

“I just want it to be known that whomever did this is obviously in opposition against this [sic] already existing bike lanes and their protest could have seriously injured or even killed me or one of my kids,” he wrote.

The incident eventually reached Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, who wrote just after 1 p.m. today that the thumbtacks represent a “new low” by those opposed to the lanes.

“I regard this as a criminal act and we have asked the 108th Precinct to investigate it as such,” the council member wrote on Facebook.

Van Bramer’s post was accompanied by an image of thumbtacks in a protected bike lane and another showing multiple thumbtacks picked up from the lane in a gloved palm, which were taken by his office shortly before the 1 p.m. post.

The council member’s office said they scoped out the 43rd Avenue protected bike lane between 43rd and 47th Streets shortly after the incident reached their ears through multiple reports, and removed at least 17 thumbtacks from the lane.

“…The increasingly desperate campaign against [the bike lanes] is now riling up the worst elements of our community and inspiring criminal vigilantism,” Van Bramer wrote. “No matter where you’ve stood on the bike lane debate, we should all be disgusted by how negative and now dangerous the opposition against them has become.”

It is unclear if thumbtacks were also strewn through the protected bike lanes on Skillman Avenue.

The incident has rattled the neighborhood and is yet another episode in the more-than-a-year-long saga over the Department of Transportation’s redesign of Skillman and 43rd Avenues, which was implemented over the summer after receiving the go-ahead from Mayor Bill de Blasio.

It follows a protest held just last weekend by Queens Streets for All, a local group in staunch opposition to the redesign, which claims that the changes to the roadways have made the two avenues more dangerous and that it has cost businesses along the stretch.

It also comes after a family-fun bike ride held the weekend before that, which celebrated the bike lanes and overall roadway changes for enhancing safety in the neighborhood.

Queens Streets for All wrote on social media that the reports of thumbtacks in the bike lanes are “terrifying.”

“If true, no one associated with Queens Streets for All is responsible,” the group wrote on Twitter. “We condemn such a criminal act.”

Juan Restrepo, Queens Organizer for Transportation Alternatives, which advocated strongly for the protected bike lanes, said thumbtacks have never been weaponized for this use in other boroughs, to his knowledge.

“Using thumbtacks as a weapon against the many commuters, families and delivery cyclists who use the 43rd and Skillman Ave protected bike lanes for their livelihood, is intended to create unnecessary danger and scare cyclists from using these lanes,” Restrepo said in a statement.

While the victim of the thumbtacks incident was not able to be reached by press time, he said on Facebook that the point of his post is to at least send a message to the culprit (or culprits) to stop before someone gets hurt.

“If you are in opposition to the bike lanes, then petition the city, start a campaign, do whatever you want, but please, do not take actions that can physically harm me, my kids and for all you know someone in opposition of the bike lanes if their [sic] in the path of a blowout,” he wrote.

We have received reports of thumbtacks being intentionally left in the bike lanes along 43rd Avenue in Sunnyside. This…

Posted by Jimmy Van Bramer on Thursday, November 29, 2018

email the author: [email protected]

90 Comments

The Fallen One

As wrong as this event is, I personally find the existence of bike lanes and bicycles in NYC to be totally ridiculous. If the city cares about safety, how about raised “roadways” for these bikes to travel on. They won’t hit pedestrians, they won’t be able to get hit by cars and it will allow the roads to be utilized for their designed purpose, Cars and Trucks. Parking will be able to return to normal, and maybe there will be less vehicle related injuries. Or perhaps, lower roads one story below street level. I know these are radical suggestions, but I’m just spitballing here. As a lifelong resident of Sunnyside, parking has always been terrible, but now it seems to have gotten worse (partly the city’s fault, but not entirely) And as a motorist, I can tell you that bicyclists are more terrifying than any other situation you can run into on the road. They never use hand signals, disregard traffic lights, drive on sidewalks when they find it convenient and seem to think they have the run of the road. In short, I don’t endorse the activities of the perpetrator, but perhaps some good can come of this that won’t penalize the motorists out there more than we already are…

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Queens Commuter

Do you even realize the amount of money that would cost to make bike “bridges” because you want your own parking spot? The city has better things to spend money on. Cyclists pay taxes just like you and have the right to use the road. Motor vehicles cause pollution, cause congestion and cause thousands of accidents and deaths every year. Before cars were even introduced, bicycles were one of the main modes of transport and were the movement to introduce paved roadways. So roadways are not intended for only cars and trucks. Not everyone has the luxury to own a motor vehicle and to think you deserve your own parking space, which is not guaranteed when you purchase a car, should go to waste as public storage for your private property. And seriously? 30lb bikes are more terrifying than the 4000+ lb cars? tell that to the 150+ people that have died this year alone in NYC due to cars. Sure a cyclist might not signal or disregard traffic lights, but the statistics show that cyclists are no where near as dangerous as a motor vehicle. I’d rather get hit by a cyclist than get hit my a motor vehicle.

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Oldschool Sunnysider

HOW MANT TICKETS have the 108th written to cyclists who blow red lights and endanger themselves and other innocent people?

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JG

Doesn’t really have anything to do with the bike lanes Oldschool. That’s an enforcement issue. Go to one of the 108th precinct meetings and see if they will address your concerns. While your there, ask them how many tickets they give to drivers blowing through red lights in 4000 lb vehicles.

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VelvetKnight

How many tickets have they written to jaywalkers stepping in front of bikers without warning (either from not paying attention or basically daring the biker to hit them), endangering themselves and innocent people?

Something that happens MUCH more frequently than the other way around, btw.

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BR

JVB- shame on you
Associating Queens Streets for All with this terrorist like crime is another example of your cheap opportunist political act.
Can’t wait till your gone.

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Eat me

He never once said they did this. But the article points out that this incident happened days after a protest of the bike lanes, held by your organization.

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JG

Again people, the bike lanes are not going anywhere. Next is Crescent Ave. in Astoria, and a complete redesign for Northern Blvd. Notice how Dorothy Morehead finally took down her Queens Streets For Parking posters.

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Anonymous

It is a sad and scary day in america when expressing yourself and fighting for what you believe in will get you labeled N extremist. It also strains credulity to believe that anyone opposed to the bike lanes had any thing to do with this thumb tack incident. If the bike lane supporters were the righteous people they claimed to be, they would demand a full investigation to apprehend the perpetrators of this plot. The councilman didnt call for this either. I wonder why?….

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Abandon extremist group

It’s undeniable that Queens Streets have taken an extreme position since day one. “Not one parking space” and “REMOVE REDESIGN NOW” are non-negotiable extreme positions for what is a typical example of a powerless extremist group.

Whether or not Queens Streets’ extremism is intentional appears clear from Dorothy’s conspiracy-minded post below. It actually seems clear that malicious incompetence on the part of the organizers led them to wrongly label supporters of a design they strongly disagreed with as “radical and extremist agenda-driven outsiders” pushing for bikes above all else. If you view those with opposing viewpoints to your own this way, then extremism and demagoguery is the only way to defend what you deem as morally correct and is justification for the dishonesty and ignorance this malicious actor of a group has been spreading in our community.

Now it is up to you to decide whether a group that is inspiring violence in our community speak for you or not. The vast majority of the community condemns violent action, but do we need to wait until further violence is committed in their name to disown this disgraceful group? It seems an easy choice. Our streets are safer, but for them, at this point.

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Sunnyside Gardens

1) When fighting for your cause means causing bodily harm to others, you are labeled an extremist.

2) It was 99.99% an anti cyclist radical for sure. Your cognitive bias is showing

3) JVB did call for an investigation with the 108th. Please check your facts

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VelvetKnight

Dude, read the article:

” ‘I regard this as a criminal act and we have asked the 108th Precinct to investigate it as such,’ the council member wrote on Facebook. ”

(You also could have just read the headline)

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JVB BP race

Let’s not forget at the end of the day here Jimmy Van Bremer is looking to win election as Borough President whatever that office does is still beyond me. He’s trying to win over White Progressives who value bikers. What he has failed to realize is that outside his bubble of local artists and TV reporters, he is not well liked. He’ll learn on primary day for Borough President race just how not well liked he is when he sees the results roll in from his own neighborhoods.

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Don't hold your breath

The street safety plan is well received by the community at large. Jimmy will certainly win by a large margin.

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Another point

Bike lanes or not, no responsible parent puts their kids an effin cart and drags them around in traffic!! It’s just not safe under any circumstances.

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Fixed that for ya

The farcical Queens Streets weaksauce statement needed major fixing. See below.

“Reports that someone placed tacks on the bike lane on 43rd Avenue are terrifying. If anyone associated with Queens Streets for All is responsible, we disavow your support, condemn such a criminal act, and urge you to turn yourself in. Our top priority is parking, and as all of our efforts have been counterproductive to safety we will cease to fight, step back from our extremist anti-compromise platform, and accept that our streets are better now than they were before. We appreciate the support of those who stood with us, but violence was not our aim and we apologize for our role in inspiring hatred and division in Sunnyside. We are all neighbors after all and we hope you find it in your hearts to forgive us and work with us again to make Sunnyside a better place to live and do business in the future.“

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VelvetKnight

Disappointing, but not surprising. This has happened before (including the downhill on the Queensboro Bridge), and has been almost inevitable given the irrational hate stirred up by Queens Streets for “All” and a few other prominent people on various local Facebook groups.

I was hoping I’d be wrong, but not so. Imagine thinking violence is a good response to losing a handful of parking spaces.

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ann

Glad to see all the Transportation Alternatives trolls are busy commenting. Everyone condemns actions that could harm others. That said, I haven’t heard any outrage from Jimmy van Bramer about all the complaints from residents about their near-misses with bikers who flagrantly disobey all traffic laws. Pedestrians are endangered on a daily basis. Silence from him. This is not about parking spaces. It’s about people being injured too.

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Misplaced fear

This is an example of the misplaced fear of cyclists, who generally go less than 10mph on vehicles that weigh a fraction of their body weight, and can stop on a dime. Pedestrians are hit by bicycles about once per day on all of NYC’s roads combined. Compare this to over one pedestrian being hit per hour by cars weighing tons that are traveling much faster and are much more difficult to stop.
To prevent injury and death, you start with limiting the speed of the two ton elephant in the room. Does almost being hit by an asshole cyclist, which results in a death every few years suck? Yes it does and it’s a problem. But the far larger problem, literally and figuratively, has been massively reduced by this safety plan. Cars kill hundreds per year and if we are lucky, this may be the first year in decades where fewer than 200 families lose someone. Everyone, TA safety activists, pro-bike lane people, anti-bike lane people, business people, politicians, elderly, young, etc. should stand up and applaud that we have come so far. Zero is the goal, and that goes for every form of transportation. Who in their right mind would argue against that?
Thank you, Mayor De Blasio for making my neighborhood safer!

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Carbie Barbie

“Pedestrians are hit by bicycles about once per day on all of NYC’s roads combined.”

Please cite evidence for this claim.

I’m largely on your side in this, but I’d like to see evidence to support that.

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Enjoy the read

I saw the numbers in a NYT article a few days ago.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/27/nyregion/elderly-pedestrians-bicycles-accidents.html

I would add that last year was a record year for safety in NYC as the rest of the country saw traffic fatalities increase 13%

https://www.metro.us/news/local-news/new-york/new-york-had-record-low-pedestrian-deaths-2017

And for perspective on how disgusting it is to see people fight a safety plan, there were 701 traffic deaths in NYC in 1990.

https://www1.nyc.gov/site/visionzero/index.page

NYC DOT is a shining example of an agency doing right by their city.

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Poopa12340

Thank you for saying this! I have been run into twice already by bikers who think the traffic lights and rules do not apply to them. And whatever happened to having a bell or something on bikes!? They just run into people without uttering a sound? I was lucky I was not injured more seriously.

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JG

Yes Ann, it is about safety. NYC motorists injured 1,166 pedestrians and cyclists and killed eight in January alone of 2018. The numbers have remained over 1000 for almost every month of this year. In 2017, there were 315 people injured by cyclists, and 1 person killed…for the whole year.

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Sunnyside Millennial

The reason people opposed the bike lanes were that it reduced the parking in Sunnyside, while street parking has gone up drastically. I am a non-driver, but parking is essential (as bikes are) for every RESIDENTIAL community that is not well serviced by the MTA. There is merit for those who has opposed the bike lanes. Also, let’s not forget how it was actually forced down our throats, just like Amazon is now. If we are going to have bike lanes, at least bring over some Citibikes…

I think this thumbtack shenanigan is ridiculous, whomever did it should be condemned and punished by law.

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Zinsu

Right:”parking is essential… for every RESIDENTIAL community that is not well serviced by the MTA.” That means ones that don’t have easy access to the 7 train, M/R trains and several bus lines. Maspeth or Staten Island, perhaps.

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VelvetKnight

“…not well serviced by the MTA?”

Dude, I’ve got friends in Manhattan who live further from subway lines than most Sunnysiders. 😀

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VelvetKnight

You just made an excellent argument for biking in general and Citibike in particular. Imagine seeing that the 7 is delayed and being able to hop on a bike and get to an F/M stop in 5 minutes instead. Another reason to move past this car-centric attitude some folks have.

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Gardens Watcher

You just made an excellent argument VelvetKnight that the bike lanes and any Citibike stations should be on Queens Boulevard, not on the Avenues.

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VelvteKnight

Actually, I made a good argument for Citibike stations being in BOTH places. But thanks for your support. 🙂

Juana juana

Self entitled bike riders are usually white and wealthy
They are obnoxious and endanger people
They are also smug

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Ever been to Queens?

Huh? Most bike riders are minority delivery drivers. They can’t afford other transportation.

Why do Trumpeters fear facts? Do you ever get tired of being so wrong?

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Arvin

A blowout from a thumbtack?..Really?..A flat tire yes but a blowout?..How fast was this person traveling with his children in tow? While we could all probably agree the thumbtacks are appalling the hyperbole surrounding them is overkill.

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VelvetKnight

Clearly the INTENT was to cause harm, but you think the real problem is someone using the word “blowout” instead of “flat?” And victim blaming to boot? Yeesh.

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Dorothy Morehead

Is it a coincidence that this happened right after Queens Streets For All finally had the opportunity to express concerns about the safety of the road re-design in the media? Transportation Alternatives has controlled the narrative since the first DOT presentation to the Transportation Committee of the Community Board. The extremists are not our residents or business owners. The radicals are outsiders with one agenda and that is bikes first, last and only. Not everyone can bike to work, pick up their kids, take seniors to doctors. This dangerous stunt should not further divide the community. Let’s hope the police are able to track down the perpetrator and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. Safe streets for all.

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VelvetKnight

Literally nobody is saying “bikes first, last, and only.” Nobody. This type of redesign has been repeatedly proven to make streets safer for EVERYBODY. That has been the message from the beginning, and there’s no excuse for not knowing that by now.

The Queens Streets for “All” (but really just cars) reaction to bike lanes is a perfect example of, “When you’re used to privilege, equality feels like oppression.”

It’s nice that you’re condemning ACTUAL violence (though it also appears you’re suggesting this was a false flag), but how about condemning the “bikers are all evil lawbreakers” rhetoric that brought it about?

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Sugar high

Throwing up a false flag after months of inspiring rage and hatred towards outside “extremists” and “radicals” under completely false pretenses is a clear sign this person has drunk a gallon of their own kool-aid. This embarrassment to our community personally tried to re-elect Crowley because of this, and he got, what, 6%? Queens streets represents at most a half of a percent of our neighborhood. They tried to “fake it until they made it” to influence the board, but have completely lost their sh*t ever since. These are the death throes of their faux movement. Good riddance.

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bike lanes suck

Clearly you haven’t spoken to the people of Sunnyside. Most absolutely agree that the lanes are misplaced and unnecessary. I’ve been a Sunnyside resident for a long time, have lots of friends in our area, NONE are for these wastes of space. I wouldn’t be surprised if a transp alt troll threw the tacks there for sympathy points

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Optics

Since you’ve spoken to every last person in Sunnyside — how many of the bike lane opponents are car owners?

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great point yet again

Yeah how is causing a potentially fatal vehicle accident “violence”?! These libruls I tell ya whut…

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VelvetKnight

These are the same people who think a cyclist can’t be injured by a jaywalking pedestrian. Because apparently a bike gives magical rubber powers so we just harmlessly bounce right back from slamming into the ground or being hit by a moving car while trying to swerve around them.

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Sunnyside Gardens

“Is it a coincidence that this happened right after Queens Streets For All finally had the opportunity to express concerns about the safety of the road re-design in the media?”

It isn’t a coincidence. Your fearmongering is inspiring the ugliest parts of the community to come out and act out in fear and hatred of cyclists. Don’t blame Transportation Alternatives. This is wholly the fault of Queens Streets for All and its anti factual, pro riot agenda.

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You cannot be serious

Dorothy-

Please expand upon what you believe is the the answer to your suggestive question.

In any case, there is no saving it. So glad this populist charade is done once and for all.

Shame on all associated with Queens Streets for all the damage you’ve done to this community. Please stop vowing to continue to inspire criminal mischief because that’s all you have achieved and all you’ll aspire to from this point forward.

Crowley lost, community board reform won (Jimmy and Melinda for the good of the community DO NOT renew this board member). Time to accept your loss, take stock of every mistake you made, maybe write a book about what not to do to a community, and move on. This is not only about you, the entire community benefits from your stopping this and we all certainly love safer streets in our wonderful neighborhood.

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get over it

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

We live here. We want them.

Step off. You’re in the minority on this, and your crew has lied and weaponized misinformation. This is you reaping what you sow.

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Stopthemadness

This man and his 2 young kids live in Sunnyside. Only a mad rant like this could try to weave a conspiracy theory here. These Skillman business people are extremists as is this lady.

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Greg

Dorothy, Who are these “outsiders” that you and your group of NIMBY cranks keep talking about. Every New Yorker pays for Sunnyside streets, and lots of people out of state pay for bike lanes. Look up the Surface Transportation Program. Sunnyside is part of New York city government, and we elected a mayor and councilman who support Vision Zero and Bike Lanes. You and your group need to stop dividing the neighborhood with lies and disinformation about safety, when all you really want is parking. Something you and local businesses don’t have a guaranteed right to. THE BIKE LANES ARE HERE TO STAY! Let me rephrase that, since you seem to have a comprehension problem. THE BIKE LANES ARE NOT GOING ANYWHERE. Get it?

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obey the law, toys on wheels

and since they aren’t going anywhere it’s time for you bikers to obey the rules of the road, which clearly is not happening. The 108th needs to do a solid ticket blitz for a week, it’s the same miscreants that blow through the lights each day. Interesting, there aren’t normally delivery guys breaking the law, it’s white entitled dbags that seem to think the rules do not apply to them. If you phonies really are for ‘vision zero’ then you will understand that bikers are part of that equation when it comes to using the roads the right way.

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Gardens Watcher

Sorry Charlie, it’s not just the white guys. Just watched two non-white male bikers drag racing down 43rd Ave. @ 45th St. It was dark around 7:30PM, with a lot of traffic and many pedestrians about.

One guy was speeding in the bike lane and the other was riding in the middle of the street, laughing and weaving in and out of traffic and blowing through lights so he could beat his buddy in their drag race.

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Erik Baard

I want to preface my comment with a clear declaration that I hold great affection and respect for Dorothy, and urge those who vigorously disagree with her on this issue, as I do, to view the totality of her career as a volunteer and Community Board member before demonizing and dismissing. She has made great contributions — materially, intellectually, and in raw energy — to making NYC cleaner, greener, and more just.

Thank you all for indulging me by reading that preamble.

“Is it a coincidence that this happened right after Queens Streets For All finally had the opportunity to express concerns about the safety of the road re-design in the media?”

Most likely, yes. It’s also very possible that some malevolent person wrongly took inspiration from a legitimate protest (the form, if not all of its messages) to sabotage the protected bicycle lane, potentially endangering — and certainly harassing — neighbors of all ages. It’s much less likely (nearing impossibility) that a protected bicycle lane proponent did this to change the narrative, flip the script, or what have you. It’s the latter case that I believe Dorothy insinuated here, and I believe that’s a dangerous thing. We live in a culture where facts, logic, and reasoned discourse have been drowned out by appeals to paranoia and conspiracy theories. Let’s not feed into that pathology.

I don’t believe TA has “controlled the narrative” or that its members and volunteers are on the whole radical or extremist. Certainly the protected bike lane isn’t a manifestation of extremism. It’s a connector between protected lane segments and akin to lanes throughout NYC and major cities across the globe.

Many TA members and volunteers are western Queens residents (I was for decades and will be again, and still volunteer in the community on other matters), and even those who aren’t have the right to speak because these Sunnyside sections of protected bike lane system maintain the safety and integrity of the whole. A commuter passing through a neighborhood has rights to safety.

It’s true that most bicyclists aren’t business owners. Most residents aren’t either. While our nation began with voting for only landed white men, enfranchisement was extended to those who didn’t own land, and then continually outward toward universal enfranchisement. While the concerns of business owners are important, on issues of safety they aren’t exclusive.

The street redesign also serves pedestrians. Can it be refined? I’ll leave that to the professionals, based upon real data (please, let’s not become data skeptics and deniers).

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Tired ref

Erik, your preface poignantly points out the saddest thing about this slow moving train wreck. These people actually think they’re doing good for the community and speaking for its best interests, because that’s what some of these people have always done.
I think where they went wrong is innocent enough with their inherent bias as drivers who “need their cars,” but turned dangerous when mixed with wild conspiracy theories about what they wrongly concluded was an invading force. Instead of accepting that the neighborhood is changing for the better from within, even if they disagree with how, they devolved into an uncompromising anti-system us-vs-them maelstrom using (arguably abusing) every bit of procedural knowledge and political connection based on their previous good work to take exactly the wrong side and use the perfectly wrong approach on this issue. An approach that has clearly led to violence and such extreme polarization that they would try to put out conspiracy theories before admitting their horrific actions have done more damage than anything else. They are alone now, and hurt as it may to those who have (or had) personal connections to them as many of us did (and still do), this needs to be called what it is. Queens streets are a complete disgrace and their people absolutely deserve to lose seats on boards, leadership positions, and clout in the community over this. You’re only as good as your last game.

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urbo

wow, so now we’re putting people in danger and making them buy new tires because we’re butthurt that we lost a few parking spaces? i am embarrassed to call some of these people my neighbors. it’s bad enough that the bike lanes get blamed for virtually everything on here (somehow they had nothing to do with the duane reade shooting) but this is truly a new low. I second the WTF comment, big time.

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DB

Bike Lanes can be made very nicely and work alongside cars. People worry that they are losing parking spaces but in reality having safe bike lanes should decrease the need for people to use cars and take up your precious bike lanes.

With the recent announcement that Citi Bike will increase its service (likely further into Queens and coincidentally around the same time we hear about Amazon), I would imagine that even fewer people who live in the area will feel the need to drive and can bike places. I live in Astoria and have wanted to bike towards the Jackson Heights/Flushing area but can’t so far and instead take an Uber which takes significantly less time than the subway.

https://foresthillspost.com/citi-bike-to-double-service-area-triple-number-of-bikes-over-the-next-5-years

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Immoral Society

New Narrative! It seems that the tides have finally changed – public perceptions of – “Queens Streets for All” have shifted from a bunch of harmless crackpots on the wrong side of history – to consensus recognition for being degenerates with criminal intent.

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aSkillman

I understand the conflict with the bike lanes. My elderly mother can barely see crossing the street. She has to watch for both cars and bikes now.

What does she do? Adapt.
It’s something we’ve been doing all our lives. Theirs much bigger issues in the community to be putting children and family at risk over this.

The city has spent their money. The bike lanes are not going away just like the amazon building isn’t going anywhere.

Welcome to New York. Money over everything. Plain and simple. You don’t like it? Cash out, plenty of sun and sand overseas to stretch out true happiness.

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won't someone think of the grandmas!

Yes surely the city is getting RICH off the bike lanes! Tons of cash in that industry.

I feel really bad that your poor grandma has to look both way before crossing the street though. No one should have to bear that!

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Sunnyside Gardens

Queens Streets For All’s hysteria and fear baiting has reached its peak. Congratulations Pat, Gary, Manny, Dorothy and everyone who have activated the ugliness in our neighborhood.

You are tearing this neighborhood apart. You should all be ashamed of yourselves for the monsters you have created through your fear tactics. Queens Streets for All needs to GO AWAY. You are NOT WELCOME here.

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Juana Juana

Stop the hysteria. Very few people bike to work. the bike lanes are a dangerous eye sore and Jimmy Van Bramer is another out-of-touch elitist.

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Sunnysider

Queens Streets For All is an extremist menace and a disgrace to this community. They need to stop tearing this neighborhood apart eith their hysteria and fearmongering. Shame on this organization for almost causing severe injury to a father and his kid. Ironically, they are the biggest danger to everyone using this bike lane. SHAME

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Stop the madness

I’ll never see those businesses on skillman Avenue the same way. They don’t care about the community. They drove this to happen and won’t be happy until someone gets hurt. Gary and Eric are the worst.

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Oscar

You know nothing about business. Bikers can’t stand neighborhood charm, or the convenience of Mom and Pop stores. They’ll just keep biking to their beloved chain stores or to Manhattan at the expense of the neighborhood. Absolutely no reduction in carbon footprint is achieved through the bike superhighway; as a matter of fact it is increased with the stupid traffic patterns and cars looking for spots.

The bikers and JVB & Co. simply want to outlaw cars.

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The Fallen One

Have you ever driven a vehicle? The convenience and freedom of getting behind the wheel and driving to College Point from Sunnyside is far better than taking multiple train and bus combinations, hiring an *shudders* Uber or attempting to bike there. What does one do when they have to travel a long distance? The motor vehicle was created to make travelling easier and quicker. So next time you pose a question like that, perhaps you should think long and hard about the implications and effects before you type or speak. Just saying…

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Anonymous

It’s amazing. When you say crazy, untruthful things, people who are listening will react. This is an outrage and shame on all the buffoons complaining about the bike lane.

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Queens streets is over

Queens Streets for all have spent over a year fighting a municipal safety plan tooth and nail, no pun intended, against all logic and for no purpose other than to bit.ly/savesunnysideparking
As time goes on it is increasingly difficult to differentiate between the actions of the group and the extreme views of their supporters because Queens streets live by keeping their supporters angry and trying to exploit that anger. As a result their supporters have continuously disgraced the memory of Gelasio Reyes, claiming without evidence that he broke the law and died as a result. They falsely claim his death was exploited to forward an anti-car agenda at the same time their supporters disgracefully try to exploit the death of a reckless law breaking wrong way motorcycle they blame the safety plan for killing. They try to raise hysteria that the plan is less safe for all users when the opposite is true. They incredibly irresponsibly try to claim people will die in fires as a result of this successful street safety plan. Worst of all they claim to speak for us all, when it’s just a small unrepresentative group who really only represent the worst elements of our community and are a complete embarrassment. Out of control supporters of this anti-safety group have threatened cyclists and Jimmy Van Bramer and are now crossing the rubric into criminal activity.

Queens streets claim they want safety and vow to “continue to fight” but as we are increasingly seeing the result of this desperate and irresponsible group’s efforts it’s become only too clear: if Queens Streets for all want safety the answer is clearly to give up the “fight” because safety is already here. They are a cancer on this community and need to stop immediately before someone gets hurt.

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Anonymous

THANK YOU!! all this manufactured outrage over the bike lanes really has to stop. looks what the result is. I have never before been ashamed of my neighborhood but here we are. unbelievable.

the bike lanes are for SAFETY you selfish pricks

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Tic tac dough

What a joke. If the bike lanes were for safety for all why are bikers allowed to routinely ignore the rules of the road? Stand on the corner and count how many stop at the light, ride around you when you are crossing the street. The # is very low. That makes bikers selfish pricks. I guess it’ll take someone getting gravely injured by these speeding fools before the issue gets taken seriously. a Red Light means stop. plain and simple. Get off you high Schwinn already. You have no clue who put the tacks there and who/if they are associated with anyone. Yep, the misplaced bike lanes are there for good, now it’s time for bikers to stop disobeying the law. With the lane comes the responsibility of using it properly. Funny, I saw the restrepo clown from transportation alternatives on NY1 last night, where’s he been the last few months? Get the bike lane and then ignore the negative impact it has on a neighborhood.

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Misplaced fear

Again, sure sucks when there are assholes out there. As commented on another thread, about a month ago I was biking behind a reckless cyclist in Manhattan and caught up to him a few blocks later after he’d been hit (not visibly injured, citibike was totaled). No one deserves to get hit but if you’re reckless you’re really upping your chances no matter what mode you’re on.

But again, you, like Ann, definitely like Dorothy, have this fundamental misconception about the danger posed by cyclists as compared to the danger posed by cars.

First of all you are much less likely to get hit by a bike. It happens very seldom. Much greater risk comes from getting hit by a car because it happens tens of thousands of times more per year and because heavy vehicles kill hundreds per year and maim thousands more.

Back to reckless behavior, this design makes the most dangerous street user (the motor vehicle) much less likely to drive recklessly. Narrower lanes slow traffic, slower traffic makes driving safer, safer traffic makes streets safer for the vast majority of users who are pedestrians. We residents of 43rd and Skillman Avenues now have safer streets as a result of this redesign. Period. End of story.

One of the things that interests me most about behavior is the specific culture in a place. Pedestrians have always been jaywalking because streetlights were an imposition in the early 20th century. The day the IRT subway opened in 1904, the platforms and on and off boarding were the same exact rat race as they are today. And it should come as no surprise that we have always had a ridiculously dangerous driving culture.

It amazes me when millenial cyclists today retain the vehicular cyclist culture of the 1970s, the swashbuckling messenger stupidly banned from midtown in the 80s, the hobbyist of the 90s and early 00s. A shift in the culture is upon us, though in the 10s because cycling has become mainstream. There are new people taking to the road, and giving them a safe space and designing for them legitimizes them and makes it easier to follow the rules. There will be some, particularly when money is involved, who will not acquiesce, but the culture of the cyclist is slowly changing.

Regardless, the streets renaissance that has occurred in our city over the last decade has been one that gives space to people and keeps everyone, including begrudging drivers, far safer. It has been a boon for livability, has helped local small business thrive, and has been nothing but a benefit for neighborhoods across the city. This is rightfully celebrated by most, and Queens Streets increasingly marginalized as it dies would do well to cease operations in the new year. Embrace pedestrians, we are over 3/4 of your customers. Attract more of us and you’ll do better. Fight the interests of most of your community and customer base and it’ll be very hard indeed.

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sticks & stones

Danger is danger, it’s irrelevant the size of the ‘vehicle’. A 20lb bike with a 150lb person on it, going 10-20mph could do serious damage. While bikers hitting someone are more likely to injure them than kill them, do you think broken arms/legs, a busted head are fun? who exactly will be footing the bill for such an injury? Last I checked bikers aren’t required to carry insurance. Good luck getting compensation. Give out a bunch of expensive tickets to these idiots flaunting the law. The only way to get people to change their stupid behavior is to attack their wallet. As for the guy that got injured driving recklessly, they earned that trip to the hospital.

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Anonymous

we the people find it awfully odd that as soon as this happened Mr. JVB was all over CBS News immediately with his story apparently he is not going to NY1 anymore — just like when the posters went up he was quick on the draw to call the news stations again showing him taking down the posters. We smell something fishey here.

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Get your shinebox

I doubt that most incidents of bikers hitting peds are reported. I’ve seen too many near misses since these ill advised lanes have been installed, as if it has emboldened them to think they own the road and can do whatever the hell they want.

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JG

Queens Street For All claims to represent 12,000 anti-bike lane people (falsely I might add), so how do they know if one of their followers is not the culprit? Pat Dorfman, Gary O’neill, and Manny Gomez, your words and actions against the bike lanes have meaning, and the wrong type of people will act on them. What did you think was going to happen with your selfish nonsensical behavior? Shame on all of you!

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Sammy the Fish

Oh please we all know who did this! Stop pretending. It’s those Law and Order types who think that the Law does not apply to them. Go to any of the Dive bars in this neighorhood and you can here them Complaining about how it used to be.

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Father of two, lives in Sunnyside, Commutes by Bike.

Well, I hope I survive my commute home tonight. Thanks!

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Bike Lane Guy

The 108 will catch Thumbtack Guy as easily as they caught the Chase Bank Robber. Oh wait…

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Immoral Society

This serves as a reminder that there are some nasty people out there. This is why society is trending towards a surveillance state. We will need more lights and cameras so we can know who did this and put them behind bars where they belong to keep the rest of us safe.

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