Thursday, May 12, 2016

CB4 votes no on Queens Blvd bike lanes, mayor putting them in anyway

From the Times Ledger:

Mayor Bill de Blasio told officials at the city DOT Wednesday to ignore Community Board 4 and to include bike lanes when the $100 million reconstruction project for Queens Boulevard begins Phase Two in July. On Tuesday night, CB4 Chairman Louis Walker pushed a motion to vote on the plan without including the bike lanes and it passed by a 31-1 vote.

Following a DOT presentation of the plan, board members questioned the loss of 88 parking spots along the commercial to make way for the bike lanes, one questioned if there had been enough outreach to Elmhurst’s large immigrant community, and District Manager Christian Cassagnol pointed out that there had been “zero bicycle death” on the boulevard from 74th Strret to Eliot Avenue where Phase Two will be implemented.

That’s when Walker dropped his bombshell.

“I don’t think Queens Boulevard is necessarily the place for a bike lane. Put it on Woodside Avenue or Grand Avenue” he said. “This is not a park, this is a heavily traveled vehicular roadway.”

That set off a chaotic scene inside the ballroom of Italian Charities of America where the vote was held. Cycling and street safety advocates, who had been shouted down by board members all evening, erupted in anger as several members of the board who supported the bikes lane stormed out of the meeting. Some didn’t notice the vote taking place.

Less than a day later, the mayor put his foot down.

“I respect those who disagree with us, but in the end, the safety of our neighbors and our children is the most fundamental responsibility we have in this work,” de Blasio said. “Today, I have instructed the Department of Transportation to move forward on the next phase of safety enhancements to Queens Boulevard, including a protected lane for cyclists. Achieving Vision Zero means protecting the lives of everyone on our streets, whether they are walking, in a wheelchair, in a car or a bike. We are committed to ending the senseless loss of life on our streets, and there is no more potent symbol of that transformation than Queens Boulevard. Working together, we will close the book on the Boulevard of Death and make this roadway a Boulevard of Life.”

Why ask for a vote if the outcome doesn't matter? How are these lanes considered "protected" when there's nothing but some collapsible plastic bollards between the motorists and the cyclists?


Anonymous said...

So all those hours residents spent at meetings to promote a safer Queens Blvd were not necessary after all. I guess Community Boards 6, 10, and the rest along Queens Blvd should not even bother putting this on their agendas seeing that the mayor will have his way anyway.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't peoples lives more valued over the rights reckless drivers ?

Anonymous said...

Can someone please tell me how lowering speed limits and putting in bike lanes prevents reckless driving? If you are an asshole, you are going to drive like one, regardless.

Anonymous said...

The mayor must really be getting some good campaign contributions from the anti car and pro bike lane groups.

(sarc) said...

The concept is simple.

Make things so miserable that people who drive move away.

We can become Beijing...

JQ LLC said...

"Mayor de Blasio has shown true Vision Zero leadership by restating his strong commitment to protected bike lanes on Queens Boulevard and clarifying that the DOT will move forward despite efforts by some community board members to undermine the safety project,” TA Executive Director Paul Steely White said, calling into question CB4’s logic in leaving the bike lanes out of the second phase.

Poor choice of words Paul although apt - true zero vision leadership.

I have been a bike commuter for decades, I frequently take the alleged boulevard of death and there is no need for this bike lane or even the majority of bike lanes in the city, which are stupidly designed and have seen a glut of pedestrian walking on it. And this unconstitutional imposition on the public and the accusations of them from these hypocrite hipshits and the TA are abominable. I find the bike lane starting from the expressway entrance up to the cemetery totally unnecessary and a waste.

And I am still the only one using it. The blvd is not only a park like that wise person said but it's also not Amsterdam which is what this idiotic idea derives from (nothing against amsterdam, it's just not like queens, which coincidentally is not a tourist attraction). But this is not only to deter people from using cars or to pander to tourists, it's to deter residents from existing in this borough. And our lousy corrupt mayor is being a total dicktator about it. Just like the all those unscrupulous predatory developers and sociopath unregistered and registered lobbying firms that he caters to and are annexing our towns and way of life, he is mentally ill. And it's going to lead this city to a new ruin, as if it hasn't already.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the boy mayor demand bike lanes be painted on East End Avenue by Gracie Mansion the official mayoral residence?

Google East End Avenue and view the four lane street which can be very dangerous to cyclists.

Anonymous said...

However, the high speed bus lanes on woodhaven are not a problem? Very short distances to make a right turn and hope peds are not in the street and a bus isn't speeding.

Anonymous said...

When will the people of this city get tired of being treated like children? The City's attitude of 'we know what is better for you' must stop. The 'children' must wake up.

Anonymous said...

How does a bike lane make a neighborhood "safe"? Most cyclists are more agrresive, dangerous and unyielding to pedestrians than a vehicle could ever be. Community Boards are as useless as Borough Presidents and the mayor

Res Ipsa said...

I may be the only one, but I think that if a street has boulevard, expressway or parkway in the name, it was designed for higher speeds of traffic. There is no reason to have these main streets as slow traffic lanes or bike lanes.

They could have kept the speed at 30 and increased enforcement along Queens Boulevard, without getting into all this.

Anonymous said...

The bike lanes on Queens Blvd near 69th street and the BQE have created complete gridlock, while they remain empty.

georgetheatheist said...

Why can't the bike lanes be placed on the median between the main and service roads?

jeff said...

I believe the "protected" part will come in 2018.

I am skeptical this design is a good idea but people claiming queens blvd is now full of gridlock are such exaggeraters it's hilarious.

How does a bike lane make a neighborhood "safe"? Most cyclists are more agrresive, dangerous and unyielding to pedestrians than a vehicle could ever be.

If you honestly believe this, you are insane. "MOST" cyclists are "MORE" dangerous than a car "could ever be?" One weighs max ~200 lbs, one weighs 2000. One travels at an absolute top speed below the speed limit, one can be seen routinely speeding as a matter of course. One has killed literally single digits worth of people in the past 20 years, while thousands have been killed by bad drivers in that same time frame.

I have no excuse for cyclists who brazenly run red lights or ride the wrong way but if you truly think bikes are MORE dangerous than cars, you are living divorced from reality. You don't sound serious or adult, you sound foolish.

Anonymous said...

>Make things so miserable that people who drive move away.

I thought this was a joke, but having browsed through Streetsblog this morning, I'm now convinced this is exactly the plan.

Anonymous said...

"Why aren't peoples lives more valued over the rights reckless drivers ?"

Why isn't the democratic process of respecting a community board's vote more valued over the the wants of a few anti car nut jobs forcing their will on everyone?

Anonymous said...

Several months ago while driving on Utopia Parkway in Whitestone I saw two cyclists collide while in the bike lane.

I stopped to see if anyone was injured, no one was.

However, one of the cyclists blamed a car driver for the accident. I asked how?
The response, "All drivers are polluters and can' follow the rules of the road."


No car driver was near the cyclists at the time I told him.
He called me a fascist and pedaled on his way.

Anonymous said...

How is this even allowed to happen?? If the CB voted it down, that's it, done deal. How dare this lunatic override their vote. Can we impeach him already? I can't stand the sight of his face, absolute nut job and anyone with half a brain can see the whole Vision Zero nonsense is what he thinks will be his great accomplishment so he is determined to shove it down our throats no matter how bad it actually is.
I live on QB and between the ridiculous 25 MPH and the confusion added by the bike lanes, of course it is adding to congestion. Not to mention all the parking spots being lost for the bike lanes so now instead of people pulling up on the service road and parking at a meter, they are wasting time circling around and around looking for spots causing more backups.
The center lanes of QB can move just fine at speeds higher than 25 without causing harm to pedestrians. Its called paying attention and being respectful and waiting at the light to cross. I see plenty of people looking to cross who are just hanging there off the median almost stepping into traffic to get a head start. I've seen some run into the road and then run back to the median realizing they don't have enough time to make it across. If they get hit being that reckless, it is NOT the drivers fault.
The same rules apply to bicycles. If they are paying attention and not swerving in and out of traffic/pedestrians, everything will be fine. And like others on here said, the city should devise other means to install bike paths on more appropriate roads. A road as big as QB was not designed for a bike and cars will ultimately still rule the road, any other way is not practical for us to function. We need to get deBozo out before he completely destroys the city.

Anonymous said...

I was there that night. The proposal brought forth by the DOT was never voted upon. NEVER. Instead, the board chair in his remarks moved that the board approve the ENTIRE proposal sans the bike lanes. (This is irregular). After this was approved (by acclamation), it was clear that several board members were confused and realized they had voted to approve the DoT's plan without bike lanes.

But here's the main thing. The DOT plan was approved that night. Contrary to what you might read in the press there is only 1 point of contention between the Mayor and the Community board - the bike lanes

On Tuesday night, Queens Community Board 4 approved:
- removing 1 (local) car lane in each direction (and using that space for a promenade)
- the removal of 88 parking spaces in Elmhurst
- Making it harder to zig-zag in and out of the local vs express lanes of Queens Blvd

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12 Community Boards are not elected. They are appointed.

Jerry Rotondi said...

WTF do you expect? Any community boards' votes are purely advisory.
It's time to dump ALL community boards. They only provide the illusion that you have a say in government.
They need to be replaced by a more effective system.

Anonymous said...

If you dump all the community boards what would all the old white people who don't give a crap about the community do?

Jerry Rotondi said...

What would Chuck Apellian do without CB 7?

Anonymous said...

Jeff lets make a few things clear.

TA is funded by developers with the interest of lowering the carbon footprint of cars for move development. If you think its cool to take a bike in 5 inches of slush because TA puts together 'cool' events targeted at your demographic there is little for us to say.

There is a reason your generation are dubbed 'hipshits.'

And yes, bike folks have a typical hipshit entitlement thinking that everything revolves around you.

Bike riders should be licensed, take insurance, wear helmets, and get summons if the rules of the road are not respected and enforced.

A lot of people are getting hurt on bikes but the info, like the full extent of the damage by hurricane Sandy, is repressed and muzzled. When will you bike jerks wise up?

The fact is they are an unnecessary menace and distraction and are part of an experiment that will fail..

Anonymous said...

Bikes need to be licensed and traffic cameras can make a lot of money for the city catching their normal reckless behavior blowing off intersections and going the wrong way.

Anonymous said...

get rid of these community boards...they are not about the community at all

jeff said...


I'm a car owner and commuter. Instead of just owning up to the silliness of your statement, you changed the subject (who is arguing here about licensing?) and made a lot of baseless assumptions about who I am and what I represent. I had to google what TA is.

Cars are dramatically more dangerous than bicycles. Period.

Anonymous said...

jeff said... I could not agree with you more ! You are 100% correct but the anti bike crowd dose not care to hear a contrasting point of view !

Anonymous said...

What do you expect when you elect communists?