Bike Paths & Bike Lanes In Queens - Forum
Bicyclists & Others Meet To Discuss Bike Paths & Bike Lanes In Queens
Spring / Sunnyside / Biking in Queens / Queens Buzz. I attended a bike forum at the Sunnyside Community Services Center on a warm, wet Saturday in March. I noticed quite a few bikes locked to signs and poles outside the center as I entered. Inside there were between 50 – 75 people in attendance, most of who were bicycle enthusiasts, although I was informed that a few of the attendees were not.
The forum had been organized as a collaboration of Community Board Two [hereafter referred to as CB2], City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer and the Queens Department of Transportation [hereafter referred to as QDOT]. Evan O’Neil and Emelia Crotty of CB2 moderated the session, outlining the history of bike lanes in western Queens, and the current state of bike lanes and bike parking. This helped put things in context, so that in the bike forum breakout sessions, participants could spend their time planning for the future.
Click here to read our report about the bike forum about adding bike lanes & bike paths in Queens. We've included a bit of NYC bike lane history and some info on what's going on in other parts of the world. There's also a slide show of the bike forum presentation and participants. Click here to view maps of bike lanes in Queens as of the end of 2011.
Bike Forum - Bike Lanes In Queens
Bicyclists & Community Meet To Discuss Bike Lanes & Bike Paths In Queens
Continued. March 3, 2012 / Sunnyside / Biking in Queens / Queens Buzz. In 2007 western Queens had about 1.5 miles of bike lanes. Queens bike lanes grew significantly over the next few years, so that in 2011 western Queens had about 13 miles of bike lanes.
Over the next two years the organizers of the bike forum said they would like to double the number of bike lanes in western Queens to 26 miles and they wanted to incorporate community input into the process so that implementation of the bike lanes would work for all parties involved.
Biking In Queens - History Of NYC Bike Lane Controversies
In Brooklyn there were several bike lane controversies. In 2009 in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, the Hasidic Jews fought having bike lanes run through their community on religious grounds. They argued that the female cyclists weren't appropriately dressed, and would bike through their community in shorts and T-shirts. The Mayor gave way.
In 2011 some Brooklyn residents filed a lawsuit arguing the new bike lanes installed along the west side of Prospect Park, were implemented without going through the proper procedures. In this case a judge ruled against the plaintiffs.
Manhattan & Brooklyn Have More Bike Lanes Than Queens
We did a bit of research and found that Queens is behind Manhattan and Brooklyn in instituting bike lanes. This can easily be seen, by looking at an NYC bike lane map. On the map to the right you can see the bike lanes for NYC depicted in red, orange and yellow'ish colors. It will take some time before Queens, the largest borough in NYC, even begins to approach the density of bike lanes in the other two aforementioned boroughs.
In 2007 there were 473 miles of bike lanes in all five boroughs of NYC, and in 2011 there were about 683 miles of bike lanes in NYC, an increase of 210 miles.
CB2 / CM Van Bramer / Queens Dept Of Transportation
The CB2 [Community Board 2] representatives presented a nice overview of how bike lanes and bike parking work in the city. They included photos of dedicated bike lanes and shared bike lanes [shared with motorists]. They showed buffered bike lanes, like they have in Manhattan, wherein the parked cars serve as a buffer between cyclists and motorists. And they showed bike parking racks, the designs of which, are still in need of more thought.
In the photo to your left are Maura McCarthy of the Queens DOT, Joe Connolly of CB2 and CM Jimmy Van Bramer.
Bike Lanes In Queens - 2012 Map
The last slide contained a map which showed Queens: 1) current dedicated bike lanes, 2) current shared bike lanes [shared with motorists] and 3) possible future bike lanes [based upon a 1997 plan for bike lanes in NYC]. The map was mostly limited in geography to District 26 and Community Board Two. It was in this area that the group was to focus its planning efforts today.
Bike Paths & Bike Lanes In Queens - Working Together
Jimmy Van Bramer, spoke at the meeting, acknowledging that not everyone wants more bike trails traversing through Queens. He then went on to say that the reason for instituting bike lanes is that in the long haul it is safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists.
It seems the world’s love affair with the bicycle is returning. Apparently Guangzhou China is on the cutting edge of this transportation movement. For decades the Chinese have used bicycles to move around their urban environs. Paris, the city of love, is also on the proverbial bicycling cutting edge, offering bike shares to tourists, to use to view the city alongside the European Vespas. [Editors Note: France is home to a popular bicycling event called Tour de France, while Queens is home to l'événement de la bicyclette célèbre Tour de Queens.]
The presentation portion of the meeting ended. CM Jimmy Van Bramer, Joseph Connolly of CB2 and Maureen McCarthy of the Queens Department of Transportation lingered after the presentation to converse with bike forum participants.
The Future Of Bike Paths In Queens
The organizing groups will take the input gathered at this meeting to construct a bike lane and bike parking plan for the District 26 neighborhoods in western Queens. We were told that the Queens DOT, CB2 and CM Van Bramer would return with their findings / plan in a couple of months.
Many thanks to CM Van Bramer; the CB2 in general and notably Joseph Connolly, Emelia Crotty and Evan O’Neil; and the Queens Department of Transportation, including Commissioner Maura McCarthy, Dalila Hall and Naomi Iwasaki.
A number of Transportation Alternatives members were also in attendance, including some of whom I know, such as Helen Ho, Jules Corkery, Robert McMinn, Steve Scofield and Jessame Hannus - as well as Jackson Heights environmentalist, community activist and journalist, Len Maniace.
Slide Show - Photos of Biking Forum / Biking Lanes In Queens
Click here to view the slide show containing photos of the Biking Forum in Sunnyside about biking & bike lanes in Queens.
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