A group of residents has launched an online petition in opposition to the DOT’s recent installation of a new bike boulevard on 39th Avenue in Sunnyside.
The online petition, which was launched Saturday, seeks to reverse the DOT’s transformation of many portions of 39th Avenue and Barnett Avenue that have been converted into one-way streets. The DOT began making the changes to the avenues last month in order to create space to put down a protected bicycle lane on 39th Avenue.
The petition has garnered more than 500 signatures since it launched less than 72 hours ago on change.org.
The group that launched the petition, called Queens Streets For All, claims that the new designs are dangerous, confusing and were not thought through. They also say that the community was not properly involved in the process.
Their view is counter to the DOT and bike-safety advocates who say that the new layout makes the streets safer for all road users —whether they be motorists, cyclists or pedestrians. The advocates say the measures reduce the number of motorists using 39th Avenue as a through-street and that the changes help prevent speeding.
However, the petitioners argue that the changes are too complex, unnecessary and have instead made the roads less safe.
They are calling on the DOT to reverse the road changes immediately. The petition is addressed to the Mayor Bill de Blasio, the DOT Commissioner, Queens DOT Commissioner, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, State Sen. Mike Gianaris, Assemblywoman Cathy Nolan, Community Board 2 and other officials.
“What we have is chaos,” the petition reads. “These short, previously unproblematic and two-way streets are now a mess. Whoever rushed the installation was not focusing on our safety.”
The group claims that the process to approve the plan was “rushed through” via online meetings with little community notice and insufficient input from residents.
The bike boulevard was approved by Community Board 2 in June by a vote of 21-11 during a Zoom board meeting.