Friday, December 11, 2015

Queens Blvd bike lane sucks

From Sunnyside Post:

The bicycle lanes on Queens Boulevard have come under fire in recent weeks with several pedestrians complaining that they are hazardous, while some drivers are upset about congestion.

Denise Keehan-Smith, chair of Community Board 2’s Transportation Committee, said Monday at a committee meeting that she has heard several complaints from Woodside residents about the dangers of crossing Queens Boulevard at 60th Street.

Smith, who lives near the crossing, said that she knows of three women who have been knocked down by cyclists who did not stop for the traffic lights.

“This is not only a design issue but an enforcement issue,” Smith said. “A lot of seniors cross at that spot but the cyclists are whizzing through.”

William Kregler, a Woodside resident, spoke at Community Board 2’s monthly meeting last week and lambasted the Board for approving the DOT’s Queens Boulevard plan.

“The Queens Boulevard bike lane project can be summed up by one word: ‘horrible, yikes,” Kregler said.

He said thousands of motorists have been inconvenienced for a few hundred bicyclists at most. He complained that it now takes much longer taking a bus along Queens Boulevard.

“This has made life miserable,” he said. “You have destroyed Queens Boulevard – you voted for it.”

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

So true. Can we replace these with a bus lane? A lot more people commute via bus on QB than bikes?

(sarc) said...

But it looks so pretty on the drawing, it is supposed to be wonderful and perfect.

"You just have to get used to it "

Hey if you believe in Darwinism, a lot of these cyclists will disappear, as well as those pesky old people...

Anonymous said...

I rarely see bikes using these new lanes. And what's with the walking lane next to the bike lane? Does the city expect strollers to walk in an unprotected lane right next to trucks, buses, and distracted drivers? Insane!

georgetheatheist said...

I ride a bicycle these days now and then. Have done long-distance bike touring with panniers on the front and back of the frame. If I were commuting on Queens Boulevard via velocipede - gotta be honest - I'd risk getting a summons by riding on the sidewalk in certain areas where there is absolutely no pedestrian traffic. Rather than risk life and limb on these bike lanes.

Check out my exclusive August coverage of the Queens Boulevard bike lane's construction here.

Anonymous said...

Uh wait wait a second, we did studies and held town hall type workshops. How can we be wrong? We're traffic engineers!

Anonymous said...

Queens Blvd has become a failed thoroughfare . Wether it's the badly timed traffic lights that take too long to turn , the congestion from the less amount of lanes to make way for the 3 cyclists that use the bike lane each week , avoiding queens Blvd even if it means going out of your way actually makes more sense. You will get to your destination faster.

Anonymous said...

So shocking.. Bicyclists who don't follow the traffic laws and are a danger to pedestrians?! This is why this was such a bad idea.. But leave it to our city to ignore the needs of the many for the needs of the few..

Anonymous said...

The islands that currently exist along Queens Blvd are outdated. They need new paving, new barriers and trees. The DOT should also add more lightpoles that actually serve a purpose. This boulevard is so dark at night...

Anonymous said...

I am so glad to see finally see the backlash against this ridiculous bike lane idea by deBlas..and how long have they been around? A couple of months maybe? This is going to get good. This is just another attempt by Blas to look good with his catchy phrase of turning the "blvd of death" into the "blvd of life." I live on Queens Blvd in Forest Hills and the parking lanes that would be eliminated under this plan are full most times. There are countless medical and dental offices along Queens Blvd and those parking spaces are critical. FH is strapped for parking. This is not Manhattan. Plenty of people in Queens drive, run errands on LI and around Queens and many in FH have cars and use them to get to appointments on Queens Blvd., they park at the meters and the system works. I can't imagine how awful it will be with all those spots taken away. Plus, at least the city is making money off the meters and the countless meter maids that write tickets all day long in that area. The bike lane is an drain, no revenue added to the city but plenty of stress and aggravation for people that live in these areas and see increased congestion. And let me ask all of you, who in their right mind and HOW OFTEN is someone from Forest Hills going to say "hmm now that the bike lane is here I am going to start commuting to MANHATTAN by bicycle!" The whole idea is silly and may benefit a few enthusiasts but the majority is suffering and that is just acceptable. I am sorry that this woman from Sunnyside had her son killed on a bike back in 2008 and she led the fight for the bike lanes, but you know what? It is not always the drivers fault! Its far too easy to blame the driver but I see plenty of cyclists doing VERY risky things, they scare me sometimes even while walking! Maybe her son was partially at fault as well, we weren't there. But lets face it, nobody would actually say that, of course it must have the been the drivers fault! He had the car! Lets stop trying to be soooo politically correct and appease everybody all the time. The fact is that Queens Blvd is a wide thoroughfare, it has a lot of traffic, and just by sheer numbers, there will be more incidents. I want to be at whatever meetings are held in Forest Hills to make sure that this ridiculous plan does not ruin an otherwise functioning neighborhood! This appeasement reminds me of the ridiculous Civic Virtue statue take away. A woman's group didn't like it, wham bam, iconic statue gone, empty pathetic space left to sit while a beautiful piece of art sits in Greenwood. Can we get the bike lines tossed as easily??

Anonymous said...

The idea of putting bike lanes up on Queens Boulevard was ridiculous from the outset. If it has "Highway", "Parkway" or "Boulevard" in the name, it is not a good candidate for slow speeds and bike lanes. It IS more likely a place for 35mph driving, bus lanes, and enforcement of traffic rules for cars, cyclists and pedestrians.

Maybe if the mayor and others actually drove, walked and cycled these routes, they would understand that. But now that the changes have been made, good luck getting anyone to change it back.

Anonymous said...

Dedicated bus lanes are bad enough on traffic, but putting a dedicated bike lane instead of a bus lane?

Anonymous said...

Bikes are obviously the biggest problem on a road labeled "the boulevard of death".

Anonymous said...

well our wonderful counselman JVB is all for this -- an idiot at his best --

georgetheatheist said...

William F. Buckley, Jr. advocated an ELEVATED bikeway during the NYC mayoral campaign in 1965. Check it out on the internet.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a lost battle for the millions of New Yorkers that must drive everyday, particularly in eastern and central queens. The car haters have wrapped themselves with a Holier Than Thou banner, and anyone that opposes these vacant bike lanes are seen as reckless non-global warming believers who want to put our planet ten feet under sea water. The traffic will snarl for miles, thousands will be late for work, miss appointments, and gas consumption will rise exponentially with millions stuck in gridlock. But then will come the tolls. Just wait and see.

Anonymous said...

What does bike lanes have to do with a few reckless bikers. Like it or not the city has a plan to get people out of cars and into a less polluting healthy mode of transportation and the first thing is to make bike lanes to present to the public that they are making it safe. Build it and they will come.
Biking will never be for everyone, you have to be a hearty individual and it's a hard way to travel in the city. Yes it's also dangerous, one small mistake or a pothole or a careless person opening their door can kill you. Then there is the weather to contend with, biking in the rain and snow is very dangerous and anyway who likes to get wet.
I'm a senior and I've biked all over this city most of my life in all kinds of weather and I see what others are saying about not seeing many bikers on these lanes except in Manhattan. Biking is hard but it is gaining popularity in many major cities and should be a viable mode of transportation in NYC.

Queens Crapper said...

If the city truly wanted to get people out of cars and into a less polluting healthy mode of transportation, it would improve mass transit. But it can avoid spending a whole lotta dough by instead convincing the slow witted that they are saving the planet by riding bikes.

Anonymous said...

Ever try riding a bike during a rain or snowstorm or when temps are below zero?

Anonymous said...

It's not about saving the planet. Bikes can provide door to door local transportation that even improved transit will never be able to provide. This also includes combining transit and a last mile cycling option like citibike for longer trips.

LibertyBoyNYC said...

You can't talk logic to The Bike People. The air left those tires long ago.

JQ LLC said...

I can attest that these bike lanes will never be utilized, even in this era of cycling awareness. I have been riding to work for 25 years all the way from southeast queens in a vain attempt to save money on train fare, and I was the sole rider. I can also attest that I have never had an accident on these once daily long treks.

I assure everyone that I did not ask for this, and atypical of the Blaz's implementation of progressive-style programs, this was shoddily done. The spirit of Jeanette Khan is alive in this design.


And the athiest has it right about the merging bike and car lanes. You should see it in action at the end of the work day as I did. And the pylons make it worse, even driving cautiously you have to stop short just to make the lane change. I had to make a beeline and ride on the right by the parked vehicles to avoid getting stuck there. (By the way george, they put up a traffic light on the northside by the northside expressway entrance on 68st. I would say it's a good addition to curb speeding but I think it's a way to ticket bikers when they blow the light in the lane.)

Riding on the Blvd. without this colossal waste of tax dollars and manpower was not difficult for me(George's footage of the painting process shows how absurd it is and just exists as a decoration when painting symbols, or diamonds would suffice, even just the line is enough). I had ample room to ride on both sides, and when I approached the highway entrance and exit areas, good old hand signaling did just fine and I never had an accident.
Same with metropolitan ave. and that road is very small for two-way traffic except by the cemetery and by christ the king and the malls. The majority of drivers are considerate, getting cut off by assholes is actually rare.

But no, just piss massive amounts of funds away on these utopian dreams and hope that some colony of shiny happy bikers use it to legitimize them mayor big slow. And the same to your affordable housing sham.



Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...
"Uh wait wait a second, we did studies and held town hall type workshops. How can we be wrong? We're traffic engineers!"

that is another government scam
make the people think that they had input
the bureaucracy does whatever it wants and when it turns out like crap
oh, its the peoples fault.
i went to some of those meetings the puzzle pieces were already arranged the way they wanted as well as their talks and instructions telling the sheeple what to do

Anonymous said...

Most bike lanes throughout NYC suck!
These bikers have become a safety hazard for pedestrians.
Hospital ERs have seen an increase in bike victims since this foolish program was put in.

Anonymous said...

While 10% of cars might roll thru a stop sign or a red, 90% of bikers go trough traffic control devices at full speed.

Anonymous said...

QB should be turned into a proper highway like 347

anon123 said...

Burying the gargantuan QB underground ala Big Dig would be ideal but it'd probably cost more than we're willing to pay. It carries way too much traffic/lanes to be on ground.

Sara Lauren said...

Queens Boulevard & Vision Zero: The Road to Ruin

Our elected and appointed officials were too busy patting each other on the back last week with the overflow of statistical data regarding the version zero programs to mention even one negative impact it has had on the communities and commuters it affected. At best, they failed to realize its impact on the commuters (including bus riders) and the community. At worse, they knew of the problems and still plowed through with it while wasting millions of taxpayer’s dollars in the process.

To begin this saga, Politicians needed a punch line to get the campaign started. The labeled Queens Boulevard the “Boulevard of Death” by simply citing the total number of deaths over 35 years and implying it was just speeding motorists that caused it. The accumulation figure and one year high 13 years ago is a piss poor attempt to justify these ill conceived programs.

First, Queens Boulevard is not the most dangerous roadway in New York City. Accidents, injuries and deaths are not solely from the actions of car drivers. A closer review of all the facts including jaywalking (crossing against the traffic light, not crossing in crosswalks, crossing between cars or in the middle of the block instead of at the corners), inattentive pedestrians (cell phones), intoxication of both drivers and pedestrians, unlicensed drivers, etc… would show a more complete and clearer picture on how these accidents occurred.

They used the same excuse with the Queens Boulevard bike lane program in order to waste $100 million dollars for (at most) 100 bicyclists. These officials mislead the public by saying that no vehicle lanes were taken away to make bike lanes. The fact is that the true “Phase I” of the bike lane project started when the DOT took away the left lane of the east and west service road under the ruse of “safety” by striping over them. The DOT confiscated these lanes in order to put in bike lanes. Besides these areas being empty and unused most of the year, this weekend’s snow storm is another clear reason we need the lanes back for plowing and emergency vehicles.

Another misconception is that these bike lanes were meant for everyone, including bike riding families. This perception was portrayed by the staged bike trip with kids and parents (along with elected officials) in the summer and put on Youtube for all to see. The fact is that these bike lanes are meant for commuters outside of community (Manhattan, Astoria. Rego Park, Forest Hills, Jamaica, etc…). It was specially designed to be the most direct bike route in and out of Manhattan into Queens.

By the way, the tan colored buffer zone in the DOT plans are slated to be filled in with concrete to widen the traffic dividers between the main and service road. These widen islands were designed to be used by both pedestrians and bicyclists. This concentrating of pedestrians and bicyclists into these areas will most certainly increase accidents between them.

Because of these changes, we no longer have a rush hour problem on Queens Boulevard. We now have a rush day and rush evening problem that is affecting everyone who lives along or uses Queens Boulevard. To say that deaths along Queens Boulevard are decreasing because of DOT’s changes is wrong. The reason is the lower speed rate (25 mph) and traffic jams most of the time. So deaths by vehicles will certainly decrease for now. But with our ever increasing population fueled by irresponsible development along Queens Boulevard, accidents and deaths between pedestrians, bicyclists, and vehicles will eventually begin to uptick. By then, all those who will benefit financially and politically from these mega-deals will be laughing it up in their retirement mansions.

There are solutions and the space available to correct these problems now and address all concerns. Yet there seems to be more of a mentality of “circling the wagons” by those responsible in hopes to weather the storm of criticism then have to acknowledge mistakes made in order to fix them.