The Department of Transportation (DOT) and residents of western Queens recently “pedaled” closer to protecting bike riders.
Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer sponsored the first-ever Queens Bike Forum in Sunnyside on March 2, allowing members of the DOT’s Bike Program Staff to receive recommendations from residents regarding the best ways to develop safe and efficient bike lanes in western Queens. During the forum, which was held at Community Board (CB) 2, cycling enthusiasts from around the 26th District also shared suggestions for ideal bike route locations.
“The goal of this forum was to make sure that the community has input in the DOT’s bike lane implementation process,” said Van Bramer, who often cycles himself. “The roads of New York City are for everyone and we want to make sure that everyone stays safe. In my opinion, a well-planned and well-organized bike lane can do that. One of the best ways to achieve that is by bringing the community and the DOT together to decide which bike lanes are best and where they can be best installed in our neighborhoods.”
According to DOT spokesperson Scott Gastel, the department received a great deal of information from the community, and after reviewing the suggestions, officials will return to CB2 within the next few months to present a report of the findings. The DOT will also ask the community to aid in prioritizing the list of bike route locations, said Gastel.
Many residents are hopeful DOT improvements will allow them to feel safe cycling around their neighborhood.
“There are some bike lanes already, but the paths need to be better laid out. They don’t seem to flow well or be safe enough,” said Thomas Haggerty, a resident of Woodside. “I tend to take my kids bike riding in the park, but if they could make it safer on the streets I would certainly consider that.”