On Wednesday, June 6, countless bicyclists lined the bike lane nearby the intersection of 39th Street and 43rd Avenue in the Sunnyside. They did so in hopes of reminding Queens Community Board members of the importance of protecting bicyclists. The location the advocates selected to quietly protest from happens to the same stretch of roadway where a local resident was mowed down by a driver while on his bike last year.
The bicycle safety advocacy group Transportation Alternatives was responsible for organizing the many area residents that showed up to form that evening’s “human-protected bike lane” nearby 3809 43rd Avenue. They decided to stand along the edge of the roadway to highlight just how potentially dangerous it is for bikers and vehicles to share lanes.
They hoped that their proximity to motorists would send a message to city leaders of the importance of agreeing to install more protected bike lanes along Skillman and 43rd avenues. These are the roads that many cyclists follow to to get Queens Boulevard before taking the Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge.
The location where the protest occurred is in the same area where a ghost bike stands memorializing the death of a Queens man in April of last year. As he made his way home from work on the day he died, he was struck and killed by an intoxicated motorist.
Protesters in Manhattan, Dublin and San Francisco have attempted to do similar protests before with some success.
In this case, at a heated meeting of the Community Board on June 8, they ended up voting against the proposed bike lane. Of the 35 board members, only eight voted for it.
Bicycle safety advocates note that they aren’t deterred by the board’s rejection of the bike lanes proposal. A spokesperson for the group points out that, even without them being on board, it’s possible that the Department of Transportation (DOT) may move forward with installing it. They’ve done that in other parts of the city before.
If you’ve suffered serious injuries after having been struck by a motorist while out riding your bike, then a Queens attorney can advise you of your right to sue the negligent driver for damages.
Source: AM New York, “Cyclists line 43rd Avenue bike lane in Queens, demand safety upgrade,” Lauren Cook, June 06, 2018