Tag Archives: bicycle

Sunnyside launches borough’s first ‘Bike Friendly Business District’


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer's Office

The bicycle wheels are going round and round in Sunnyside.

On Saturday, the neighborhood became Queens’ first “Bike Friendly Business District.”

A Bike Friendly Business District is a system of businesses, cultural institutions, and community organizations dedicated to boosting safe bicycling, according to Transportation Alternatives.

The advocacy organization has established Bike Friendly Business Districts in the East Village, Lower East Side and along Atlantic Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn.

“The launch of Sunnyside’s very own Bike Friendly Business District is an opportunity for our neighborhood to showcase its diversity as well as its eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and cafes,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who helped launch the district with Transportation Alternatives, local business owners, cyclists and pedestrians. “Cyclists should come out to Sunnyside and shop at the over 70 participating businesses. As ridership climbs in our city, and the cycling infrastructure grows here in western Queens, Sunnyside hopes to capitalize by highlighting all we have to offer.”

Over 70 local businesses who support safer conditions for both cyclist and pedestrians will offer special commercial discount to members of Transportation Alternatives.

The business owners are looking to transform Queens Boulevard to include safe spaces for pedestrians, protected lanes for cyclists and dedicate lanes for buses.

“Designating Sunnyside as a Bike Friendly Business District means that we’re committed to making the neighborhood safe, accessible and fun for everyone,” said Rachel Thieme, executive director of the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District.

For a map of the Bike Friendly Business District and participating local businesses, click here.

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Police searching for burglars in Astoria bicycle thefts


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Video courtesy NYPD

Cops are looking for a pair of suspects in connection with two bicycle burglaries in Astoria within a two-week period.

The most recent incident occurred near 30th Avenue and 37th Street on Thursday. At around 8:35 p.m. the suspects entered a residential building and forced open a door to a basement storage area, where they took a Trek mountain bike, police said.

In the first incident on June 17, the suspects were able to access an underground parking garage around 7:40 a.m. in a residential building on 35th Avenue and 20th Street, and stole a Cannondale mountain bike, which was chained to a rack, authorities said.

Police have released a video of the June 26 theft.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (800) 577-TIPS (8477). The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or can text their tips to CRIMES (274637), then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.

 

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Sandy’s surge delays bike share yet again


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

PHOTO BY MICHAEL PANTELIDIS

The city’s previously stalled bike share program is again slamming on the breaks after Sandy.

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) and bike share operator New York City Bike Share (NYCBS) announced that its hotly-anticipated Citi Bike will be postponed for a second time to May of 2013 because of damage incurred by the Superstorm.

Sandy’s surge flooded NYCBS’s facility located at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, which sits along the East River and housed roughly two-thirds of the system’s equipment. According to the DOT, while portions of the equipment were not significantly damaged, including bike frames and hardware, several integral electrical components require repairs or replacing.

“DOT has worked around the clock to restore vital transportation links following the storm and that includes putting Citi Bike on the road to recovery,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “Despite the damage, New York will have the nation’s largest bike share system up and running this spring.”

The initiative was originally supposed to unveil 7,000 bicycles in March of 2013 after being delayed from the fall because of faulty equipment. The DOT said they intend to increase the number of bikes in the program to 10,000 eventually, but do not presently have a timeline on when that will occur.

According to the DOT, 5,500 bikes will be implemented at 293 stations in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Long Island City – initially slated to receive bikes in the first phase of the program – will not be included in the May 2013 debut. Western Queens cyclists can expect to see the shiny cobalt cruisers on their blocks sometime towards the end of 2013.

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer, who has long been in support of the bike share program, said the delay is a major disappointment. Regardless of Long Island City’s exclusion from phase one, the councilmember said he would continue to advocate for the active neighborhood to increase its ability to be sustainable and environmentally friendly.

“I understand the Department of Transportation is doing its best to get the nation’s largest bike share program up and running but leaving Western Queens out of the mix does not seem logical when so many residents here rely on alternate transportation options,” said Van Bramer.

Initially, 10 docking stations were expected to be placed strategically to provide riders access to premier locations in LIC, including waterfront parks, the business district and LaGuardia Community College.

The delay will not impact the program’s $41 million price tag, funded privately by Citi.

Sunnyside cyclist killed in hit-and-run


| brennison@queenscourier.com

A cyclist was killed last night in Sunnyside after being struck by a car that sped off after the crash.

The 37-year-old was biking heading eastbound on Greenpoint Avenue when he was hit from behind by a dark colored sedan heading the same direction, police said. The Daily News reported that sources said the speeding car ran a red light.

The vehicle did not stop and fled the sight.

EMS pronounced the victim dead at the scene.

An investigation is ongoing.

 

More people pedaling in NYC


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the NYC DOT

As New Yorkers spin their wheels thinking of ways to save money with the nation in the midst of a recession and gas approaching $4 per gallon, a record number of residents are spinning a different set of wheels.

The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) announced recently that biking has doubled over the last four years, and almost 10 percent more New Yorkers are taking to their bikes compared to last year.

The estimates come from DOT observations at six locations throughout the five boroughs — Staten Island, Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, Williamsburg Bridge, Queensboro Bridge and the Hudson River Greenway at 50th Street.

An average of 18,846 cyclists were observed each day at the six locales, more than double the number of riders recorded just four years ago. Bike riding at the Queensboro Bridge rose 18 percent between 2009 and 2010.

As the number of bikers grow, so do the number of bike lanes lining city streets. Over the past four years, more than 250 miles of bike lanes have been added in the five boroughs.

A recent Quinnipiac Poll found 53 percent of Queens residents were in favor of expanded bike lanes, finding cycling to be a greener and healthier alternative. Residents also overwhelmingly support a city program that will allow New Yorkers to rent bikes. Over two-thirds of borough residents approved of New York City Bike Share, which is planned to launch next summer. More than 50 percent of residents favor having a bike rental lot in their neighborhood.

To keep up with the rising numbers of cyclers, the city is converting individual parking meters — now obsolete with the proliferation of munimeters — into bike racks. The DOT has installed 175 of the parking meter bike racks throughout the city, including along 37th Avenue between 73rd Street and 77th Street.

“Our infrastructure needs to keep pace with new demands on city streets,” said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “By transforming obsolete parking meters into off-the-rack bike parking, we are recycling old facilities to meet this growing need.”

The city issued a Request for Proposals for a vendor to manufacture 6,000 additional racks.