July 28, By Michael Florio
The movement to add bicycle lanes in several western Queens neighborhoods is gaining momentum.
Queens Bike, a bike advocacy group, has generated a lot of support since it announced earlier this month that it aims to connect residents to various parks in western Queens via bike lanes.
In just a matter of weeks, the group has already put together a petition with 1,000 signatures, according to Sergio Pecanha, who got the movement going.
The organization has collected signatures at various events and online at Change.org
Several local businesses are on board with the Queens Bike initiative, by handing out petition forms to customers. These businesses include Cannelle Patisserie, Aroma Brazil, Arepa Lady and Tortilleria Nixtamal in Corona.
Pecanha wants other businesses to help out and collect signatures from their customers.
“There’s not a set number of signatures needed,” Pecanha said online. “But the more we collect, the stronger case we can make.”
Queens Bike’s initial mock-up includes bike lanes on 77th Street and 78th Street, from below Roosevelt Avenue to 25th Avenue, providing access to Travers Park, Bulova Park and LaGuardia Landing Lights.
“I live in Jackson Heights and would love to bike with my children safely to Flushing Meadows, Astoria Park, Socrates Park,” Christen Clifford commented on the online petition. “I’d love bike lanes in Queens.”
The plan also entails a bike lane along 90th Street that would begin on Roosevelt Avenue and run to 25th Avenue, providing access to Playground Ninety along the way. Another bike lane would run along 93rd Street, beginning at 34th Avenue, alongside Northern Playground, and run until 25th Avenue.
Perpendicular bike lanes would run along 31st Avenue, providing access to Saint Michael’s Playground, 30th Avenue passing Gorman Playground and 25th Avenue passing Gorman and East Elmhurst Playground.
According to a map published on the Department of Transportation website, Jackson Heights currently only has one dedicated bike lane, along 34th Avenue.
“Jackson Heights and this part of Queens in general is sorely lacking in bike access,” Abraham Abreu wrote on the online petition.
A DOT spokesman said that local groups advocating for bike lanes are advised to reach out to the DOT early in the planning process, to collaborate on creating a proposal that works from the get-go.
The organization would also be required to present its plans to Community Boards 1, 3 and 4 for approval.
The DOT is already working on a plan to put shared and dedicated bike lanes along 108th Street in Community Board 3, which the Board voted to approve in May.