The Tour de Flushing Was a Great Success & We Have Pictures to Prove It

Thank you to everyone that came out to the first ever Tour de Flushing.  We had around 150 cyclists, far more then we ever expected would come out for our friendly little neighborhood bike ride.

The route was a little less than 20 miles including a wide variety of path conditions (while out on the ride we decided to skip Fort Totten Park).

ByJoby20229169_986117588197419_5786911888408846450_n

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/21195160

Everyone met at the Unisphere, which was the first time we saw how many people were excited to ride their bikes through Eastern Queens.  Before starting the tour, we rode “around the world” once to signify the diversity of our community and of our riders.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

New York 1 came by and made a great video explaining why a ride like this was important to our community.

The ride snaked its way through many of our Queens neighborhoods where we talked about local history and our advocacy to help make the area safer, as the Queens Tribune and QNS described .

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Tour de Flushing ended at the Queens Quaker Meeting House.  About half of our riders decided to not to come to the Meeting House, usually because they wanted to try the food of one of the many neighborhoods we passed through.  But we appreciate everyone who came out to any part of the ride, no matter how long or short.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you’d like to stay in touch with us for future events, please follow us on facebook and twitter or follow us via email by typing it into the form on this page.

If you’d like to see better infrastructure in this neighborhood, please consider helping our advocacy work by signing these petitions for some of our active campaigns:

Motor Parkway East will connect the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway trail in Queens with the 14-mile Motor Parkway Trail being built in Nassau.

Rebuild Utopia Parkway As a Complete Street so that it is safer for everyone who uses the street: pedestrians, drivers, cyclists, and bus riders.

The Kissena Walk will build a trail in the parks that would connect Bayside and Flushing Meadows / Corona Park. This would allow families and kids to avoid busy streets like Main Street, College Point Boulevard, and Booth Memorial Avenue.

You can also come down to one of our monthly meetings where we can help you advocate for safety improvements you feel the neighborhood needs.

We hope to see you again real soon.

Learn to bike course for autistic beginners is looking for participants and volunteers

I’m Joelle, a member of the Eastern Queens Greenway. On August 13th I’m volunteering to support ELIJA (Empowering Long Island through Its Journey with Autism) and the Autism Community by holding a Bike New York Learn to Ride class. In comparison to other classes Bike New York runs, this class will be specifically geared towards individuals with higher functioning autism ages 10 to 18. As always, the classes are free and Bike New York will lend out the bikes and helmets at no additional cost.

If you would be interested in teaching Learn to Ride, and working with individuals with high functioning autism, then I invite you to come to our training session at on August 6th.  We will have a training class from 10:30 AM to 11:00 AM for those who do not have experience with autism and then a training from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM to teach you how to help students learn to ride.

Both the Learn to Ride class as well as the training session will take place Flushing Meadows Corona Park Aquatic Center (outside at southeast corner of building).

These events have been the culmination of a five year cycling journey for me, as five years ago, I began to cycle together with my dad on a big red tandem bike. In our first ride we participated in the TD Five Boro Bike Tour, in which we fundraised for ELIJA, a program which my sister attends. About two years after this, I fell in love with road cycling and since then I have never stopped.

Autism is a spectrum disorder which affects every individual who has it differently. Many, however, struggle socially, which is why this program is all the more crucial for individuals on the spectrum. I am hoping that through Learn to Ride, many individuals will have a new outlet to interact socially whether it be with their peers or within the NYC/Long Island cycling community.  In fact, according to research, motor-based physical exercise benefits individuals with autism, not only physically, but socially, behaviorally, and academically.

I encourage anyone who is interested in either teaching or participating in Learn to Ride to contact me at joellelemond@gmail.com.  I hope that everyone can participate in any way that they can.  Our first class can be found by simply going to IMATHLETE.com and searching ELIJA. Happy riding everyone!

BIKE_LOGO_MASTER_RGBELIJA Logo

Assemblywoman Nily Rozic Supports the Kissena Way

Today Assemblywoman Nily Rozic publicly announced her support of the Kissena Way project.  We are overjoyed at her interest in building a family safe path connecting the parks of Eastern Queens.

image

The Assemblywoman’s district (shown here in yellow) covers much of the Queens section of the Brooklyn / Queens Greenway.  Making this a continuous, protected route would connect communities through out Eastern Queens with paths that are safe enough for all our neighbors to use.

image

We sincerely thank the Assemblywoman and the rest of Team Nily for their ongoing dedication to our parkland and our community.  In this same parkland, the Assemblywomen is also spearheading upgrading New York City’s only surviving velodrome.

image

Peye Wong, Leona Chin, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic and Joby Jacob

If you agree with the Assemblywomen, you too can help build the Kissena Way by signing this petition requesting a child safe route between Kissena Park and Flushing Meadows Park:

https://campaigns.transalt.org/petition/make-kissena-corridor-park-accessible-everyone-our-community

CB11 Transportation Committee Revisits Already Approved Bike Lane / Street Design

On Monday, July 17th the Transportation Committee of Community Board 11 held an emergency meeting to discuss ideas about a protected path connecting Bayside and Douglaston.  Earlier this year the same Community Board’s General Committee had already voted to approved DoT’s design for this path, 18 in favor, 11 against (color photo below).  The ideas proposed last night (black and white photocopy) eliminates the protected bike lane on Northern Boulevard that was approved and instead creates a shared bike/pedestrian sidewalk.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The ideas presented were from Community Board Member Bernie Haber. Bernie has claimed to be the longest serving Community Board Member. Directly before the meeting Committee Members were given Bernie’s packet which included hand drawn sketches and multiple claims without citations. Once the meeting was opened, Bernie spoke for approximately half an hour about his feelings for what should be built without allowing questions until the end.

In addition to mixing cyclist and pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk, Bernie is proposing excluding the three feet high, concrete physical protection against drivers that DoT has proposed and replacing it with a four foot wide grass buffer.  Although the grass may be more esthetically pleasing to drivers and cyclists, it is better suited for residential streets, not a 7 lane trucking route known for its speeding. Bernie has admitted that his proposal would require the movement of multiple street lights, the cutting down of Parks Department trees, pouring large amounts of concrete, and taking land that is currently being used by other agencies.

To give some history of Northern Boulevard, Bernie spoke about how proud of he was that he and this Transportation Committees increase the width of traffic lanes on Northern Boulevard from 60 feet to 70 feet many decades ago. This changed spurred other sections of Northern to remove sidewalk space for automobiles. Bernie did not mention that now Northern Boulevard has been designated a Vision Zero Priority Corridor, which means that it is in the top 10% of most dangerous streets in New York City.

Board Member and Lawyer Albert Galatan pointed out that this meeting was not valid since it did not give the community the legally mandated notice.  (Editor’s note: we believe he was referencing the New York Open Meeting Law Article 7, §104. Public notice. “1. Public notice of the time and place of a meeting scheduled at least one week prior thereto shall be given or electronically transmitted to the news media and shall be conspicuously posted in one or more designated public locations at least seventy-two hours before such meeting.”) Community Board 11 President Christine Haider said the meeting was valid since she had asked Committee Members about their availability on Thursday July 13th. The meeting was publicly announced on Friday July 14th and held on Monday July 17th. Even with this lack of notice, there was still a strong turn out from the public, overflowing out of the committee room.  Speaking to the public after the meeting was over, it was clear that the vast majority of the neighbors came out against Bernie’s proposal.

Since the 12 page packet was only given to the Committee Members at the start of the meeting, Board Member John Kelly requested that the Committee should be given time to review the new information before it is sent to DoT so that this process is not rushed.  The committee disregarded and voted to move it forward.  Board Member Paul DiBenedetto was unable to attend the meeting but submitted a letter of support for Bernie’s ideas, presumably before he’s seen the full proposal since both Paul’s letter and the proposal were distributed at the same time.

Bernie had expressed some of his ideas at the General Meeting where the Community Board voted to accept DoT’s plan. At that meeting the DoT said that Bernie’s ideas would require substantially more work and a large amount of coordination between all of the current tenants of the land Bernie would like to build on. DoT said implementing something like what Bernie is proposing could take at a minimum of 5 years and would require funds being allocated. At that meeting DoT said they would review Bernie’s ideas as a future enhancement, but that they would like to implement the fully designed path they had already presented. The majority of the Community Board agreed and voted for DoT’s plan.

Before the Transportation Committee meeting started last night, Community Board 11 President Christine Haider expressed dislike for recent media attention, specifically calling out the Streetsblog article for being inaccurate in the claims that this meeting was not for the public and just a delay tactic against the already approved bike lane.  During the meeting Christine mentioned very clearly, multiple times that the Committee’s goal is not to un-do the earlier vote approving DoT’s project or to delay it in any way. After the vote to submit Bernie’s ideas to the DoT has passed, Bernie began to interrupt Christine saying that his ideas should delay what was previously approved by the full Board. Bernie’s emergency meeting, rushed plan (voted on immediately after it was given), and his admitting to trying to delay DoT’s progress, is more in line with the media’s claims then Christine’s idea that the board approved route should be implemented without delay and that improvements could be made later. We will see which side is true depending on if DoT does delays their building of the path.

Monthly Meeting & Emergency CB11 Transportation Committee Tonight

Tonight is our monthly in-person meeting.  As usual, it’s going to start at 7:30 PM at the Old Quaker Meeting House in Flushing.  We hope you can make it to discuss what areas of Eastern Queens you feel could use street safety improvements.

137-16 Northern Boulevard
Flushing, New York 11354

image

 

If you live or are connected to Community Board 11 and would like to help support the Northern Boulevard protected path, please come to the CB11 Transportation Committee meeting tonight, Monday the 17th.  Unfortunately even though the CB11 General Meeting voted on June 5th to install this path, the Transportation Committee has called a meeting to re-vist the vote and possibly delay the implementation.  On Friday the 14th the Community Board posted:

Scheduled Committee Meetings at 46-21 Little Neck Parkway:

Transportation Committee, Monday, July 17th 2017 at 7:30 pm at the Board office to discuss suggestions received for the Northern Blvd. proposed plan.

There has been news coverage of this event from the local branch of Streetsblog.

If you’d like to share your opinions on a possible delay to the Northern Boulevard protected infrastructure, please come down to the Transportation Committee tonight at 7:30 at:

46-21 Little Neck Parkway
Little Neck, NY 11362

 

First annual Tour de Flushing fun bike ride organized by the Eastern Queens Greenway

Come take a bike ride with us to celebrate the summer and see what’s happening in Eastern Queens!

We’ve had a lot of good news in our neighborhood this year. The city will begin repaving Vanderbilt’s Motor Parkway, thanks to the $1,250,000 Barry Grodenchik was able to secure. Due in large part to our volunteers, there will also be 7 miles of new protected bike lanes on Northern Boulevard, East Hampton Boulevard, and Oceania Street that will be built by next spring.

On Saturday, July 22nd at 9:00 AM, we will be doing a “Tour de Flushing” to bring attention to these major accomplishments. The 20-mile bike ride will travel through our historic greenways, parks and streets. We’ll start at the Unisphere and end at the historic Flushing Quaker Meeting House.

After the ride, we’ll get some grub in Downtown Flushing, so bring some
cash as well.

Please RSVP via Facebook or Eventbrite at:

https://tourdeflushing.eventbrite.com

We look forward to seeing you there!

image