Thursday, March 3, 2011
Bike lane debacle on Bell
From Bayside Patch:
The City Council this week mandated that NYPD keep track of bicycle deaths, as Northeast Queens residents have expressed misgivings about bike lanes coming to Bell Blvd.
“After looking at the map of proposed routes, it appears that whoever created these paths has not travelled the routes themselves,” said Roz Sackoff, a resident of Bay Terrace.
If the Department of Transportation moves ahead with their plans, there will be marked bike lanes on parts of Bell Blvd., 212th St., 39th Ave., 32nd Ave. 26th Ave., 35th Ave, and the Clearview Expwy. service road.
A study done by the agency between 1996 and 2005 implicated large vehicles in 32 percent of bike fatalities, though they make up 5-17 percent of vehicles on the road.
Sackoff says she is concerned for the safety of bikers mingling with busses on 212th St., and 32nd Ave., which are bus routes.
“This is a curvy two way street with limited sight in some places,” said Sackoff of 212th St., also pointing out that there are many driveway exits from home garages that would cross paths with cyclists.
The proposed 26th Ave. bike path, which is near the Bay Terrace Shopping Center, would be harsh travelling on two wheels, she believes.
“I can definitely understand that a bus route would be a bad route for a bike lane, because the busses would have to keep coming in and out of the lane,” said Joani Emerson, whose husband, Jerry Emerson, owns Peak Bicycle Pro Shop in Douglaston, where the two met.
For Emerson, Bell Blvd., of all the new routes, would make for the most dangerous biking.
Council Member Dan Halloran, R-Bayside, had separate concerns about bike lanes on Bell.
“The last thing we need is to put up bike lanes — which nobody is going to use— to stifle business and take up parking spots,” said Halloran.
There is a bike path alongside Little Neck Bay which is separate from traffic and a lot more scenic. But I guess the city needed an excuse to use up a pile of money. (Wait 'til I show you where they plan to put bike lanes in Maspeth.)