You are reading

Watch: Sunnysiders Have Plenty to Say About 39th Avenue Bike Boulevard

Barnett Avenue at 45th Street, Sept. 22, 2021 (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Sept. 24, 2021 By Michael Dorgan and Christian Murray

The NYC Dept. of Transportation is currently installing a bike boulevard on 39th Avenue in Sunnyside.

The QUEENS POST visited 39th Avenue on Wednesday and spoke to several people at random about the plan. The people interviewed happened to be either walking or riding their bikes in the area at the time.

The plan is complex and many portions of 39th Avenue and Barnett Avenue have been converted into one-way zones in recent days. The change has created space for the installation of a protected bicycle lane—which had yet to be constructed at the time of the interviews.

The overall street redesign, however, had gone into effect. For instance, the stretch on 39th Avenue between 45th and 47th streets (previously two-way) is now a one-way street going west. The DOT has also converted 39th Avenue from Woodside Avenue to 52nd Street into a one-way zone—westbound.

The plan has also seen Barnett Avenue—between 45th and 48th streets—converted into a one-way street going east. That section of Barnett Avenue was previously a narrow two-way street.

Most of the people who were interviewed—whether they be motorists, cyclists or pedestrians— were confused by the workings of the plan, and some wondered whether there was a need for such a major overhaul.

We urge readers to listen to the interviews and draw their own conclusions as to how the plan has been received. However, there were several themes that residents raised.

Many residents wondered why the DOT had to produce such a complex plan. Some said the addition of stop signs, traffic signals, speed bumps or crosswalks along 39th Avenue would have been enough to reduce speeding and make the strip safer. They questioned the need for such a major change.

Some said they didn’t see a need for a bike boulevard when there are protected bicycle lanes on Skillman Avenue and 43rd Avenue. Others argued that they now have to drive farther to get in and out of the area—which undermines the environmental upside to the plan.

Others were upset that parking spaces have been lost, despite the DOT saying that none would be removed when the plan was first announced.

Nevertheless, many people have praised the installation of new crosswalks for added safety along the boulevard.

The DOT acknowledged Friday that some spaces were being lost—although the agency said the number was minimal.

The agency, in a statement Friday, addressed some of the concerns and questions raised by residents. The full statement reads as follows:

“The Bike Boulevard on 39th Avenue will improve connections for cyclists traveling between Sunnyside, Woodside, and Jackson Heights — in particular from the 34th Avenue Open Street to protected bike lanes on Skillman and 43rd Avenues leading to and from the Queensboro Bridge. The design also includes pedestrian safety improvements and elements to reduce speeding and discourage cut-through traffic on this neighborhood street, without negatively affecting traffic patterns in the neighborhood. The project, which received a vote of support from the local Community Board, requires minimal parking loss (at most 3 spots per block in an 8 block area) for the safety design to proceed, while also including features to accommodate emergency vehicles. We will continue to monitor this area closely following implementation.”

The plan, which was conceptually announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio in May, has the backing of Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer. The council, however, never actually voted on it.

Community Board 2 voted 21-11 in support of the plan in June.

At the June community board meeting—held via Zoom—more than 20 people provided public comment on the plan, with the vast majority in support of it. Many of the supporters said they were cyclists who lived on 39th Avenue and said the stretch needed to be safer.

Part of the 39th Avenue Bike Boulevard plan includes converting segments of 39th and Barnett avenues into one-way zones (DOT presentation)

Part of the 39th Avenue Bike Boulevard plan includes converting segments of 39th and Barnett avenues into one-way zones (DOT presentation)

The DOT, when it presented the plan to the community board, said that the one-way streets would reduce the number of motorists using 39th Avenue as a through-street. The agency said many drivers were using 39th Avenue as a corridor and that the changes would help prevent speeding.

The conversion, the agency also noted, would free up space for the DOT to add a protected bicycle lane on 39th Avenue and pedestrian infrastructure. The bike lane, the DOT noted, would also provide a link to Jackson Heights at a time when Citi Bike is about to expand into Sunnyside.

Many residents this week said that they were completely unaware that the bike boulevard was coming until construction began. Most are struggling to comprehend the changes.

But many are hopeful that it will lead to increased safety once residents get used to the change. Others were less confident.


39th Avenue and 45th Street, Sept. 22, 2021 (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

New road markings have been going down on Barnett Avenue approaching 39th Avenue, pictured on Sept. 22, 2021 (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

New road markings have been going down on 39th Avenue, pictured, near 50th Street on Sept. 22, 2021 (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

Sign posts at the intersection of 50th Street and 39th Avenue, pictured on Sept. 22, 2021 (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

New crosswalk paintings have gone down at the intersection between 50th Street and 39th Avenue, pictured on Sept. 22, 2021 (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

A car makes a left turn onto Barnett Avenue from 39th Avenue, pictured on Sept. 22, 2021 (Photo by Michael Dorgan, Queens Post)

email the author: [email protected]

152 Comments

Click for Comments 
Erik Baard

The most hilarious and revealing moment was when Novak fails to see the minivan breaking the law because he is fixated on a bicycle. The new bike boulevard likely needs a redesign, but such hysterical attacks and demands as his only undermine legitimate calls for reform.

Reply
RIP oldNY

All i have to say is this is the craziest thing i seen in my lifetime it makes no sense and will cause more vehicle/bike accidents. And god forbid there is ever a huge fire or accident in sunny side it will take first responders more time to get to any emergency.

Reply
Lynn Hunt

It is about Comrade DeBlasio’s and other Progressives’ (like Van Bramer) desire to eliminate fossil fuels and create a Green utopia. It doesn’t matter how stupid or inconvenient the plan. They are not concerned with the fact that they are creating additional hardships on people that have to live and work in this city. I don’t know who at the DOT designed 39th Ave, but they should be FIRED IMMEDIATLY. Confusing and dangerous. It’s not just 39th Ave. Can somebody please tell me why 1/4 – 1/2 of blocks on Skillman are No Standings? Additionally, I hardly every see anyone in the Bike Lanes (also poorly designed) – complete waste of Taxpayer money. Usually, it’s the food delivery guys and they’re using scooters. Half the time they’re in car lanes. Ridiculous.

Reply
Anonymous

Regardless of position regarding 39th Avenue, I do not understand why the fire trucks continue to go on 39th Avenue to Woodside Avenue against the traffic now that it is one single lane. There is going to be a head-on collision and if the car wants to go to the side with the fire truck heading straight towards them there is no place to pull over. This fire house continues to endanger the public with the parking illegally on 51 Street and now this. I agree that 39th Avenue change is terrible! But, the fire trucks going the wrong on a single lane one way avenue will cause somebody their life in the car or fire truck or stuck in traffic trying to get to the place they are heading to.

4
8
Reply
Jon luvs old my

You idiot its not about endangering the public the fire trucks can’t make the turn so they have to take the one way. God forbid theres a big fire in Sunnyside many lives will be lost do to those bike lanes and the fact the first responders wont be able to get to you fast enough

Reply
somanydoltsaround

Cannot wait to see the shit show during snow storm. Very poorly planned and executed. Not many bicyclist ride through there anyway. A big FU to residents and kiss your deliveries goodbye! (more items will be “lost”/stolen- now, go pick up at some joint the driver decide to leave package at). Total moronic inconvenience to all. Should have just put cross walks and stop lights.

21
3
Reply
Reilly P Isstoff

It’s really counterproductive and polarizing to a neighborhood that once was a great place to live. The “Protected Bike Lanes” haven’t helped local businesses recover, they have made deliveries more difficult and frustrated local residents. Street parking wasn’t easy before any of this and now it creates more problems and traffic congestion while residents must spend even more time looking for street parking. The Bicyclists are less visible to motorists as are pedestrians and the electric delivery bicycles and scooters pay no attention to traffic signs or signals.
Jimmy Van Bramer and the DeBlasio/Trottenberg Cabal have created a Frankenstein Monster that has polarized our neighborhood.

19
3
Reply
Tom from Woodside

Let’s make one thing perfectly clear about the new plan put in place by the DOT: None of this is going to make things safer. Confuse drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians by changing
traffic patterns from block to block and accidents WILL happen.

If, as the DOT proposal suggests, “unclear vehicular movements” were a problem before, they will be even more so now!

20
3
Reply
Henry

I access 39th Drive, where we live, via 52nd Street. You can only access 52nd Street which is one way going south from 39th Ave going west from Woodside Ave to 52nd Street. It takes a great deal of driving in a roundabout route to get to 52nd and 39th Drive. Of, course you can access 39th Drive from 54th Street but that requires you to be on Roosevelt Ave and there is never a good driving experience on Roosevelt Ave. In short, the plan is poorly designed and does not take into consideration the ppl living on 39th Drive which is home to 800 families-two 400 family buildings. Thoughtless planning. Thanks to JVB, so glad to see you go from the City Counsel.

16
3
Reply
Scooter McLeish

There are plenty of ways you can get home that you’re not listing here. What you’re complaining about is traffic. Car traffic. And you are the car traffic.

The Bike Blvd is a solution to car traffic. And if it were easy for cars to use, it would not be a great solution.

If you must drive your car all the time, you should advocate for more transportation alternatives so people don’t have to rely on cars to get places. Then there will be less car traffic.

5
14
Reply
U.R. Ronge

I just read figures the city put out saying 45% of NYers have cars while 17% ride bikes more than twice a week. Check your facts.

11
2
Reply
Bikeboy

55% is a majority. How often do the 45% who have cars use their cars? More than twice a week? And I see those numbers, too. They are heavily skewed by Staten Island and the far out suburban borders of the city, where there are few alternatives to driving.

The reality is the closer you live to Manhattan, the harder it’s going to become to be a car owner. Because it’s got to be easier to be someone who doesn’t have a car.

6
6
Reply
Gardens Watcher

Or kids? Or elderly parents? Maybe one day you will, and they won’t all fit on a bike.

12
2
Reply
43rd & 43rd

If only the city had some form of cars for hire, so that you didn’t need to own a car for 24 hours a day when you only use it for 30 minutes a day.

Well, maybe someday…

3
4
Reply
Gardens Watcher

Maybe someday those who don’t own a car would stop lecturing others how to live their lives here.

10
1
Reply
Anonymous

Hey Phipps Tenants, every time you are circling the block and zig zaging blocks out of your way looking for a parking spot at night, think of your neighbor Julie Won who lied to you about losing parking spots in this project. And, whenever you think you found a spot and see the red No Standing Zone arrow, remember that your neighbor lied to you with her vote and will do it again. Her character has been exposed before she even wins an election. Some neighbor. Wish she never moved into City Council District 26. She is 100% accountable for her vote.

31
4
Reply
Lifer

I donated to JVB and his husband’s movie. I wonder if I can ask for refunds? They both make way more than I do.

35
2
Reply
Team Julie

Folks: Julie Won won the primary handily and here’s a newsflash: she promoted bike use and micro-mobility at every opportunity. As did runner up Amit Bagga. The people have spoken, and we’ve very sorry that the Queens Streets For All candidates Brent and Denise didn’t bring the result you had hoped for. This election result was clear. Julie will run for re-election in 2 years, and win, and she’ll beat pro-parking candidates all over again.

18
50
Reply
I. Amy Wright

Well, she is nowhere to be found now, is she?

She can come and face her neighbors at the next Phipps Tenant’s Association meeting, unless she ducks out and moves down to LIC where her voters were. Your tone is hopelessly antagonistic and snide. If you represent her and her outlook, she is even worse than JVB. She is as faithless and opportunistic as her predecessor and will be just as widely disparaged.

I hope she enjoys living in a war zone, because that is what she and her cycling scofflaw constituents have created in what was once a quiet, peaceful neighborhood.

Funny I’ve been watching futuristic movies all my life. None of them ever envisioned a future city full of people on bikes. Artists, not traffic engineers nor petty politicians are the visionaries. I don’t foresee many people hopping on bikes to ride miles and miles every day to conduct their business. The city has engineered commerce here for cars.

52
14
Reply
Won has not won.

thank you, for writing this: there is this thing called elections; I know Julie Won and her “supporters” would like to abolish them but people must come out and vote for her opponent, a man of common sense. The Won woman will probably leave the neighborhood after a few years as all the self-entitled hipsters do, after they have damaged us.

29
4
Reply
Brendan

Ah, yes, the “man of common sense” who thinks that horse de-wormers should be used to treat humans for covid.

2
5
Reply
bikes to ride miles and miles every day to conduct their business.

miles & miles

:: Work From Home
:: Lunch at Skillman Streateries

3
1
Reply
Anonymous

Amy, you’re a pretty good writer. I disagree with you, but that doesn’t change the fact you’re very readable! Onward we go.

1
2
Reply
Failure to accept reality

It’s almost as if the vocal minority against bike lanes don’t realize they are indeed the minority. And Brent definitely has not accepted this latest defeat, he still posts on his campaign page as if he won!

14
28
Reply
Anonymous

Best part of the comment is that if she wins it will be two years instead of four years! If she wins, there is hope in 2024 she will voted out. Anytime she speaks, everyone will need to use their cellphones videotaped her comments at any public event or zoom, because she has proven with 39th Avenue that she lies to the public on issues.

12
2
Reply
K.

But bikes are just as dangerous.

People need to mind their children and not treat the street as if it’s another playground. Oh wait… Nevermind.

27
3
Reply
Streets were made for horses

Children get killed in crosswalks and on sidewalks. Cyclists get killed in so-called bike lanes. And bikes aren’t killing people.

1
2
Reply
Anonymous

Running a red light and getting hit be a car does not a murder make. Come down off your cross bike boy. Your cause is not safety but your own convenience and self aggrandizement.

31
4
Reply
I. Amy Wright

When you can tell me the number of vehicles that kill people drive through the city and the number of deaths of children and cyclists, not adult pedestrians, it seems, I will consider your opinion. As far as I know the numbers are not statistically huge.

9
4
Reply
Leisure Suit Larry

You keep telling people to show you statistics and facts. Why can’t you look it up? Are you driving a car right now?

2
6
Reply
She shouldn't

People should be putting their money where their mouths are.

You have a point to make, PROVE it.

Anonymous

What a mess n u would think a marathon of bikes utilized the area constantly. A cluster of nonsense, a waste of $, to create useless lanes that divert traffic for a few bikes.

40
11
Reply
Vojin

Rich part of the neighborhood got service road. That’s what happened under the title -Bike Boulevard. If it was about bike riders they would provide consistent protected bike lane. Only consistent message at 39th Avenue is – don’t drive cars over here. Are we gonna do this on a south side as well? Prove me wrong by making new public space on 45th Street & 39th Avenue useful for whole neighborhood. More public spaces is desperately needed in the neighborhood.
By now we know that Progressives are just a fancy word for- let’s pretend to be Social Democrats, so Conservative/Democratic party looks more appealing to naive.

19
7
Reply
Reilly

This project began with an Open Street that was carried entirely by volunteers who lived in the neighborhood. It was a challenge every minute to get cars to observe the posted rules so that we may enjoy the Open Street.

Many attempts were made to work with other parts of Sunnyside, including south of Queens Blvd., to create and maintain Open Streets there but there wasn’t enough of a local grassroots effort to get it going. If you truly want this, apply for an Open Street where you are. Find a group of people to help maintain it.

If you want more pedestrian space in Sunnyside, the Skillman Avenue Open Street needs volunteers to move barricades. The more people join to help and advocate, the sooner we’ll see street space turn into public space for the Greenmarket, festivals, recreation, and play. They can be contacted at https://www.swopenstreets.com/

10
5
Reply
I. Amy Wright

What exactly are you saying? You make arguments without checking facts first? What the heck is a bike Karen?

1
7
Reply
Reilly

A Karen is an entitled woman that get their panties in a bunch over nonsense because of their fragile hurt feelings. A bike Karen is an entitled woman who gets their feelings hurt over a bike lane. Take a look in the mirror one day and maybe sort out your underwear situation.

1
2
Reply
Reilly No. 1

A-ha, now I see why it’s better to be anonymous here. I am the Reilly who made the first reply, and you are a different Reilly altogether. Let’s switch to neighborhood nicknames.

Neighbor

The “rich part of the neighborhood” didn’t want a service road. And bike riders already had protected bike lanes. Massive ones, and it has definitely brought more bicycles to the road, and that is a good things. Bus as for 39th avenue, politicians all got feathers in their caps, that’s all that happened. Now drivers, and there are still a good number, in their own neighborhoods, are forced onto Roosevelt and Northern Blvd, in some cases, just to go a few blocks within Sunnyside gardens. I

2
1
Reply
patret

The houses that face the future “public space” on 45th and 39th Ave, will be subjected to noise day and night. How long before people start “hanging out”, drinking or whatever? Property values diminishing for them.

Reply
Anonymous

Nothing made me happier today than to receive my November Absentee Ballot in the mail and to vote against Julie Won, who voted YES and deceived the voting residents of Sunnyside & Woodside regarding not losing parking spots, when there are No Standing Zones all over 39th Avenue this past week. Bad timing Julie to deceive the voters. We have already figured out by your vote on CB2 and the promise of no loss of parking sparking spots that you are no better than Van Bramer when it comes to character.

42
7
Reply
Delivery!

More street painting is in the works and it looks like 39th Avenue between 51st & 50th Streets will be one lane for vehicles. How will businesses there from Donatos to Sunnyside Deli get deliveries?

28
8
Reply
Hamsterman

How do businesses on every one-way street in NYC get deliveries? Park somewhere nearby and hand-truck the goods over.

The urban design solution is to create loading zones in the parking lane, and for deliveries to be made on smaller vehicles. Like a cargo bike, perhaps?

8
21
Reply
Kate

Unless they are going to start requiring bike registration and tags like they do in other bike heavy cities this will end up creating more issues. The amount of times I see bikers not following the rules, putting people, cars and themselves in danger is terrible. There is no accountability to those riding the bikes and that needs to change. They need to ticket them just like they would ticket a car for running a red light!! These changes to the street direction are not going to make that big of a difference. Its 3 blocks that they changed to one way. And all they did was create more traffic on 48th as people try to turn around and get down their streets…..

48
11
Reply
David B. Smith

There are very few cities in America that require bikes to be registered, fewer than 1%. Honolulu is one of them and it’s costing them a lot of money and they’re not getting a lot in return.

3
6
Reply
blackfootlion

Well NYC should figure it out and lead the way. What does Honolulu know? And no one who maintains a car and pays for the right to drive on NYS streets should be at the mercy of freeloading scofflaw cyclists who ride right into their cars! Nor should pedestrians have to pay for necessary medical care. Cyclists take no responsibility for their own physical safety, fine, but you sure as heck must be made to be responsible for damage you and your vehicle cause. What kind of person are you, a child?

18
5
Reply
Dude

Actually, I guess I’m a bit guilty of the same villainy because I get pretty excited to read about heavy rains demolishing our fragile subway and reports of the MTA’s financial ruin. The whole system should be struck, rebuilt and turned over to a private contractor.

7
8
Reply
Lic direct

What a mess!!! I was driving trying to get to Woodside Friday late afternoon and was thrown in to a loop, especially since the new pattern reduces traffic in JVB’s neighborhood, up one street down another had to go under the 7 line to get to my destination. What a mess.

37
4
Reply
David B. Smith

There are very few cities in America that require bikes to be registered, fewer than 1%. Honolulu is one of them and it’s costing them a lot of money and they’re not getting a lot in return.

2
8
Reply
Reilly Owens

The Bike Boulevard is wonderful. But so many of my neighbors find it confusing because it’s not simply a bike lane or some crosswalks. It represents so much more than street changes. It encompasses the past and the future, all the work by advocacy orgs and political decisions about where the city needs to go.

It requires some citizens to give up something so that other citizens can gain something essential. It was a difficult project because it’s hard to see why this exact infrastructure is built in this exact place without looking toward a future where this infrastructure exists in more places.

In essence, the city needs Bike Boulevards because it needs more bikes and more safety and fewer cars and this was a great first place to put one. The future of the city is fewer cars (bike lanes and boulevards, bus lanes, congestion pricing, reduced parking, more plazas, Open Streets, car-free neighborhoods). How can we explain that to people who don’t want to see the need for it?

DOT may have leaned too hard into “This is not a Bike Boulevard so much as it is traffic calming.” It is a Bike Boulevard, a street that prioritizes bikes over cars (the only one in Queens!) and that means drivers are gonna have a tough time.

20
51
Reply
neighbor

The fact that it is inconvenient may give some local drivers pause before heading to queens blvd to pick up groceries, but it will do little to really cut down on traffic. My biggest objection is that it increases local traffic, at whatever speed, calmly or otherwise, which increases the neighborhood’s overall carbon footprint, and thus defeats the ecological edge of encouraging bicycles.

19
3
Reply
Reilly

This is part of a grander project to make bicycling safer and more convenient for everybody and to make driving more inconvenient. NYC must move forward and quickly to eliminate as much reliance on cars as possible. A key first step for that is protected bike lanes and connected bike networks, which this design accomplishes.

11
28
Reply
Alp Baturay

Wouldn’t an ALL serving public transportation system be a more logical first step? Wouldn’t allowing everyone, not just those physically capable of riding bikes, a means to avoid cars be the right first step?

Reply
Sicko Yoo

Bicycles are only “Ableist” methods of transportation. They don’t help Seniors or the Disabled. Do you really feel justified in using “Ableist” arguments?

5
1
Reply
Sunnyside Bill

Anything that reduces car traffic in our community is a plus. Most NYC drivers can’t be trusted to drive safely and observed posted speed limit signs, stop signs, etc etc etc. Makes sense as you need little more than a pulse to get a license.

Plenty of public transport options if you need to get in/out of Sunnyside. If you want car culture move to the suburbs.

Boohoo sorry you lose a few parking spots, maybe don’t expect taxpayers to subsidize your parking which you should have no expectation to in a cramped city.

19
52
Reply
I Amy Wright

It gets worse every day. Now cars are parking in the middle of the street. There are nowhere near enough bikes to do this to what was a beautiful neighborhood. Nice way to punish those who’ve spent their lives here, rode the train for 40 years and now don’t have the stamina for it all. I think the city wildly overestimates the number of cyclists that will have the strength to do this. It is a way to rid the city of the old, and fast. To those who scorn people over 50, today me, tomorrow you. Karma is so painful.

51
9
Reply
Carol M

@ Sunnyside Bill, who wants to ride a city bus or the subway? The NYC Ferry system gets you no where. What options are you talking about? I love my car, it gets me everywhere. Everything was fine in NYC until the arrival of all the newbies from Iowa a

47
9
Reply
Blackfootlion

Just an hour ago two men were screaming at each other, nose to nose in the crosswalk beneath my window. One a pedestrian, one a bike. Evidently the pedestrian thought the cyclist should yield to him in the crosswalk and the bicyclist thought he wasn’t gonna hit him so what’s the difference. The air is cracklings with hatred.

30
7
Reply
Skillzman

We need more room for bikes and pedestrians. This is exactly the point! Bikes and pedestrians have to squeeze through while cars are taking up all the spaces…

10
34
Reply
Blackfootliom

Nope. There were no cars parked anywhere near them. There was no one around. They just wanted to be in the same place at the same time and the cyclist ignored the rule that says yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk.

31
1
Reply
Fix It

50th Street is a disaster and will lead to traffic jams every time there is an oil delivery, garbage pick-up, package delivery, etc. on this narrow street. Drivers are forced to turn right regardless of traffic. Today, within five minutes of each of other, we saw an SUV and an electronic scooter squeeze thru the small opening on each end to make illegal turns. Please return this section to as it was.

The crosswalks are great and with some stop signs, speed bumps the traffic would likely have slowed down and been safer. Seems like the new design will lead to people circling around a lot more.

39
2
Reply
Anonymous

I was almost hit by a car who squeezed through at the end part where there r less of those cone things that r stick; up while I was walking.

2
4
Reply
Sandra R

Like many of the individuals in the interviews, I have lived here for over 30 years. I feel it’s time to start looking forward. We can adjust and live with some inconvenience now to benefit kids and their parents who are coming up. For the first time there are crosswalks, and traveling to Sunnyside Gardens Park, Michael Davidson Park, and the new middle school will be much safer. I already see fewer commuter cars and no tractor trailers on 39th. Avenue since the implementation of the plan. Even taking into account extra driving in search of parking, 39th Ave. will have less noise and better air quality. Problems with bike traffic can be worked out.

18
38
Reply
Blackfootlion

Why do you drive to come to a very local private park or the still unbuilt Davidson park? Doesn’t your neighborhood have a park? This is not Central Park, which is for all New Yorkers. There are much bigger parks with lots and lots of space you can drive to. These parks are small.

6
10
Reply
Brendan

You’re right: There should be no private parks in New York City. Let’s make the garden park public too.

16
17
Reply
Dude

If Sunnyside Gardens Park were public, it would look like a public park. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to pay for a park that is free of vagrants, litter, drug accoutrements, etc. There should be more of them for those who value civility.

Reply
Reilly

Why do you assume the the word ‘travel’ means driving a car? People in NYC travel by foot, bike, bus, train, and roller skates. And the cars on the road affect all those forms of travel.

7
3
Reply
Neighbor

What will Barnett Avenue be like when the school at 48th Street open? Will they close that, forcing traffic onto Northern Blvd?

19
1
Reply
rose sullivan

The article states there was a vote of 21-11 in favor. 32 people are not a sufficient amount to decide such changes for the whole community. There was no public announcement or flyers posted anywhere in this area informing residents of the drastic changes that were to come. And calling a meeting and vote during the pandemic where the only option to attend was via Zoom, was unfair to say the least. I say again, 32 people dose not a community make!!

50
6
Reply
Preston Nales

The Community Board didn’t have a say in the matter. The vote had no bearing. The administration was moving ahead anyway. But it was good to get support of the Community Board. Sunnysiders wanted this.

4
15
Reply
I Amy Wright

No, Sunnysiders did not. Where are the people who live here who want this? Do they live on the road? Or on a street off of it? Let them speak up. There was never an accident on 39th Avenue that involved a bike that I ever heard of. Correct me if I am wrong.

9
4
Reply
Reilly Owens

Hi. I live here and I wanted this and advocated for it. Many of my friends in this neighborhood wanted it. Many more of my friends appreciate it now that it’s here.

The point of this Bike Boulevard is not to react to what bike traffic there was on 39th Ave. There was some but not much because cars made it too dangerous for bikes and because 39th was not a connection in the bike network.

The city is building out a huge network of protected bike lanes in order to promote biking and 39th Ave will now serve as a key link from the populous neighborhoods of Woodside and Jackson Heights and beyond to the Skillman Ave bike lane and the Queensboro Bridge.

This Bike Boulevard is also an adaptation of the Open Street that existed here and wa a popular until it was made unsafe by drivers flouting the rules.

8
25
Reply
Reilly Owens

I want to amend my comment to say there has always been a good amount of bike traffic on 39th Avenue, especially when it was an Open Street. But it often goes unnoticed because of how quietly and safely it passes through the neighborhood. Whereas we notice every car and truck.

5
12
I Amy Wright

It was not in the least popular here. There are protected lanes on Skillman and 43rd that connect to other streets by virtue of them all being streets in NYC. You can ride on them and get where you want. There was no need to mutilate 39th Ave.

By the way, where do you and your friends live? Here on 39th Avenue or one of the streets off it? If so, you should have proven to yourself through experience that this street was no more dangerous than any other in the city, and indeed was probably safer than many. Why would you need this particular road to be completely free of traffic to go anywhere? You never cycled from here before and lived to see another day?

Show me some numbers that prove 39th Avenue was so dangerous it had to be part of this network. I don’t think you can, but go ahead and prove me wrong. I have never seen any statistics on 39th Avenue but I’ve lived on it my whole life and never heard of anyone dying on it in a motor vehicle accident.

Cyclists spout TA’s talking points and expect people to believe them. When no one does, they just shout them louder and start insulting people. You guys are full of yourselves.

18
5
Kool

Ha! Pro bike people haven’t got a leg to stand on when complaining about people who don’t follow rules. You like to make them but you sure as the sunrise don’t follow them. Hilarious!

7
2
Michelle Lanceman

A completely inept and needlessly chaotic implemention. This hamfisted change now has traffic snarled and take off main thoroughfares and diverting into onto smaller side streets.

50th St today become backed up up with traffic for example. We already had ample bike lanes but there seems to be some political overfetization with them resulting in their needless proliferation.

Does it need to be pointed out that they are not even usable for almost half the year due to weather conditions. If the “plan” here had a purpose other than simply to make life miserable for anyone using a car while creating more dangerous and confusing traffic conditions it’s not evident.

47
10
Reply
urbo

half the year? do we live in alaska? and do you not see delivery folks who bring food riding in any and all possible conditions?

9
6
Reply
M.J. O'Connor

These changes are totally unnecessary. It does nothing but create unsafe conditions for all using 39th Ave. Cars are forced to use roundabout streets to reach their residences on a previously straight route. The amount of bicycle traffic in this area does not warrant these major and inconvenient changes causing a disruption to the flow of vehicles using 39th Ave on a daily basis to access their homes and/or businesses.

57
8
Reply
Anonymous NYorker

Great post here by the journalist here! I wonder if our elected officials actually read these comments or their staff. It does not matter because at the end of the day they will push their agenda forward, behind closed doors at City Hall the favors are pushed on and the local residents lose all the time! This NYC is really becoming more and more difficult to live and survive it was good that this pandemic occurred to people like myself can realize there are greener pastures outside this city and state! A few more years and I permanently say goodbye to this over rated city & state!

42
4
Reply
Blackfootlion

They knew we would hate it so they decided just to do it and endure the firestorm. Unethical, immature, patronizing, and a pathetic way to govern.

37
3
Reply
Anonymous

There should be an organized march down 39th Avenue calling for the immediate resignation of Van Bramer not to finish his last three months in office and for Julie Won, CB2 Member who voted in favor, to withdraw her candidacy to be out next City Councilperson. They both lied to the voters of Sunnyside and Woodside saying that no parking spots would be lost in this proposal. There are No Standing Zones on every block! They are both untrustworthy in their words and lack of character in their actions to lead the voting residents of this neighborhood.

54
9
Reply
Gardens Watcher

Sorry, but Jeffcoat, the GOP council candidate, has already shown via his previous SSP Op-Ed how unqualified he is for the job.

15
12
Reply
Anonymous

I am a democrat, but I would rather disagree with an honest City Councilperson, than to be lied to. We need change from the Van Bramer style. Julie has shown she is just like him before the election. You can not believe a word she says anymore and she hasn’t even taken office. Any statements by her or positions on issues needs to be scrutinized closely and significantly questioned. You can not take at her word, as evidenced by the No Standing Zones on 39th Avenue which we were promised would not happen. I will vote for the other candidate not to have a person I who has shown that she can not be trusted before she even takes office.

17
1
Reply
"organized march down 39th Avenue" (YES!)

“organized march down 39th Avenue”

Any opportunity to reclaim public space from cars is warranted. People should definitely march walk stroll and frolic on foot down 39th Ave!
Wouldn’t be the first time and shouldn’t be the last.

4
12
Reply
Anonymous

Poor you. almost no one used the Open Street because most of the people who live on it, not all to be sure, have their own back yards. Most people also share a large interior courtyard. Since almost all of 39th Avenue is in Sunnyside Gardens, people also have a park on 39th Avenue. The residents of Phipps have eight, count’em, eight interior gardens they have a right to enjoy. Sorry, that argument is defeated in this particular neighborhood.

And, I never saw any numbers on how popular or unpopular it was. I bet the city didn’t count because this was Authoritarianism from the get go. Don’t use TA’s talking points, they are lame.

You folks say if we want cars we should move to suburbia. Well, if you want green space, move to the country.

11
3
Reply
Skillz man

Traffic is down significantly. Cars are going much slower. It’s much safer and easier to cross the street. Crosswalks are everywhere. Haven’t seen an 18 wheeler all week! Yeah! Cars are not obeying the one way signs. They are deliberating going the wrong way – it’s very dangerous. Signage is all over but they are disregarding the DO NOT ENTER signs.

20
37
Reply
ABoondy

if non-licensed electric vehicles can do it, why not cars? its only fair. nyc is lawless. get used to it. no cops around anyway. they are too busy playing on their phones.

36
6
Reply
For the fifty millionth time

You can hear a car coming. You can’t hear a scooter, little moped or bicycle!!!

25
2
Reply
Sunny For All

the signs say “except bikes” which means bikes can go through. please follow the signs and obey the law. people can get hurt. thank you.

7
4
Reply
Kool

There was an 18-wheeled Budweiser truck, which delivers to our deli and restaurants, stuck on 50th St. at Barnett Avenue. Couldn’t make the left.

6
2
Reply
Robocop

That 18-wheeler was likely using 39th Avenue illegally. There are laws restricting trucks of that size. I’m glad the driver learned their lesson.

4
1
Reply
ABoondy

who is they? i havent seen a cop patrolling for months! also, there needs to be a mandatory licensing and cameras at every stop to thwart any street vehicle from breaking the law, no matter if its a bike or scooter or car. and these vehicles need to be fully insured. dont have the money? dont own a bike then.

35
4
Reply
Dietmar Detering

Sure, we all love shortcuts, and the chaos in the first days has to look bad, because a lot of other people, who don’t live here, also love these shortcuts but had no idea about the changes. Soon, they won’t come here anymore and the chaos, for example at 50th ST and 39th Ave will end. Every driver can still reach every place, and leave every place, and 39th Ave is going to see MUCH less traffic and is going to be safer for everyone. The affected intersections are now also much less hazardous. Just stop thinking of 39th Ave as your shortcut to drive somewhere. The detours won’t add more than two or three minutes per trip. Are we in such a rush that we can’t handle that?

17
27
Reply
Gardens Watcher

Drivers will still use Barnett as an even faster eastbound shortcut to 48th St. now that it’s one-way.

The tall hedges at the southwest corner of 45th St. & Barnett have always blocked the sightline of the eastbound traffic. The new bike lane at that corner is an accident waiting to happen, and will not end well for the biker.

14
1
Reply
Reilly

And how would it end for the child in the crosswalk, whom a car would presumably hit first before reaching the bike lane? We all know cars don’t ever stop at stop signs or crosswalks, as is evident in the backgrounds of the videos in this article.

What you’re asking for is called daylighting, which is removing parking spots at the ends of streets so that drivers and pedestrians and cyclists may see each other before it’s too late. This is why many parking spots were removed on 39th Avenue. Because when we call for public safety, it means the removal and mitigation of automobiles.

4
5
Reply
Gardens Watcher

That SW corner hasn’t had parking spots on 39th Ave. for years. Drivers can see pedestrians crossing at a slow pace. But when a bike, moped or scooter comes flying around that corner, there’s going to be a collision someday.

3
1
Reply
Neighbor

You are probably right about the chaos, Dieter, but the extra time to get from one place to another is more than 10 minutes, not 2 or 3. Thats 10 minutes times multiple cars circling around. They are not going to just disappear because there is a bike boulevard.

17
2
Reply
Brendan

The inconvenience is the point: They are trying to make people hate driving so much they stop all together.

10
9
Reply
Kool

You don’t get it. people don’t drive because they love it. They drive to carry things, to get places public transportation doesn’t go, to give other people rides, to feel safe in a city in which the crime rate is climbing. If they can’t drive people may just not be able to make a living, enjoy life, help neighbors, etc. World over people get themselves private transportation if they can afford it mostly because it makes possible things that are impossible without it.

11
2
Reply
Brendan

Oh, I get it.

I’m just saying the policy of inconvenience for drivers is deliberate. That’s the stated point of the city’s new initiatives.

On the points you raise: Many people agree with you. I don’t. Driving should be rare. The more inconvenient it becomes, the more rare it becomes. That’s what I want.

3
7
Gardens Watcher

Well said, Kool. I do love to drive, but it is a hassle in NYC. I would add that many car owners like me feel safer driving vs. taking public transportation or ride-sharing Ubers, not only because of crime but because of Covid.

Anon

It doesn’t make us hate driving, it makes us hate cyclists. Smug trolls like you add to that animus.

4
2
Reply
Neighbor

10 minutes: I was re-routed all the way to Roosevelt, in one instance, and could not turn left until I reached Woodside Avenue, at 58th street, just to get from my home in the Gardens,
to another block close by. Roosevelt is a got mess on a good day, before all this. The other option took me to Northern Blvd, via 48th street. Need I say more?

Reply
Blackfootlion

Van Bramer did not renew the membership of many highly respected, hard-worked, skilled and much valued members of the community board and appointed people who know absolutely nothing about this neighborhood, but who adore bikes. He had the power and he betrayed the trust of people who elected him three times. Then, they pushed this nightmare of a street plan onto our backs. His third term was won by a wrinkle in the law and has been horrible ever since.

43
3
Reply
Marianne F

Changes are horrific. No bettermenr…mass confusion and disregard to those who utilize the streets in that area.

36
6
Reply
Alex

This is the worst idea have lived in this neighborhood 30 years never have I see such a idiotic idea will be putting in a complaint

67
12
Reply
Kool

Anonimty is one thing, but like other cowards on this website you feel entitled to insult and try to demean a named individual without showing who you are. You aren’t even on the level of a slug, everyone knows they are slimy, you probably hold your head high when you should feel deep shame. No integrity, no honor.

4
1
Reply
Anonymous

The Mayor, Van Bramer, and CB2 all lied to the public. They said no loss of parking. There are so many new NO STANDING ZONES added along 39th Avenue! Untrustworthy individuals. Never believe another word that comes out of their mouths ever on any future topic or position.

69
7
Reply
Anonymous

So much for a change with Julie Won, who is currently one of the Community Board 2 Members who said no parking spaces. would be lost and voted yes. Julie Won is going to be just like Van Bramer, you can not trust her at her word. She just showed us who she really is. I am now going to vote for the other candidate in November. She just lost my vote and even more so my respect and confidence in anything she may say publicly to any of us over the next four years.

21
3
Reply
Concerned Citizen

people that call others NIMBY for defending their neighborhoods don’t deserve respect

38
11
Reply
nobody

“defending their neighborhoods” sir this is a bike lane on a low traffic street in queens, not fallujha

17
22
Reply
Dude

Wait…is NIMBY a bad thing!? I’ve always been a fan of folks that endeavor the protect the quality of life in their neighborhoods.

12
2
Reply
Sunnyside queens

Very poor decision made here. This probably has something to do with the new building they want to build around that area.

57
8
Reply
nom de plum

Shame on Jimmy Van Bramer for allowing thus new Barnett Avenue bike lane/traffic change fiasco to enter the Sunnyside Gardens community! He should listen to his constituents comments and do something to alter these changes

70
8
Reply
Anonymous

Van Bramer’s legacy as our Councilperson will be one of lying to the voters, self-interests over community interests, and one in which the residents did not want him to move into another political office after his term was over. A legacy I am sure in his arrogance he is very proud of. Very sad, but grateful that January 1, 2021 is not far away for the residents of Sunnyside and Woodside, however in the last year, he has significantly damaged the neighborhood for years to come and the residents will have to live with the aftermath of a very poor leader for the past three terms.

41
1
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

Raga sworn in as first-ever Filipino American elected to the state Legislature

More than 300 community members attended the historic inauguration of Assemblyman Steven Raga as the first Filipino American elected to office in New York state.

Many who attended the swearing-in event at the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows Corona Park wore traditional and cultural attire to the event at the building that once housed the General Assembly of the newly formed United Nations from 1946-50 until its current home in Manhattan became available for the world body.