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Town Hall on Skillman, 43rd Aves Redesign ‘Postponed Indefinitely’

Skillman and 50th Street (Photo: QueensPost)

Jan. 10, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

A town hall aimed for January where the city would present an updated redesign for Skillman and 43rd Avenues to the public is now postponed indefinitely in light of new demands for traffic calming measures by P.S. 11.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said demands made yesterday by P.S. 11’s entrance on 54th Street and Skillman Avenue for a traffic light and cross walks have changed the nature of the Department of Transportation’s redesign proposal for the two avenues, first pitched in November.

“We can’t entertain any redesign of Skillman and 43rd Avenues until they install these traffic calming measures at P.S.11 and until they make P.S.11 safe,” Van Bramer said.

The DOT has been working on an updated redesign for the two avenues since December, after their initial plans, which called for the installation of protected bike lanes through the two avenues and the removal of 158 parking spots, saw heavy community opposition to it.

But on the brink of a town hall, scheduled for Dec. 19 by Van Bramer and Community Board 2, and meant for the DOT to present an updated proposal to the community, the agency went to P.S. 11 for an emergency meeting on their plans for the two avenues.

Outraged parents at the Dec. 18 meeting spoke to the DOT’s original plans to remove a car lane in front of the school and the bike lane that children would have to cross through every day. They also demanded stop lights, cross walks, and other traffic calming measures near the school’s intersection.

By that afternoon, the town hall was called off.

“The meeting did not go well,” Van Bramer said. “The DOT went to the meeting at the school and told the parents that they weren’t going to get those traffic calming measures.”

Van Bramer said there are no plans to reschedule the town hall until he hears back from the DOT on the safety demands made by parents and teachers.

“Parents and teachers of P.S. 11 are bringing up very valid concerns, very reasonable concerns about the original plan and also about these additional traffic calming measures,” he said.

He added that “the ball is in the DOT’s court.”

A spokesperson for the DOT said the agency has been undergoing an extensive review since December of both 54th and 55th Street along Skillman Avenue for a signal or all-way stop sign.

The DOT added that it is working with Van Bramer’s office and the community board to select a new date for a public meeting on the intersections and on the avenues redesign project in general.

email the author: news@queenspost.com

38 Comments

Travis Bickle

@sunnysider. Ewwwww! Another bike snob!! Yech. You are making us sick. Did you ride your little toy to your little funemployment job today? Or did you take an Uber because you didn’t want to get your beard wet?




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Mythoughts

The bike lanes will be good for business, good for community health, good for quality of life, and good for home values. I hope they happen. As many parking spaces should be preserved as possible but not at the expense of doing the bike lanes.




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ComplainerSlapper

Without preserving parking spaces, what will end up happening is like the incident in Rego Park, Queens. Businesses on Queens Blvd had noticed a drop in revenue Y-o-Y ever since the new bike lanes were installed. Loyal patrons were no longer able to find parking, or were just tired of getting tickets to go to their favorite venue.




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Anonymous

They are not good for business. Businesses on Queens Boulevard and Woodhaven Boulevard have lost customers since bike lanes were installed. The businesses are harder to get to.




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Dorothy Morehead

CB2 has been asking for years that an incorrect sign on Roosevelt Avenue and 56th Street be removed. The sign directs local trucks to Roosevelt Avenue and, by implication, through trucks to Skillman Avenue. This was bad enough before the expansion of P.S. 11 but is unconscionable with the doubling of the number of students. If it weren’t for the school crossing guards, there certainly would have been a serious accident by now. The guards are only present for several hours a day on school days. The intersection is dangerous 24/7.




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Mary

Travis- conflict of interest? Only one member of any given family can be active in the realm of civic affairs at one time? Transportation Alternatives takes an active role in Community Boards by sending our staff to make presentations at meetings and by encouraging our members and friends to attend meetings and join their local board. Community Boards are a top priority in our work because winning local, popular support is the first step towards meeting our goal to make New York City a safer, healthier and more sustainable place.Residents can join their board as either a public member or a full board member. Each community board consists of up to 50 members. Public members are allowed to speak at committee meetings, but, depending on board rules, may or may not be able to vote at meetings. To join as a public member, simply call your board and find out how. All that is usually required is attendance at several consecutive meetings. To join as a full board members you must be appointed by the Borough President through an application process. The City Council Members who represent the community district can recommend to the Borough President up to half of the members of the board for appointment so it is a good idea to talk to your City Council Member about your interest in applying. Alternatives takes an active role in Community Boards by sending our staff to make presentations at meetings and by encouraging our members and friends to attend meetings and join their local board. Community Boards are a top priority in our work because winning local, popular support is the first step towards meeting our goal to make New York City a safer, healthier and more sustainable place.Residents can join their board as either a public member or a full board member. Each community board consists of up to 50 members. Public members are allowed to speak at committee meetings, but, depending on board rules, may or may not be able to vote at meetings. To join as a public member, simply call your board and find out how. All that is usually required is attendance at several consecutive meetings. To join as a full board members you must be appointed by the Borough President through an application process. The City Council Members who represent the community district can recommend to the Borough President up to half of the members of the board for appointment so it is a good idea to talk to your City Council Member about your interest in applying.




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Sunnysider

Here is a good example of “conflict of interest”. Even after taking office, President Donald Trump has sold more than $35 million worth of real estate last year to secretive buyers.

Trump sold 41 luxury condo units in Las Vegas last year to people who used limited liability companies (LLCs), which allow them to hide their identities, a USA Todayreport found. The president can withdraw profits from these sales at any time using a trust that names him as the sole beneficiary but is managed by sons Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump.




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Susan

I don’t think any bike lanes should ever be on streets with public buildings that have high volume double parking for drop off and pick up of passengers, such as hospitals, schools, libraries, i’m unity centers, animal shelters, post offices, and the like. A bike lane on E. 110th St. (Already a small street) has made my job of picking up animals from the Manhattan shelter, for transport to rescues, increasingly difficult. I have never seen it used.




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Anonymous

Are you being facetious? Without parking for drop off or pick up, what do passengers do? Jump in the window as the car drives by?




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Patret

The parents and teachers proved that those entrusted to their care outrank the machinations of bureaucracy. But, the same is true for all our neighborhood’s citizens. Be careful. Don’t let the DOT and Transportation Alternatives lobby divert your attention from the bigger picture. The PS11 surroundings need better safety consideration, indeed. But, so do seniors and all our citizens who don’t need the additional aggravation and worry about navigating “protected” bike lanes. The residents of CB2 need protection from the demands of bicyclists, most of whom don’t follow the rules of the road. Why are they more important than the rest of us?




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Billy

Patret- I once thought like you but have become open and in favor of the idea of bike lanes. I have encountered several people at work on the block and even relatives who have turned life threatening health issues around by biking and using these bike lanes. Even from the wording of your post it’s not the bike lane that is the issue but the reckless biker who is the issue. It sounds as if the reckless bikers who should be addressed instead of blaming the bike lanes themselves.




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Patret

Billy- It is all about the bike lanes. The irresponsible bicyclists exacerbate the problem. Think about Access a rides, cabs, or relatives who need to pick up elderly or disabled AT curbside.




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Rocky

Patret- There is plenty of room to pick up and discharge passengers. There are two sides of the street and the bike lane is only on one side. Most residents live on the side street where there are no bike lanes at all. I started riding my bike to work after the huge subway blackouts last year and not have been late once and brought my blood pressure rate into a healthy range where my doctor believes I’ll be tsken off my blood pressure pill by the end of the year.




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Billy

@Patret: Think of how many more ambulatory elderly and the reduction in the number of people disabled from conditions like obesity, hypertension and diabeties which are all conditions corrected and or made manageable with riding a bike. Oh by the way the overwhelming majority of streets won’t have bike lanes and the ones that do will only have the bike lane on one side of the street. My mother uses a walker and lives on 43rd avenue which has a very active bike lane and we have never had an issue picking up or dropping my mother off at her apartment building. Sounds as if you’re driving skills may be an issue if a bike lane is that hard for you to navigate.




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Patret

The issue is PROTECTED bike lanes. Their being on only one side of the street doesn’t help the person who lives on that side and cannot manipulate across barriers with crutches, wheelchair or walker. It’s interesting that you feel the need to personalize an imaginary situation in order to push your agenda. Try more altruism instead.




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Trixie

Partret- You’re the one here obviously pushing an agenda and not very well at that either, I may add. Being a person who drives extensively and one who practically lives in my car so I’m not a fan of “protected” bike lanes or unprotected bike lanes but I do know they do help promote public health. Your phony concern for the disabled is blatanly obvious. My mother is disabled and I know for a fact protected bike lanes are designed for people with disabilities to navigate. There is a protected bike lane in front of her doctors office in Manhattan and we have never had an issue with the curb or design whatsoever. Most disabled do not need access to their front door as you’ere trying to claim (that is just absurd) they just need even sidewalks and obstacle free access to the vehicle they need to access. You’re one of those people who cry the lanes are only on one side of the street then you cry if they are on both side of the street.




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Susan Travis

I agree that most ( but not all) cyclists don’t follow the rules of the road. I drive for a living and this is my experience. Driving home from work on New Year’s eve, completely dark out, 39th St. and 48th Ave. in Sunnyside, I have the green, the cyclist has the red. He blows the light, plows in front of me. This is New Year’s Eve, a night known for drunk driving yet he still puts his life, and my life at risk. I’m very angry at him for this. He has no protection. If I hit him with my van, he is toast and my life is ruined. If I were to kill someone, I would be distraught, my life would be changed for the worse forever.




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Anonymous

Does that mean parents and busses can continue to double park in front of the school, forcing all traffic into the bike lane? Because that is clearly working out great for everyone.




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Susan Travis

That’s why bike lanes should not be where there is high volume double parking, for pick up and drop off, which is completely legal.




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Lilian

How about a traffic light on 42nd street and 47th ave, there is the school there and the park, it’s a dangerous intersection! Recently someone was hit by a car while trying to cross the street. Do we have to wait for someone to be killed before something is done?




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Anonymous

The first town hall meeting was cancelled allegedly due to the DOT did not have their presentation in order. Now this meeting is “Postponed Indefinitely” — does that also mean the installation of bike lanes are also “Postponed Indefinitely?” or are we going to be waking up to a surprise installation of bike lanes?




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Travis Pickle

Who wrote this piece? Van Bramer? Just because he’s acting like he cares about this issue does not mean he won’t force these bike lanes. I’m sure his hubby is working on it.




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Billy

Travis- If the councilman was “straight” would you have psssed the same irrelevant remark about his spouse? You appear to have some issues..




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Travis Pickle

His hubby is on the Transportation Alternatives board! I think that is quite relevant.




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Mary O’Sullivan

I find it so inappropriate that JVB’s husband is on the board for transportation alternatives.




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Anonymous

Mary, sorry to say they don’t really care what you think. Just like in the rest of his district, jimmy has his friends and he’s going to take care of them.




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Mary

Travis- If that’s his “hubby’s” job then he should be doing his job. What exactly is your point? I think Billy maybe right about you.




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Travis Pickle

My point, which is obvious to any reader with an IQ of 40 or higher, is that it is a conflict of interest.




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Anonymous

And Jimmy should do his job, which is for his constituents, not for his husband.




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Sunnysider

@Travis- You need to look up the definition of conflict of interest. I’ll paste it below for you. con·flict of in·ter·est
noun
a situation in which the concerns or aims of two different parties are incompatible.
“the conflict of interest between elected officials and corporate lobbyists”. You’ll probably have to do a little better than just throwing around a term you’re unfamiliar with.




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