At the intersection of 238th Street and 128th Avenue a cyclist was run over and killed last Saturday at 10:40 a.m. According to early reports from police, the cyclist was traveling eastbound on 128th and the driver was traveling southbound on 238th.
Although unconfirmed, we have heard that the cyclist was often seen cycling in this area and was trying to look around a parked car when the crash took place.
What we do know is that Department of Transportation has failed to implement a network of protected bike lanes anywhere in Eastern Queens. There is less congestion and much more room in Eastern Queens to implement this proven safety technology, yet the DoT only rolls it out in richer areas like Manhattan or western Brooklyn.
That needs to change now. We deserve the same health and safety benefits as other parts of the City. We’re calling for safe travel options so every neighborhood kid can get to a park or a school by themself. We demand the DoT has their trained engineers implement the safest technology they can, instead of hiding behind politics by allowing non-professional, non-representational groups veto street safety geometry based on “neighborhood character”. The status quo is getting us killed.
On Wednesday the 15th at 7:30 pm the Transportation Committee of Community Board 11 Queens will hear DoT’s updated plan for bike lanes around the Bayside area. The original DoT plan (that the CB requested for years) did not include any protected bike lanes. The CB11 Bike Subcommittee and the Transportation Committee rejected this plan and called for real protected lanes, which the DoT should be presenting on June 15th. The Full Board had already unanimously approved a vote calling for these protected bike lanes at their January 3rd, 2022 meeting.
The CB11 request still does not create a protected bike lane network, since it only adds bike lane fragments on overly wide streets to avoid disrupting parking. It won’t bring this killed cyclist back to life, it won’t even bring a bike lane to the where they were killed (which CB13 is responsible for). If implement well, it will just be the first small step in building a network to protect all future Eastern Queens cyclists.
That’s why we need you there, to make sure this plan is implemented well and to start the change across not only Eastern Queens, but across every neighborhood. This plan won’t stop every cyclist death, but it will get us a little closer, amplified by the people who join the zoom meeting on Wednesday the 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Meeting ID: 822 6351 2089
Although we know how much more work it will take to implement a truly safe network, we really appreciate what CB11 has pushed for so far. And although we feel strongly that the DoT should implement infrastructure based on safety instead of politics, we’re indebted to the great engineers who do what they can in a challenging system.
Here are the protected lanes that CB11 requested and are waiting for DoT to implement. This is what June 15th is about, but please come out to make sure this isn’t the end of the story.
- Cloverdale Boulevard between 53 Avenue and 73 Avenue
- 53 Avenue between Oceania Street and 188 Street
- 46 Avenue between Bell Boulevard and Cloverdale Boulevard
- 26 Avenue from Utopia Parkway to Bell Boulevard, turning southbound and continuing westbound on 28 Avenue to the dead end
- 69 Avenue between Springfield Blvd. and Cloverdale Boulevard
- Corporal Kennedy Street from 26 Avenue to Northern Boulevard continuing onto Oceania Street to Horace Harding Expressway (except for 33 Avenue to 39 Avenue where Class 2 or 3 lanes were recommended)
- 188 Street between 48 Avenue to Horace Harding Expressway
- Utopia Parkway the full length of Community Board 11 (has been previously recommended by the Transportation Committee)
- 56 Avenue between Springfield Boulevard and East Hampton Boulevard
New protected bike lanes in red, current protected lanes and greenways in green: