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Van Bramer Calls on DOT to Improve Safety for Cyclists and Pedestrians on Thomson Avenue

(Jimmy Van Bramer)

Sept. 11, 2019 By Shane O’Brien

Elected officials and community organizers are called on the Department of Transportation to install traffic calming measures to prevent injuries and deaths on Thomson Avenue by LaGuardia Community College.

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, LaGuardia Community College Interim President Paul Arcario and members of Transportation Alternatives rallied on Tuesday to demand that the DOT improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians along the busy thoroughfare.

They say that the area around the college should be a designated “school zone,” since the area generates about 50,000 students. The speed limit in a school zone is lowered to 20 mph during school hours.

The group is also asking for one of the avenue’s six lanes to be removed– and to be designated for pedestrian use. The lane would be painted beige and Jersey barriers would be installed to protect pedestrians from traffic.

They also asked the DOT to extend the Skillman Avenue bike lane from Queens Boulevard to 49th Avenue in order to improve the Queens bike network and allow more people to ride safely to school.

In addition, the group calls for the closure of two streets off Thomson Avenue. They want to close 29th Street to create a campus plaza with more walking space. Furthermore, they want a stretch of 30th Street closed to prevent motorists from making high-speed turns as they come off the Queensboro Bridge.

Thomson Avenue by LaGuardia Community College

Van Bramer said that the DOT hadn’t done enough to protect students and other road users. He said that DOT needs to come up with a long-term redesign of the avenue to make it safe, but urged the agency to make short term improvements in the interim.

“I’ve been advocating with the community to make Thomson safer for years. We were here back in 2013 after 16-year-old Tenzin Drudak was tragically killed while walking on the sidewalk, and over 150 more pedestrians and cyclists have been injured in this area since,” Van Bramer said.

DOT must start by implementing these critical safety measures that would immediately improve conditions and then prioritize a complete redesign of Thomson to ensure the safety of this busy urban campus.”

Meanwhile, Arcario, of LaGuardia Community College, said that the safety of his students, faculty, staff and visitors is of paramount importance and he urged the DOT to take action.

He said that there had been several incidents near the campus where pedestrians were injured while crossing the street.

“These are serious, life-threatening issues that must be addressed urgently in order to safeguard lives and prevent future tragedies,” Arcario said.

Thomson Avenue shortly after Tenzin Drudak was Killed (YouTube)

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10 Comments

ticket renegade cyclists

Cyclists need to get off their high schwinns and obey the rules of the road, sadly very few actually do: wear helmets, stop at red lights, ride with the flow of traffic, not against, stay off the sidewalk, turn your music off/put your phone down so you are not distracted and get rid of any bike without breaks, they should be 100% illegal. When cycling miscreants break the law and hit someone, how will the injured party be compensated? Could be time for insurance and registration.

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Interesting rant

Is this related to the article at all, or just the generic anti-bike comment boomers copy and paste on every article?

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Myth-busters

Can we put this to bed already? It has been debunked that people riding bicycles break the laws more often than people driving or walking. Moreover it has definitely been shown that that the greatest danger on the road is when motor vehicles speed, not if a cyclist rolls through a light slowly after looking both ways.

This whole false exaggeration about cyclist behavior and victim blaming is getting tiresome. There is no epidemic of cyclist violence on pedestrians, there is, however an epidemic of traffic violence caused by cars. No one is saying ban all cars, people are just calling for design improvements to bring our streets from unsafe car dominated designs to designs that cater to multiple forms of mobility including pedestrians, wheelchairs, walkers, cyclists, strollers, scooters, etc. That’s what we have here on skillman and 43rd avenues!

You may not like cyclists, you may not like bike lanes, but consider that you may not understand the issue and should have some respect for people that do.

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Anon

This is the approach rode to the 59st bridge, it was there before any of the schools. Move the f-ing schools that never should have been built in that location, we cant’t move the bridge. Build counter measures that force pedestrians to actually obey the law and act in their own interest.

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Tea Lady

Every time I jog around there I almost mess up my knitting as a car or cyclist brushes by. This place is out of control and people are in road rage mode around the bridge in general. I want cameras, speed bumps for cars and cyclists and protected areas for runners. This is actually necessary all along Skillman Ave. Slow the crazies down!

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Queens Streets for LOL

Alright who do we cue up on this one?

How about the “statistician” who claims the city lies about Vision Zero statistics?

Or the retired drivers ed instructor that says with authority that “all cyclists should be licensed and insured?”

The octogenarian who posts photos and videos of “bike counts” as they (unsafely) drive up and down queens boulevard?

How about the out of touch publisher of a “Small Town” tabloid that can’t quite get REBNY conspiracies out of their mind?

Time to get the popcorn out!

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Pedestrians Matter Too

You forgot the helmet law for all cyclists, and an NYPD bicycle police squad to ticket them when they disobey traffic laws, all of which I’m in favor of. Too many bicyclists (not all) ride like ***holes and hurt pedestrians. All of this can work in conjunction with the proposed changes to Thomson Ave.

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Unlikely?

Agreed, that area is in desperate need for some pedestrian and cyclist improvements. Unfortunately the DOT has been asked to do something here before and have expressed that there is too much traffic to do anything. They are loathe to act when this is the case, making any significant action here unlikely.

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