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Nine miles of bike lanes coming to Long Island City and Sunnyside

July 19, 2013 Staff Report

Long Island City and Sunnyside are set to receive nine extra miles of bike lanes.

The Department of Transportation is set to put them down by the end of the year—taking the total number of bike lanes in the Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City neighborhoods to 21 miles.

The vast majority of the new lanes will be located in Long Island City.

The lanes will not take away any parking spots and will provide connections to Brooklyn via the Pulaski Bridge.

Buffered bike lane

Buffered bike lane

The announcement comes just months before the Citi Bike share program is expected to roll out in Long Island City. Local politicians and business groups are also pushing for Sunnyside, Woodside and Astoria to get access to the program.

The new lanes will provide safer east-west connections to the East River Ferry and Sunnyside, and north-south connections from the Pulaski Bridge to Astoria, according to the Department of Transportation.

Buffered bike lanes will be installed on 49th Avenue from the Pulaski Bridge to 21st Avenue, and on the 39th Avenue Bridge from Skillman Avenue to Northern Boulevard.

Bike lanes will be striped on 49th and 51st Avenues, as well as sections of 11th Street and 11th Place.

Striped lane

Striped lane (example)

Shared lanes will be installed on 11th Street (btw. 44th Drive and Queens Plaza
South); on 50th and 51st avenues (south of Vernon Blvd.); 47th Avenue (btw. Skillman and 51th Street); and 39th Avenue (btw. Roosevelt Ave. and Northern Blvd).

The plans were approved by Community Board 2 last month.

For plan details, please click here.

Shared bike lane

Shared bike lane (example)

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Roadways and streets in NYC and NYS are paid for by income taxes, not car related fees, which non-drivers have paid for years without complaint. Driver’s license fees and registration fees are tiny compared to the cost of making and maintaining roads. Also, many city residents have driver’s licenses and do not own cars, but use them while on vacation or for Zip Car, etc. Creating bike lanes keeps bikers off the sidewalks, out of vehicular traffic and are better for the environment than all other types of transportation. Also, someone on a bike is one less person driving a car or using a seat on the subway or bus, making things more convenient for everyone else.

LIC Low Riser

@Bernie: There won’t be buffered lanes on 50th and 51st Avenues because, as you point out, both roads are really narrow. Those will be shared lanes (“sharrows” as the transpo nerds call them), much like you have on Vernon Boulevard below 44th Drive.

Julie 2.0

This is great news. I started riding my bike to work a couple months ago, and I find that bike lanes provide a safer, quicker route. Best part is making the roads more organized, cars know where to go, and bikes aren’t stuck in this nebulous interzone off to the side. I see bikes on the streets all the time — delivery guys, kids, and commuters like me. Here’s hoping this makes everybody’s ride a little saner (and safer).

Thanks LIC Post for covering this story, I wouldn’t have known about this otherwise.


Everybody is so concerned about cyclists following the rules of the road, but 155 pedestrians and cyclists were killed by cars in 2012 and nobody cares


I’m all for bikes. But how is it possible to have buffered bike lanes on 50th and 51st Avenues? Those are both busy, crowded, very narrow one-way streets with parking on both sides of the street. Will parking be prohibited on one side?


Who makes the decisions to put these lanes up? do car owners, taxis and business owners get a say in this? Nobody ever asked for my opinion. It’s our tax dollars, registration fees, gasoline taxes etc.. that pay for this — bikers pay NOTHING, and many do not obey the basic laws of the road. Bikers require no license, no safety training/testing, no insurance, once again NOTHING…. OH, and how about fixing the potholes instead.

Eric Blair

Bottom Line: Bike lanes are good for Queens. They consolidate both bike and automobile traffic into organized lanes. Not everyone can afford a car and not everyone drives. A bikers’ life is the same as a drivers’ life and we need to respect them too. That’s it.


I don’t know why we need bike lanes. Bikers don’t care about he rules of the road, they’ll do whatever they please and then blame drivers when something goes wrong.

LIC Low-Riser

RATS!!! Bike lanes actually work to the benefit of drivers. It clearly demarcates where cars go and where bikes go. Bikes don’t have to weave in and out of some invisible path where cars travel, and drivers can keep a foot on the right (as in “not left”) pedal with some confidence that they’re not going to strike another vehicle. It’s a similar concept to how pedestrians usually confine themselves to sidewalks, parked cars stick close to the curb, and the rats… well, they mostly go where they want.


RATS!!! While I applaud the idea of bike lanes in theory, in practice, they are a nightmare. They are a disruption to traffic patterns and confusing as Hell for drivers. Cyclists cause more peril than anything else, even when they follow the rules of the road, which 90% of them DO NOT.

In the 10 years I’ve lived in this neighborhood, I’ve never been this nervous behind the wheel. And it’s not for my own safety, it’s for theirs. I don’t think I could recover if I ever hit a human being.

And I’m sorry to say it, but it will take a terrible tragedy (or more than one) before the situation is even seriously discussed. *sigh*


Great news! This will make biking safer in the area.

I used the bike share for the first time last weekend and can’t wait for it to come to Queens. It will make the weekend 7-line outages so much more tolerable to have another way to get around.


wonderful news for bikers!!!…but once again it is the driver of automobiles going to pay for it (cost of registration & license)…..I’m all for bike lanes but license & register the bikers too – let them pay their fair share…between the cost of installation – the maintenance and how bout some tickets for the bikers that disobey the rules of the road…if we are going to share the road, only fair to share the cost!


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