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Town Hall on Skillman, 43rd Avenues Postponed

Department of Transportation initial proposal for Skillman and 43rd Avenues.

Dec. 18, 2017 By Nathaly Pesantez

The highly anticipated town hall expected to take place tomorrow on the city’s project for Skillman and 43rd Avenues has been postponed to January.

The announcement was made at around 4:30 p.m. by Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who organized the town hall along with Community Board 2 and the Department of Transportation.

“The Department of Transportation informed us today that they do not have the presentation we expected them to give tomorrow evening,” Van Bramer wrote on his Facebook page. “We will postpone the town hall until after the holidays and will be back to everyone with a new date with plenty of notice.”

The town hall was organized after the DOT initially presented a controversial proposal in November to install protected bike lanes through two of Sunnyside’s main avenues, which would have removed a combined 158 parking spaces on Skillman and 43rd Avenues.

The response to the initial proposal, which included a petition from the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce to halt any plans that would remove a single parking space, prompted the DOT to scrap the first plan and begin to work on an updated plan to be presented at a Dec. 19 town hall.

“I had very much hoped we would be able to meet tomorrow evening to discuss these plans and look forward to gathering in January,” Van Bramer wrote.

The Department of Transportation said it is continuing to work on an updated proposal to present to the community.

“Following the many meetings the agency has had with CB2, elected officials, schools, various parent groups and businesses along this corridor, DOT is continuing to refine the proposal based on the preliminary input from the Transportation Committee and other stakeholders,” a DOT spokesperson said. “While we were looking forward to discussing the project at tomorrow night’s town hall we aim to regroup with all stakeholders after the holidays.”

Update 12/18, 7:51 p.m. : Article updated with a statement from the Department of Transportation.

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Hopefully the parking advocates noticed that the postponement notice for this meeting was published next to an article about a cyclist being killed on 48th ST. How many cyclists have been killed this year in our neighborhood?

Theorem Ox

I’m glad you brought this up. Have you noticed that most of the tragic accidents (including the one you’re referring to) are taking place at intersections? Compare that to those getting killed because of mid-block collisions – which I haven’t seen much covered here at Sunnyside Post and haven’t witnessed in person so far.

The DOT’s proposal would not have and will not prevent accidents from the former situation as their plan does not eliminate at-grade intersections. The flaws run beyond just the loss of parking spaces. Some may even argue that the DOT’s plan may worsen safety as their conceptual design has turning lanes protruding into the protected bike lane. (Cyclists then have even less room to manuever than the current configuration if there’s a turning motorist waiting for pedestrians to cross and the bicycle is coming down at speed while there’s oncoming traffic in the adjacent lane)

The drawbacks to the DOT’s flawed proposal are not commensurate to the benefits. If the city is absolutely committed to blowing money on this in the face of other pressing issues that affect even more residents regardless of how they move around the city, I proposed a compromise solution further below in the comments – it may not address the perennial intersection issue, but it does reduce the negative impact to the north-side residents/businesses and it allows for a connected network of separated bike lane to be formed that residents and nonresidents can enjoy if they’d like.


Just to be clear this meeting with cancelled before this poor soul was killed which was very sad –

Fan of doughboy park

All of this outrage in the comments is because a few people want to have more parking spaces. Lobby for it. Come up with a plan to provide more parking, and present it.

So many folks in this neighborhood own car(s) seemingly juts to move them from one side of the street to the next for ASP. So many of my neighbors cars aren’t driven.

Folks say it hurts businesses, if that’s so … why are other businesses with parking lots (sports store on Northern) shutting down?

If you make it easier for people to bike, there will be less traffic, less cars, more parking. I’m sorry it’s hard to find a spot, but if it were easier … there’d just be more cars. It’s like the old saying about beds in prisons and hospitals. They find a way to fill the spots one way or another.


Sports Authority went out of business because of bad management it went into
Bankruptcy in March, 2016 –

LIC Neighbor

Hostilities to a bike lane and JVB calling for a a town hall meeting all because it’s on the other side of the boulevard and loosing parking spaces. Homeless shelters (Best Western) already having a negative impact on the quality life for residents on this side of the boulevard not important. Several quality of life issues popping up, an elderly neighbor’s home broken into, several neighbors complaining of homeless shelter people going into their common driveways and hypodermic needles spotted in the parking lot of the Best Western. Our neighborhood is going down and won’t improve. Our new neighbors!!! Thank You DHS, Mayor DiBlasio and Jimmy Van Bramer.

Theorem Ox

Why is the NYCDOT hamhandedly insisting on pushing for the separated bicycle lane on a relatively short corridor running through a residential neighborhood that will be largely disconnected from the rest of the existing separated bike lanes? This especially in the face of relatively lukewarm (at best) to hostile responses from residents and local businesses with concerns about the adverse aspects of the idea.

It’s one thing if Skillman/43 are the widest roads in the neighborhood that can accomodate, but the DOT has a better candidate (merely) one/two blocks south – Queens Blvd. I’d posit that it would likely enjoy much more popular support from residents and non-residents alike (or at least face fewer opposition). The impact of a slight reduction in travel lane width and the one-off parking space elimination would not be as stark there to residents. There’s some room for creativity if the DOT wants to keep bus stops intact and eliminate potential collisions between bicyclists and trucks unloading. In addition, it would actually connect and complete a network of separated bicycle lanes in Western Queens.

Seeing how the NYCDOT created an early holiday break for themselves here, it looks like a golden opportunity to think (and save face).


How long in advance did the DOT know about this meeting and more importantly how long does it take to create a “presentation”; guess they couldn’t finish this
presentation over this past weekend. By the way, it appears the next protective bike lanes are scheduled for Laurel Hill Boulevard – all of a sudden there are “No Parking” signs between 61st and 58th Street on Laurel Hill Boulevard with the beginnings of Protective Bike lanes being installed. The signs went up over night, taking away all the parking spots on the right hand side of the street. (Probably in the 2018 Budget) which no constituents have been made privy to.

Mary O’Sullivan

Is Jimmy Van Bramer’s husband, Dan Hendrick, on the board for Transportation Alternatives? If yes, that sounds like nepotism to me.

Sunnyside Resident and Driver

why? so they have more time to come up with more b.s.? how about they listen to the majority of queens residents, drivers and business owners and stop exploiting deaths for their fringe transportation alternatives / bike lobby friends!

Woodside Resident and non-driver

Bike lanes aren’t “fringe transportation alternatives”. They’re essential infrastructure to support bicyclist safety and they’re absolutely something we should be encouraging.

And how do you know that the majority of queens residents, drivers, and business owners agree with you?


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