Community Board 2 members and area residents are criticizing the city’s protected bike lane implementation on Skillman and 43rd Avenues, claiming the roll out has been unorganized and done in a “haphazard” way.
Several business owners, community leaders, and board members spoke to their frustrations during the Sept. 6 Community Board 2 meeting, the first full meeting since the board voted down the controversial DOT project in June.
Many were angry that the Department of Transportation went ahead with the project despite the board’s rejection of it. In addition, many claimed that the DOT’s actual implementation of the redesign–which began last month– was being done “hastily,” with little communication and poor planning.
“While the project is only partially complete, many of our worst fears have already come to fruition,” said Roque Rodriguez, co-owner of Suryaside Yoga on Skillman Avenue, speaking on behalf of Queens Streets For All, a group that opposes the city’s plans for the avenues.
Rodriguez claimed that there’s been “massive confusion” for cyclists and drivers, along with more traffic backups. Some areas of the corridor, according to people he’s spoken to, also feel less safe than before, he said.
Gary O’Neil, owner of Aubergine Cafe on Skillman Avenue, echoed Rodriguez’ statement and claimed the unfinished rollout has caused “even more danger to pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.”
For Melissa Orlando, president of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce, the implementation was done too rapidly and in a “haphazard way.” She said “no standing” and other signs have gone up without notice, and that cars have been towed and ticketed as a result. She was also disappointed that the project had yet to be finished despite the start of school.
Her biggest concern, she said, is lack of information.