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Van Bramer Threatened By Bicycle Advocate, as ‘Fanatical Element Comes out the Woodwork’

Skillman Avenue and 50th Street (Photo: QueensPost)

March 2, 2018 By Christian Murray

A fringe group of bicycle advocates who want protected bike lanes on 43rd and Skillman Avenues have stepped up the rhetoric, with one taking to twitter yesterday to intimidate Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.

Members of the group have been lashing out at Van Bramer in recent weeks for not being an outspoken supporter of the protected bicycle lanes. One tweet directed at Van Bramer, however, stood out from the rest.

“The next time someone dies, and they will, can someone please throw fake blood (or real) at @jimmyVanBramer” reads the tweet sent last night.

Van Bramer said that the vitriol and threats coming from some of the bicycle advocates have gone too far. “The more fanatical element is coming out of the woodwork,” he said.

“Anyone can express themselves, but this tweet crosses the line,” he said, adding that “bullying tweets and threats drive me further away from wanting to work with these people.”

He said he often hears from constituents who oppose the lanes, but he has never been threatened before.

The plan for protected bicycle lanes—which Van Bramer initially called for after the death of two cyclists last April—were stalled when business owners expressed concern that the loss of parking spaces would hurt commerce and when parents from P.S. 11 argued the lanes would put children at risk while crossing on Skillman Avenue.

The school, located at 54-25 Skillman Ave., also called for traffic safety measures of its own, such as a traffic light at Skillman and 55th Street.

Van Bramer adopted the policy that the plan for protected bicycle lanes would not go forward until Skillman Avenue was made safe for the children of P.S. 11. This stance disappointed bicycle advocates, who were counting on his complete support.

Bicycle advocates will be in Sunnyside on Sunday to voice their discontent when they march under the Transportation Alternatives Queens banner in the St. Pat’s for All parade.

The advocacy group has been calling on its supporters across the city to come to the event and “loudly demand the safety improvements in Sunnyside.”

On a Facebook event page, the group wrote, “It’s time for us to come together and use our strength in numbers to remind everyone why thy this plan is so desperately needed.”

Van Bramer said that he was disappointed by Transportation Alternatives. “I think hijacking the parade and disrupting the parade is not going to work,” he said. He was concerned that the individual who sent the tweet might be in attendance.

From the 2016 St. Pat’s for All parade.

“The parade is a joyous event…and while it is their right to protest…it is poor form to say the least,” Van Bramer said.

Van Bramer also said that he has always been a big champion of Vision Zero and was instrumental in making sure safety changes—including protected bicycle lanes—came to Queens Boulevard. “Some of these folks have short memories.”

Juan Restrepo, Queens Organizer for Transportation Alternatives, condemned the tweet that targeted Van Bramer and said he doesn’t know the individual who sent the tweet. “I saw it [the tweet] and thought, ‘oh no’.”

Restrepo said it was wrong to refer to the group’s participation in the march as a protest.

“We just want to bring awareness to the neighborhood that there are people who support the plan,” Restrepo said. “This will be positive event where we will be advocating for lifesaving changes to the community.”

He said advocates were concerned that the plan for the protected bicycle lanes would fade away, and couldn’t understand why the changes needed at P.S. 11 and the bicycle lanes couldn’t all be rolled into one plan.

“The cyclists are being pitted against the parents [at P.S. 11], but we should all be in this together,” Restrepo said.

Restrepo, who hopes to get a group of about 25 together for Sunday’s march, was hesitant to criticize Van Bramer.

“Jimmy has been a safe streets advocate for a long time but there is some frustration that a plan discussed a year ago is moving so slowly. We don’t want this to take too long or else more cyclists will get killed,” Restrepo said.

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72 Comments

40th Street

I support bicyclists and would love to see more safe lanes on the roads for them… but I must say, yesterday my dog and I were crossing the street and almost got hit by a bicyclist who blew through a red light. Please, cyclists, make it easy for the rest of us to support you… and don’t wantonly break traffic laws!




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Phil

I’ve never seen a bicyclist in New York City stop or even slow down at a red light, ever. Why does being on two wheels mean the law doesn’t apply to you? They’d stop getting killed if they didn’t run red lights. It’s very scary crossing the street because they don’t stop!




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Josh

Your comment is pure hyperbole. Cyclists do slow at lights and even stop. Not all, true. But you make it seem that not any, which is a gross exaggeration.

Now I am not excusing the cyclists who do completely blow through lights without slowing, but one reason many cyclists go through lights is because it is safer for the cyclist. But it should not be done at the detriment of a pedestrian. See, your comment says that if cyclists stopped running red lights, they would stop getting killed. But that’s like saying if people stopped smoking, they wouldn’t get disease. Almost all cyclists killed are not getting hit while running red lights, they are getting hit from behind, hooked by turning vehicles, or getting pulled under the wheels of a vehicle passing too closely. It is actually a relatively rare occurrence that a cyclist gets killed while running a red light.

The answer to why cyclists feel the laws do not apply to them, I could only imagine would be because following the laws exactly is more dangerous. If ALL road users followed the laws to a T, such as motor vehicle operators always fully yielding when required, passing safely, etc, then a cyclist could safely follow the law as well. So, to keep people from dying, yet keep cyclists within the law, we could either change the law for cyclists or get all drivers to follow the law themselves. I agree that cyclists should follow the law, so I’m up for either one. But it is not fair to tell someone that they should follow the letter of the law, even if the letter of the law could get them killed.

But at no time should a cyclist ever endanger the safety of a pedestrian.




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Sunny since 76

Make the bicyclists pay insurance and get auto accident coverage for their medical benefits. Then they deserve to share the same road as cars And be heal liable for red lights or causing accidents gove over 20 mph




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Thruthy McTruth

The Bicycle NAZIS think we should all pedal to work, school, the grocery store, etc. SCREW THEM!! Improve public transportation by getting RID of ALL bike lanes built over the past decade… THAT is the reason for the added congestion and frustration of motorists, cabbies, bus drivers and pedestrians!




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Tartine6666

#alllivesmatter: cyclists, pedestrians, car drivers, kids, older people…. truth is, there are fundamental issues that need to be addressed before hackling about protected bike lanes:
Wearing helmets ( why not you?)
Better signage
Respecting speedlimits ( no enforcement)
Skillman is dangerous. Non commercial trucks ( Skillman is a notruck route except for local deliveries)) and cars speed at a rapid clip with no one to stop them while we have schools nearby. Cyclists seem to be oblivious to the world around them when they zoom by, sometimes missing a hit by a few milliseconds.
Instead of hurling insults at each other, I hope we can find a common ground.

Frankly, I’ve been involved with making Skillman Ave safer for 6 years with barely a dent.




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Dre

Jvb is useless why can’t someone run against him? All he does is theatrics he should be in show business not politics, oh I forgot they’re the same thing




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ann

Pedestrian safety – I’m all for it. The biggest danger to me is bikes. I have had 2 narrow escapes, almost struck by bikers. Let’s face it – Transportation Alternatives is an aggressive, entitled group who doesn’t much care for people who walk. The entire roll-out of protected bike lanes in Queens has been a disaster, which is why people are up in arms about it. 98% of bikers obey zero traffic rules.




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Jon G

Pedestrian safety – I’m all for it. The biggest danger to me is cars. I have had 2 hundred narrow escapes almost struck by careless motorists. Let’s face it – automobile drivers are an aggressive, entitled group who don’t care much for people who walk. The entire roll of street infrastructure in the United States has been a disaster, which is why people are up in arms about it. 98% of motorists violate at least one traffic law every time they get behind the wheel.




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Nameless

So, bikers declare war on cars and everyone else, but feel fully justified about it. No driver I know goes out hoping to hurt or kill anyone yet bikers paint us all as evil killers. You make yourselves so obnoxious I have switched from a pro- to an anti- bike stance over the last few years. You are a terrible addition to the traffic flow. Slow down and obey the traffic laws like everyone else. Get registered. get a license. Take a test. Pay some fees. Then you will have a leg to stand on.




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Rob Foran

I wish I had a dollar for every pedestrian I heard claim that cyclists are a tremendous danger because they’ve been “almost” hit by one or two.

Meanwhile, drivers can and do actually run down and kill cyclists and pedestrians at what seems to be perfectly acceptable rates to these people. They don’t seem to realize what the real danger is out there….nobody’s been killed by a reckless cyclist in years, the two cyclists that hit and killed pedestrians in 2014 were found not at fault by the NYPD. We need to look at facts, not anecdotes about near misses.




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Jason

Van Bramer needs to man up and stop being such a cry baby. He is clearly casting himself as a victim here for political purposes and it’s pathetic. The Tweet was obviously a tongue in cheek expression of frustration and a child can see that it’s not a real threat, or even “bullying.”




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Rob Foran

I wish I had a dollar for every pedestrian I heard claim that cyclists are a tremendous danger because they’ve been “almost” hit by one or two.

Meanwhile, drivers can and do actually run down and kill cyclists and pedestrians at what seems to be perfectly acceptable rates to these people. They don’t seem to realize what the real danger is out there….nobody’s been killed by a reckless cyclist in years, the two cyclists that hit and killed pedestrians in 2014 were found not at fault by the NYPD. We need to look at facts, not anecdotes about near misses.




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WOODSIDE61ST

Typical sunnysiders against bikes keep eating white castle and wendy you fattys better yet get your jersey asses back across the hudson you dont represent queens just a bunch of phonies !




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Tugboat Sam

Notice that when the initial tweet says “when someone dies” it assumes that the person who was killed has no responsibility for his/her actions including riding unsafely. The only person responsible is JvB! Somehow he winds up the real killer.

This is a typical “us” versus “them” way of thinking. It’s also the kind of violent rhetoric that encourages actual violence.

I don’t own a car myself, BTW. I want to encourage reasonable bike lanes; I want a toll on the horrible 59th street bridge: and I want the 7 line improved big time as well. Last time I checked, JvB wants all the above as well.

To blame JvB and call for assaulting him in this way really is disgraceful.




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Rob

As the article says, the Transportation Alternatives rep agrees. It was just one person who said that, and this article blows it way out of proportion.




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Tony

Want to save lives? If you drive a bike on a NYC street you must wear a helmet and colored vest. Cars and motorcycles have safety laws. Register your bicycle with a bike license plate (The City can use the money – so you can be identified and ticketed for not wearing the items and for going through red lights, stop signs, etc. The Mayor and City Council should be looking at these items.




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Brian Howald

> Cars and motorcycles have safety laws.

Great! When do you expect they’ll start following them?




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Jason

The biggest cause of death in motor vehicle accidents is head injuries. Are you saying that all car occupants should wear helmets as well, or as I suspect are you just using the helmet thing as a stage on which to lecture cyclists, a group that clearly irritates you?




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Rob Foran

“If you drive a bike on a NYC street you must wear a helmet and colored vest”. Not true at all.

Besides not being true, styrofoam helmets do not protect cyclists from collisions with motor vehicles, which accounts for over 90% of cyclist deaths.

There is no way for cyclists to register their bikes in NYC, and I suspect the reason the City Council and Mayor’s office are not looking into it is because it would be practically pointless, cyclists not only cause a tiny fraction of the trouble drivers do, but the cause an even tinier number of injuries, and zero deaths since 2014.




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Anonymous

If you are 14 and over you do NOT have to wear a helmet.

A high visibility vest is only required if you are a delivery person.




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Tony Le

Lets make all the Cars , high viz also. No black or gray cars. Only bright fluro yellow and orange




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Alexander R.

No to bike lanes because of the reduction of parking spots AND the because the data indicates that QB bike lanes are underused. Let’s focus on the 7 train and improve the upkeep up each station. The stairs are very bad shape and need significant repair.




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Michael Boylan

100% agree Mayor Bloomberg started this bike lane B/S. Now DeBlowsio is finishing destroying the flow of traffic citywide not only Queens. Accidents will happen with no police enforcement. But as a lifelong Queens resident , I see how these politicians are not improving any neighborhood.




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why jimmy, why

Jimmy van bramer is being disingenuous to say the least. We need safety improvements and that is what the DOT plan gives us; as well as safe protected bike lanes. He is riling up the worst element of society. Almost like a republican politician. Car owners are so use to having all the space that they freak out when a small amount is taken away. get over it is all I can say.
and oh JVB the st pats parade for all was created because the catholics didn’t want the gays marching in their parade- the said it was inappropriate just like you are now saying to safety advocates. JVB, do you get the irony?




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Anonymous

Do you know what irony means? I’ll give you a hint, you did not give an example. Your grasp of history is even is also lacking.




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Wendy

While some cyclists obey the traffic laws like they are supposed to many of them do not. They blow through red lights and stop signs, no helmets, and riding on the sidewalk. Not to mention the delivery guys speeding on the sidewalks on their scooters. One of them almost ran my son over last summer as he was playing in front of our building. Bike riders should have to take a mandatory class making them aware of the rules and they should be held accountable. When they don’t obey the traffic laws they put their lives and everyone else’s life at risk.




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Jason

It’s funny but everyone has an “I was almost killed” story to tell when taking swipes at cyclists, but actual deaths or serious injuries caused by cyclists in this city are so rare that they barely register in the stats. Therefore, it has to be concluded that despite everyone’s “I came this close to being wiped out by a delivery blah blah blah” rhetoric, cyclists are clearly not posing a threat to public safety. Compare this with motor vehicle drivers who kill or maim thousands of people in this city every year. If government resources are to be directed at issues in proportion to how much they actually affect the public, then almost 100% of the focus needs to be on motor vehicle traffic and the general culture of lawlessness among drivers which is absolutely responsible for ruining thousands of lives. Stop worrying about being creamed by a cyclist – you’re more likely to be hit by a piece of falling meteorite.




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Brian Howald

There were 58,987 traffic injuries in New York City in 2016, along with 229 deaths (or 241, depending on whose stats you use). All the deaths and the overwhelming majority of injuries came at the hands of drivers. 43,345 of those injuries were to drivers and car passengers, all of which could only have been inflicted by themselves or other drivers.

Demanding that the conversation about safe streets revolve around people on bikes doing dangerous things is like saying that what America really needs today is knife control. Maybe, but you’re missing the forest for the trees.




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iSay

If half you idiots would stop staring into your phone as you walk on the street and instead be aware of the pedestrians/cyclists/motorists that also share the same area, then we will not have as many accidents. Now you cant even go up or down the subways steps without staring into the damn thing.




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A Woodsider

Bikes should be insured and licensed, just as motorcycles and cars. Responsibility should be shared if they want to share the roads.




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A.Bundy

agreed, and they need to be heavily taxed. all bike owners no matter the age should have a commuter tax, pollution tax, environmental fee tax, city tax, state tax, non-business use tax, processing fee tax, weekday usage tax, and weekend usage tax.




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Marge

Yes and let’s also license and require insurance of pedestrians, wheel chairs, children on scooters and baby carriages! Anything that moves on roads or bridges or sidewalks must be licensed and insured. We need to start tagging and monitoring the birds and rats and raccoons while we are at it too! License them all stop victimizing cars!




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SBenson

Glad that JarekFA weighed in on this. I would hardly call his/her statement a “threat,” more of a nasty, low comment. I think it’s disingenuous of JVB’s office to use this inflammatory language. I’m a long-time supporter of JVB (and will continue to be) and this reaction is disappointing.




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Me

Wow, lots of comments all of the sudden, great job. Who knew this was such a touchy subject.




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Anonymous

JVB is worried that a parade that was hijacked to begin with is going to be hijacked again. Gotta love it.




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Cristina Furlong

My family has participated in this parade for at least 9 years, maybe longer. We’ve participated with Transportation Alternatives Queen Committee, which I co-founded around 2004, as well as under our banner of Make Queens Safer, a group that formed directly out of the senseless death of Noshat Nahian outside P.S. 152 in Woodside. The council member’s response to that horrific tragedy set in motion a series of actions that were the start of Vision Zero changes citywide that have saved lives. Elected’s, advocacy groups and the strong push of DOT to create safe streets have been modeled by the success we’ve achieved together in Queens. The Mayor proclaimed Vision Zero in Queens, and has come back at least three times to laud the many lifesaving accomplishments. Not in the least of those have been bike lanes. They serve to protect cyclists, who have shamelessly been picked off by reckless drivers who more often than not, leave the scene, possibly thwarting life-saving response of EMS. Again, council member Van Bramer was the official who spear-headed tougher legislation on hit and runs.

From my long experience with Transportation Alternatives and Council Member Van Bramer, I’m terribly dismayed that a tweet, which the writer himself dialed back, has been made into a public outcry. It takes away from the very important need for collaboration on street redesign, and it takes away from the wonderful spirit of the St. Pats for All parade, which has always been inclusive and representative of a diverse field of participants.

When I heard that the PTA of P.S. 11 had reservations about the DOT redesigns for Skillman and 43rd, I thought, it was really a fantastic opportunity for my dream of Vision Zero for schools. By participating and learning about the hurdles schools face attempting to improve their safety, they would work with DOT, advocacy groups and the council member to implement something life-saving, and again, another Queens based model for Vision Zero success.

Protected bike lanes are important. We are passionate about it, not just selfishly trying to save our own lives, but the lives of anyone reading.

When Gelacio Reyes was killed on 43rd Ave, it truly struck a nerve with all of us who ride bikes. It is a major artery of a bike network that hundreds travel and that hundreds more will utilize as our mass transit gets further stilted by development and the L train shutdown.

The tweet, and the council members response of creating a news story about it, right before the parade were both reactions that could have benefitted from a few minutes of contemplation before the action. Let’s move beyond it.

There is a tremendous opportunity to create infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists that will improve our communities and save lives. They will also offer a much needed alternative to the humiliation of being a pedestrian, cyclist or mass transit user in a culture that favors the minority…those who drive. Really, stop for a minute and imagine waiting for a bus in all weather, all year. Some people could and will make the shift to biking. They will improve their health, commute and they will save money. My family saves about $3,000 a year by bike commuting.

Sadly, I know that this opposition to the redesign, which includes commercial zoning, daylighting and shortened crossing distances will boil down to whether the community wants to prioritize parking spots. It sickens me.

There have been years of hard work and showing up that have made Queens a Vision Zero leader. All along the road and in every community board, there have been obstentious plays by residents whose only motive is to secure a parking spot they are willing to circle a neighborhood for an hour to get. We would all be better served if that community came up with solutions; limit the number of ride-share vehicles, make them pay for overnight parking if they have a TLC license. Lobby to get rid of cars who have out of state registration. Try for neighborhood permit parking. Improve mass-transit and Access-a-Ride so that they are viable options for those who need them.
We’ve all failed if this becomes a “Bike Lanes vs. Parking Spots” debate.

After Noshat Nahian was killed, Council Member Van Bramer said, “We have much work to do to make certain this never happens again and I am committed to a world where Vision Zero is a reality.” To that end, he worked with DOT on the entire tool kit of what was available and needed. He worked with a multi-agency task force, as noted in a Queens Gazette article from April 9th, 2014. It stated that the modifications at P.S. 152 were
“the first to be implemented under Mayor Bill De Blasio’s “Vision Zero” traffic safety plan, and will take place at 61st Street and Northern Boulevard, including the installation of two pedestrian safety islands to create safer pedestrian crossings, modified traffic signal times to give pedestrians maximum time to cross the six-lane highway, “School” markings on all crosswalks and additional school crossing guards.

Motorists will no longer be able to make left-turns from Northern Boulevard onto 61st Street, and officials at the city Department of Transportation (DOT) have already eliminated 40-feet of parking spaces on 61st Street to provide added visibility for motorists turning left onto Northern Boulevard.

Both P.S. 11, and bike advocates have a leader in our council member.
We can not delay the DOT plan, nor can we distract from the important life saving measures so desperately needed. The tweeter who wrote of spilling blood isn’t the first one I’ve heard. It’s a very real thing for a cyclist to imagine themselves killed or their loved ones, or any New Yorker who has a right to safe streets and the predictability of returning home safety at the end of a work shift.But many are killed our streets by no fault of their own.
Let’s move on, folks. Some readers may like to argue but I think all of us who’ve been fighting for safe streets would simply like to be effective and see changes before the next fatality happens.




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LIC Neighbor

Since the bike lanes are in sunnyside near JVB’s home in Sunnyside Gardens he does not support it, he makes believe he does and it’s all about parking spots. Bike lanes protect the lives of cyclists and should be put in place immediately.Now to homeless shelters, JVB does not care about us on this side of the blvd, since the shelters are in Blissville he could care less. We need to remember this when we go to the polls and he runs for Queens Borough President. He’s an awful councilman and representative of our community. He’s rallying today against a high rise on 44th Drive in Vernon Blvd, but why not rally against these homeless shelters??? We the homeowners on the fringes of LIC are forgotten and now have to deal with hundreds of homeless many who are parolee’s released from State Prison’s who call homeless shelters home. How many of these are sex offenders? How many of these criminals are registered on the database and living in our community? How can you justify paying more than $5000 per month for a flea bad room in a homeless hotel? That’s more than what I pay for my mortgage, property tax, property insurance, clothing, utilities and groceries per month for a family of four!!! Let’s fight for safe streets for cysclists, safe neighborhoods for our families, and shut down of homeless shelters in our neighborhood and go after the corrupt public officials, the Mayor, his friends who own the Not-for-Profits, the Hotel Owners who are profiteering on the backs of minorities mainly blacks and hispanics individuals and families who occupy these shelters.




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Anonymous

Please put a character limit so this one can’t go on and on and on and on and on and on …………get it?




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Gersh Kuntzman

I’ve been a journalist for more than 25 years and I’ve rarely seen an article so slanted, biased and thinly reported. “Threatened” by a cyclist? If Van Bremer feels threatened by a tweet, he should get a new line of work.

Bicyclists and pedestrians DIE under the wheels of cars and trucks. Let’s not lose sight of that. Van Bremer supported the Skillman proposal until he decided he wanted to be borough president and could no longer be seen as being associated with car opponents (whom we on two legs or two wheels call safety advocates). And now he hides behind the fake school safety issue. THEY ARE ONE AND THE SAME ISSUES: Make Skillman safer.




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Neziah Bliss

This seems simple to me, and I understand where JVB stands. He supports the bike lanes- hell he proposed them and his husband I believe is connected to them (or so it was said on these comment pages- could be fake news). But as the idea was launched there was a ton of push back. I am in the area of the lanes, and I know there was a TON of push back. There was supposed to be a public hearing – and it was delayed. You can say this is dishonest politics, but I see it as a man listening to the loud roar of anger and waiting it out to see where people stand long term. He’ll see where to tide turns, and you as an advocate on either side will determine that. I am for the bike lanes as I think it makes sense in 2018 and the way the future is headed- but I understand the anger from people who have and need cars in the neighborhood and have a daily parking headache. There is no universally good answer. The louder and more persistent side will win. Threatening to throw blood on him is not a great way to persuade someone who is fundamentally already on your side. And the anger and accusations I see coming from the car owners on this site on the regular is pretty disgusting against someone who actually listens to you. Call me a JVB fanboy, but sometimes I think Sunnyside doesn’t know how good we have it with a politician like him. You need to push, but you also need to listen, and I think he’s doing a good job at that. This being the Sunnyside Post, I fully expect my nuanced view to be ripped apart, but screw it.




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David P

I am an avid cyclist and in the summer I commute by bicycle 8 miles each way from Sunnyside to City Hall. I start my journey on Skillman and return on 43 ave.

I am completely opposed to this idea of a dedicated bike lane on both these streets. They will be a complete waste of money and will not help a single cyclist. All you have to do is bike up 6th avenue or up 1st avenue in Manhattan to understand why these lanes are such a waster of space – at every intersection cars necessarily must turn into your lane. I challenge anyone to bike down one of these lanes and NOT come across a car cutting you off or a delivery or taxi vehicle obstructing your path, not to mention oblivious pedestrians.

This is not a solution to bicycle safety, it will cost a lot of money and be extremely disruptive to commerce in Sunnyside especially on Skillman avenue, which is the heart of Sunnyside-North. Parking for cars has been getting worse every year, and taking away more spots will harm local businesses and residents (a large proportion of whom have children and need their car to get around Queens and the tri-state area).

It sounds like a good idea to “protect cyclists”, but the result is little to no protection and a huge disruption at great expense.




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Angela Stach

While intersections are indeed a problem, official crash stats contradict your assessment. A study of the impact of 8 different protected bikelane projects in Manhattan shows that cyclist injury risk decreased significantly while cyclist volume increased dramatically. Take the 9th Ave project: -56% reduction in injuries to all street users, incl. -29% reduction in injuries to pedestrians and -57% reduction in injuries to cyclists and, all while cyclist volume increased dramatically by +65%). And here’s the kicker for all the business owners: the project also yielded a 47% increase in retail sales along the protected bikelane (one of several reports: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2012-10-measuring-the-street.pdf)

Nevertheless, the risk of “mixing zones” you discuss is real. But the solution is quite simple: implement the new intersection design that the NYCDOT has already installed on several streets across the city that have protected bikelanes. Rather than providing a high-speed off-ramp, the new design slows down car drivers when making a 90-degree turn and makes it more likely that they see and respect the right of way of crossing pedestrians and cyclists. And here’s
another kicker: this design requires about a third fewer parking spaces to be removed.




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Bob

I’ve been cycling up 6th Avenue since before the bike lane was installed and I can assure you that it is a huge improvement, even though I’m used to biking without infrastructure, having done so for 20 years in several cities, including some that are much worse than New York in terms of traffic and infrastructure.

Yes, you can be cut off at a mixing zone. But without the bike lane, you can be cut off anywhere, you need to worry about car doors, drivers suddenly leaving parking spots, and drivers tailgating you and honking at you when you take the lane to avoid the dooring hazard.




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Brian Howald

Safety advocates are frustrated because both the Council Member and the Community Board vowed to make 43rd & Skillman Avenues safer when Mr. Reyes was killed at 39th Street & 43rd Avenues last year, followed by the critical injury to another cyclist by a drunk driver at that location the following week.

Sunnyside residents are no less deserving of safe streets than those who live in Woodside, Jackson Heights, Rego Park, etc. who have already received safer streets.

Those charged with advocating for our safety demanded a safety plan, got one, then balked when saving lives meant removing some parking.

Backpedaling from a plan that will save lives and prevent injuries because it might cost some parking disappoints us all.




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Carbie Barbie

I support protected bike lines, but as for the person who wrote that tweet, “what a dick.”




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I demand safety too

The streets belong to everyone, not just cars. Not sure why parents are against calming traffic; which bike lanes do. Disappointed in van bramer – seems like he is throwing bike advocates under the bus. I’m sure it has nothing to do with having t0 please eastern queens car folk for his born prez run 🙁




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midway

Do pedestrians count? They seem to be forgotton in those protect by lanes, who protects the people trying to walk.




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N.T.ComeFindMe

In the outer boroughs, the roads were designed for cars, not for bicycles. Just like the eco-terrorists, and militant sjw movement, these “bicycle advocates” are cut from the same cloth.




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JarekFA

Sorry, I was the original tweeter. You can contact me first before writing an article. In hindsight I would’ve used softer language or not tweeted that at all.

But I think it takes an extremely disingenuous reading of my tweet to suggest that I’d disrupt some parade or what not when it’s quite clear I was talking about the press conference over the next person who dies. It’s also disingenuous to imply that me, anonymous tweeter, is a representative of TransAlt [disclosure, I am a member]. He stood shoulder to shoulder with the family of Gelacio Reyes and literally said we cannot wait months for safety improvements and now he seems to have backtracked on that. So that’s why I was so angry because no family should have to endure what the Reyes family did and delaying safety improvements makes it so much more likely there’ll be another family have to endure it. In my case, I never met my maternal grandparents because they were killed by traffic violence, a loss, I’ve only started to appreciate now that I have a family of my own.




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Grow up

That’s what you get for not thinking before you write something. You’re upset because you got called out on your petulance and violence.




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Brian johnson

WTF are you on about ,have you seen the way cyclists go through a red light narrowly missing little kids crossing the road.




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LIC Neighbor

Don’t apologize! He’s a public official and He’s a big boy and should be able to handle it.




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Wolfsbane

Killed by traffic violence? Bwhahahahhaha! Bullshit mental defective hysterical rhetoric!




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Alice G

Amazing that a few heated tweets can cause this much outrage, but the unnecessary death of New Yorkers by the thousands does not.




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Gman

Why don’t the bicyclists who want these protected bike lanes obey the laws so there would be no need of protected bike lanes. 99% of bike riders do as they please. One of the people who was killed was going the wrong way and through a red light. These protected bike lanes are a hindrance to pedestrians, motor vehicle operators and businesses. Bike riders and advocates contribute very little to the coffers of New York City and they continue with the lie that motor vehicle operators don’t contribute their fair share to street repairs

It’s a fact that motor vehicle operators contribute almost 5 billion dollars to the economy of New York State and City. It’s time to stop trying to eliminate motor vehicles from the city or New York and realize that most people especially senior citizens, of which I am one, don’t ride bikes and choose not to.

How many children and Senior Citizens have to be injured by bike riders who don’t obey the law before they are no longer able to ride without any consequence for their actions. Bike riders need to be more responsible.




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David

Who are these people constantly getting run over by bicycles? Are they just standing in the middle of the street. I have lived my whole life in the city and not once have I been run over by a bike. Granted, there are bikes that run through lights and stoplights. Cars do this as well. No matter what, I look when I cross a street and if a car or bike or whatever is coming along, I don’t step out in front of it. I will counter your argument, and say 99% of people getting hit by bikes are foolishly standing in the front of traffic.




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midway

I have litterly had to jump out the way of a biker going 20mph through a red light, the kind with bike symbol. I had one whip around the corner going the wrong the wrong way and come three inches from hitting me. The was another one that barreled at me on the corner of 42nd st and 1ave through a red light and when I confronted him he tried to yell at me it was legal for him to run the red light. On was riding roughly 15mph on my sidewalk in front of my house (I don’t live on a busy street) and came less than a foot from my cat. If had hit her we would have had a dead biker, cause honstly I would have lost it. There are many more instance many of which were close calls on the sidwalk, but it would be a book. It has been since January 11th of 2017 since I went out without seeing a biker violations and I avergage 10+ when I go into manahattan. I should have to feel like am I going to have to dodge out the way when I step of outside when I am following the traffic signals.




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Wolfsbane

It usually happens when they clip a pedestrian in a crosswalk while the bicyclist is speeding through a turn.




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Josh

Do you have any sources to back up your assertions? The reality is that pedestrians and cyclists contribute more than their fair share to road projects. The gas tax is the only motor vehicle specific source of revenue for road projects, and it is not enough to cover all road maintainance. Tolls not included because they go for specific infrastructure alone and can be avoided by most drivers. Other fees that drivers pay, such as registration, only go to DMV administrative expenses. Insurance goes to a private company, not roads. Highways and roadways are maintained in large portion by general funds which come from sales tax, property tax, and income tax, which affects drivers and non drivers alike.

There are cyclists who ride very unsafely. This is indisputable. But there are also pedestrians who cross the street in a very unsafe manner as well. Do we refuse to provide sidewalks because people jaywalk? To counter Midway’s comment, I have yet to go a single day in NYC where I did not see a driver run a red light. So should streets be taken away from drivers? (Yes, I realize there are some fringe people who would like to see the automobile completely eliminated from all city streets- but let’s be real.)

Disclosure: I am a car owner who parks on the street in these “disappearing” parking spaces.




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Jason

The message reads as throwing the blood of the next bicyclist who dies at Van Bramer, not actually assaulting him. It’s a heated reaction, nothing more.




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Anonymous

Mr. JVB just loves the attention that he is getting now — this is his thing –




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Anon

Read it again. It absolutely calls for assaulting the councilman. Throw fake or real blood on him is not a metaphor. I think JVB got his feelings so hurt by the tweet because of how much he usually panders to this group.




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Anon

The fact that it is a political stunt does not negate the fact that it is an assault.




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