June 13, 2013 By Christian Murray
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer held a press conference on the steps of City Hall this afternoon and demanded that the Citi Bike Share program be expanded to include all of Western Queens.
Bike Share is scheduled to arrive in Long Island City between September and the end of the year. However, Van Bramer said, there is a need for Department of Transportation to bring Bike Share to other Western Queens neighborhoods and to set a date as to when those bikes would arrive.
Long Island City is the only section of the borough that’s currently part of the Bike Share roll out.
“There are already 36,000 members of bike share (citywide)…and I want these members to be able to come to Long Island City, Astoria and Sunnyside, “ Van Bramer said.
“Bike Share will help drive tourists to Western Queens…and would help bring people to the world class cultural institutions and restaurants in the area,” Van Bramer said. Furthermore, “the population of Western Queens is exploding and new [residential units] are going up every day. ”
The district is ready for bike share, since there are already plenty of bike lanes in Western Queens, advocates say. The Queensboro Bridge now features improved bike access. Also, developments like the Queens East River and North Shore Greenway in Astoria have added bike lanes—and there is now access from northern Astoria to Brooklyn.
Furthermore,“The No. 7 and N trains are overcrowded,” said Dominic Stiller, president of Dutch Kills Civic Association. “I would rather ride a bike…and it’s good for getting to work.”
Meanwhile, Adrian Bordoni, executive director of Woodside on the Move, a grass roots community organization, said Woodside didn’t want to be left out of Citi Bike Share. “We want to connect with people from Sunnyside, Astoria and Long Island City.”
The Department of Transportation could not immediately be reached for comment. However, in April, the agency said “there will be a chance to expand in the future based on demand and resources.”
In addition to my earlier response I went on the Internet to look at where these bikes were placed in Manhattan. True to my statements they do take up a lot of space but the spaces in Manhattan are large and can handle these racks, Sunnyside definitely cannot.
I have seen one, as I previously stated, although, fortunately, not here. Even though they are placed in the street, not the sidewalk, you still have to go into the street to get to the other side. Cars are also a problem when trying to cross as they park so close together. I, myself, do not want to squeeze between two cars as you never know how close the car/bicycle is when you do so. My feeling is everyone should cross at the corner although that is not always safe as not everyone obeys the rules of the road. Since these racks are so large the problem exists the same as with the cars. People also have to pull the bicycles out of the rack thus putting themselves in danger as they do so. If someone is speeding, not watching where they are going, etc. I can see only problems arising. Lately more and more people are riding bikes and NOT stopping at corners, at lights, or when they approach you. They seem to believe everyone should get out of THEIR way. This area does not have many wide avenues or streets and making part of the street/avenue for bicycles doesn’t make sense. Most of us still walk. I’ve been to enough funerals.
The bikes are not placed on the sidewalk. They are placed on the street, taking up what would otherwise be parking spaces. They do not take up pedestrian space. Have you ever even seen one?
You still don’t understand me. They most certainly do take up valuable walking space. What you thought I meant was that I could not get out of my house. That is not what I said. I used that expression to show how large and cumbersome they are. Recently I spoke to a person who works in this neighborhood but lives in Williamsburg and he said they were placed right near where he lives and they are definitely an obstruction and they appeared *overnight*. So much for asking the community what they wanted. And that goes for how the residents here are asked for their input on whatever the *powers to be* want. We aren’t. ‘Nuff said.
@aWalker, Sorry, I had no idea that when you wrote “atrocious bike stalls taking up valuable walking space,” you actually meant “I understand these bike racks take up zero walking space.” If your comment was not to be taken seriously, I guess you are in favor then. Great!
Nina Hartley is 50+ years old, you know.
to 43rd & 43rd – Yes, I have seen those bike racks. My comment was a *play on words* not meant to be taken literally. Have always rented bikes, never owned one. Don’t know how to drive therefore have no car.
I want to ride a Citi bike behind Nina Hartley. It would be a perfect view!
I frequently find myself yelling “wrong way” at bicyclists going the wrong way on our one-way streets (salmoning, is what it’s called.) They always seem to be delivery men. They usually look at me as if they either do not understand what I am saying or do not comprehend that what they are doing is wrong. I see them riding on sidewalks, too, apparently oblivious to how wrong this activity is.
Someone needs to speak to these businesses that employ these guys and really lay down the law. Not only do these delivery guys create a dangerous situation for us all, they also lead otherwise friendly Sunnysiders to turn into angry anti-bike people.
Two entirely different species: delivery men and your neighbor on a bicycle! Don’t treat us all as one big problem. Thanks!
Did anyone ask Citibank how they feel about this? Being the profit-maker and all??
Expanding the Citi Bike system to Western Queens would be an excellent idea. It is obvious when tourists and New Yorkers think of New York City, they only think of Manhattan. It’s like the other boroughs are forgotten all the time and the people of the other boroughs feel very left out. Let’s not forget we have five boroughs, not one! This is New York City, Not Manhattan City!
P.S.: I think the bikes would be good under the 7 train stations here in Sunnyside so people would get easier access to the bikes.
Within the span of 15 minutes this afternoon, I saw three blatant and dangerous violations by automobile drivers. A driver in a sedan made an illegal u-turn on 43rd and Northern. A second driver in a different sedan frantically honked when I was stopped to let a woman with a baby in a stroller cross at the “walk” on 42nd and Queens Boulevard and then cut around me after turning onto QB and pulling in front of me, stopping short. When the light changed, the driver turned and nearly hit an Access a Ride van that was pulling out of a parking place. A third car ran a red light and nearly hit some kids crossing the street near PS 150. The ones who violate the law should have their cars (and anything they are carrying) confiscated at least for a couple of hours and the illegal practices will stop immediately. Even just having an officer pull them over would put some fear into the drivers.
Within the span of fifteen minutes and four blocks this afternoon, I saw three blatant and dangerous violations by bicyclists–one running a red light on Queens Blvd and 45 St. and swerving sharply to avoid hitting me and two going the wrong way on one-way streets near Greenpoint Ave. All were delivery men. A few minutes later I saw a group of 7 bicyclists riding correctly in the bike lane on 39th Ave. All bicyclists are not the same as all drivers are not the same. The ones who violate the law should have their bicycles (and anything they are carrying) confiscated at least for a couple of hours and the illegal practices will stop immediately. Even just having an officer pull them over would put some fear into the delivery men.
Look. The bottom line is that New York needs a bike share program. Washindton DC, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Boston, Miami Beach, Kansas City, New Paultz, San Francisco, Hoboken, and even Mexico City have bike share programs. We are the greatest city in America.
Whenever their are changes in our city, people get upset. But, just because you don’t ride bikes doesn’t mean you should stop all of Western Queens from having the option to use the program. The difference between Sunnyside and other great neighborhoods is that ours looks like a highway.
Way to go Van Bramer. Way to go Community leaders.
“I’m waiting for the Bikers that walk their Dogs run.”
Try again. I don’t understand your sentence.
But having bikes here is a great idea and we have a lot of space under the train for them.
I’m waiting for the Bikers that walk their Dogs run.
@a Walker, you make no sense. Have you ever seen one of those bike racks? They don’t take up any pedestrian space. And you’re imagining they’ll put one across your doorstep so you can’t leave the building? What?
I think the program is a good idea. Hopefully unsafe riders will be ticketed (the city is very enthusiastic about that), and the rest of us can benefit. Like @moneyside said, anything to reduce crowding on the 7! Possibly reducing the number of cars would be great, too.
That said, of course I hope they pay attention to where they put the things. I think the racks should be based on Queens Blvd. and not go into residential areas. It would be ideal to put them under the 7 in places where it won’t take up a lot of currently useful space. For example, at the 40th St. stop, on the west side of that square, would be a good spot.
That was probably me you saw at the light! I was hit by a car once in an intersection; ever since, I always stop at traffic lights. I wear a helmet, too.
I was born in Queens, lived in Woodside back in the 80s and then bought a co-op in Sunnyside in 1993. I’ve been riding a bike all of my life and since moving to Sunnyside, I have NEVER needed a car. How many more years do I need before I am not a newbie or a hipster?
Again, most of us do not own or drive a cars; those that do are a minority in Sunnyside. I’m not anti-car- I think there is enough room for everyone. But I am glad that our leaders are looking ahead and anticipating fewer personal automobiles, expecting more expensive fuel costs, and planning for alternate means of transportation. Deliveries and livery cabs are needed; private cars not so much.
I pay taxes but want to thank the automobile owners for that nice bike path on Skillman. I use it all the time, along with the path that leads over the railroad yards and the river into Manhattan. I don’t understand why anyone would have such negative feelings towards bike riders- studies show that mare bikes and fewer cars make for a safer & cleaner neighborhood.
Whatever- they are becoming more & more popular- I hope everyone- bikers and drivers, will respect the rules and watch for pedestrians. I’ll do my best and promise not to run any lights or go the wrong way on a street.
It’s unfortunate that apparently no mention nor credit was given to Mayor Michael Bloombegr and NYC Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan for the vision, hard work and perseverance to bring the bike program to NYC streets. I believe it’s a mark of the great success of the program that local politicians, who usually don’t have anything good to say about the Mayor, are clamoring to bring bike share to their neighborhoods.
I already use Citi Bike to commute to work, but I presently have to take the 7 train to Midtown to get one and ride to Wall Street. I would much prefer to get more exercise and save on Metrocards by riding all the way. I used to ride my own bike from home to work, but this has many inconveniences, particularly, where to safely lock it up, including the parts people steal such as the seat, the front wheel, the water bottle, the lights, the seat pack (requiring me to disassemble the bike and carry all those things into the office with me), and what to do with it on days when I will be coming home particularly late or when the weather changes unexpectedly. That is when bike shares are awesome.
It would also be much easier for me to get to nearby neighborhoods like Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Astoria, LIC and Woodside if I could use bikeshare. There are many places in those areas which are hard to get to by public transportation without multiple connections, especially on the weekends when service is dismal. I’m sure it will bring more business to these areas if people could use a bikeshare to get around to stores and other businesses.
Queens Boulevard is not a sanctioned bike path. There are marked bike routes on 47th Avenue and Skillman. Bicyclists need to study the official bike maps available in bike stores and online.
Don’t put the blame on bike safety on bicycle commuters. That is blaming the victim. They are the ones who get doored by people who don’t check for bicycles in sanctioned bicycle lanes, and by trucks and SUVs turning without signalling or checking their mirrors and blind spot. Pedestrians are oblivious to marked bike lanes, too, and I most of my near accidents have been caused by pedestrians waiting to cross the street in a bike lane, or walking or jogging in the wrong direction on a bike lane along the rivers when there is a designated walkway or sidewalk available.
I drive, too, and most of the bicycle offenders I see are food delivery and bicycle messengers, not commuters. I was almost hit by a food delivery cyclist blindly speeding down the sidewalk close to the building line as I stepped out of my front door.
I’ve seen these bike share stations in Manhattan taking up spaces where 2 or 3 cars might have parked. What I want to know is how does the sanitation dept properly clean those streets now? I’m guessing the bike stations won’t be moving to the other side of the street on alternate side parking days. I’m also guessing they won’t get tickets as you and I would if we left our car there when the street sweeper comes.
SuperWittySmiity – when bike riders pay the same fees that auto owners pay I will be more than willing to share a lane on the blvd of death with you – registration fees, license plates and insurance (when you hit someone from coming from the wrong direction or running a red light) (so when all of you that “obey” the direction and lights can be ticketed for moving violations – and playing the old versus new residents?….sorry Mr. Hipster you couldn’t afford Manhattan but don’t shove your ideas down our throats – you want a bike? BUY ONE but keep the Citibank bikes in MANHATTAN & HIPSTER WILLIAMSBURG. AND by the way for your knowledge newbie…its the AUTOMOBILE OWNERS that are paying for YOUR bike lanes……………
And so will Sunnyside and its newcomers.
Anything to reduce the crowding on the 7 train is a good idea but I’m skeptical they will be used
To SuperWittySmitty: “Most bike riders obey the traffic laws”
I drive down Skillman every day and I’ve only seen ONE bicyclist EVER stop at a red light. One.
Walker- the problem is not the bikes, it’s the cars. Bicycles are a solution. Do you realize how much space we have surrendered to the minority of Sunnysiders who own cars? And bicycles are not new- there were probably more bikers on our streets 50 years ago than there are now; certainly there were fewer cars. Stop playing the “old folks of Sunnyside’ and the “new hipsters” card – that’s not what is happening. We are overwhelmed with traffic and the population keeps growing- solutions are being sought to fix our community, no one is foisting grandiose ideas on anyone. It is a sensible and low-key idea, if anything.
Maybe a Citibike rack should replace the e-bike store. We’ve already grown accustomed to not being able to walk down that block, and at least the Citibikes wouldn’t smell.
Most bike riders obey the traffic laws. I know I do, and from what I can see, most drivers obey the traffic laws, too. There are plenty of drivers who do not; they are the one that cause the tragedies. Fewer cars + more bikes= less danger, less pollution, less noise, healthy community.
The “boulevard of death” got its name from speeding cars and jay-walking pedestrians. There are more cars and more traffic in our community than ever before- how much longer can this go one? The world is changing- one less lane on QB, and get rid of all of these parking spaces- build bike lanes and wider sidewalks, and we will be ready for the future.
Only problem- a bunch of cry-babies who are living in the past. In ten years, they too will be a distant memory!
What is going on? How many more ridiculous ideas are being put forth on the people in Sunnyside. Not everyone can ride a bike, not everyone wants those atrocious bike stalls taking up valuable walking space. Are we supposed to stay home because we can’t get out the door? What’s wrong, too many *old* people in the way of the newcomers who have foisted their *grandiose* ideas on those of us who have made Sunnyside their home for years? Does anyone actually believe that people will come to this area to shop? Now that’s a laugh. VanBramer has been on too many pub runs.
the blvd of death beckons more bike riders that DO NOT obey traffic laws – it won’t take long for a tragedy to happen – KEEP IT IN MANHATTAN! or put it in Councilman Van Bramers neighborhood! take away the parking of HIS neighbors!
Just what the boulevard of death needs.
Keep up the pressure! It would be great to have bike share in Sunnyside, (and Woodside, Astoria, & further out parts of LIC)!
Stick it under the 7 train somewhere, let’s not lose ANY parking spots in the process though.
Oh bring it on. I am tired of looking down the balding head of a 5’9 woman, smelling unwashed bodies, and boorish people who can’t keep their phones down. This ain’t Tokyo.