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Van Bramer Calls for Protected Bike Lane Network in Long Island City

CM Van Bramer and Bicycle Safety Activists hold press conference at the foot of the Pulaski Bridge in Long Island City this morning calling for a protected bike lane network (Photo: Courtesy of CM Van Bramer)

July 31, 2019 By Allie Griffin

In the wake of an uptick in cyclists deaths throughout New York City this year, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, along with Transportation Alternatives and Bike New York are calling for the creation of a network of protected bike lanes in Long Island City.

The proposed neighborhood network would be the first of its kind in the city, Van Bramer says.

On Monday, the 18th cyclist was killed this year in Sunset Park after being struck by a truck and one of the 18 deaths includes Robert Spencer, a 53-year-old Long Island City resident who was killed while riding his bike to work in Hunters Point.

“We are in a state of emergency that demands bold solutions from the City to ensure the safety of all cyclists on our streets. We need protected bike lane networks throughout every neighborhood across all five boroughs, and today, I’m calling on DOT to start in Long Island City,” Van Bramer said.

“Too many lives have been lost and too many families have been shattered because our streets are simply not accommodating of cyclists. We must start prioritizing people’s lives over parking spaces.”

He argued that Long Island City, given the abundance of young people and families who like to cycle, is the perfect place to implement the city’s first neighborhood bike network.

Proposed Network (Source: Van Bramer’s office)

The area is known to have a myriad of serious traffic safety issues for cyclists, including a limited number of protected bike lanes, rampant illegal parking in bike lanes and on sidewalks, and inadequate transportation alternatives and traffic calming measures to keep up with the neighborhood’s growth, according to the organizers.

Two cyclists, including Spencer, have been killed in Long Island City in the past two years, noted Transportation Alternatives’ Queens Organizer Juan Restrepo.

“With two cyclists killed in LIC in the past two years, and 18 in the city in 2019 alone, New York City is in a Vision Zero crisis,” Restrepo said. “Creating New York’s first protected bike lane neighborhood in Long Island City is a powerful step the city can take to stop the carnage of our streets, promote the viability of the bicycle as an efficient and safe means of transportation, and promote and enhance the vitality of Long Island City’s bustling commercial and cultural institutions.”

The proposed network would be “closed circuit,” meaning cyclists are always within a few blocks from another protected bike lane. It would connect the Queensboro and Pulaski Bridges as well as schools, businesses, parks, cultural institutions and more.

Van Bramer is calling upon the city’s Department of Transportation to implement the proposed protected bike lane network.

Current Network (Source: Van Bramer’s office)

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26 Comments

Trump lover

We don’t need dem bike lanes one time I saw one run a stop sign.

They should stay in their lanes, also there shouldn’t be any lanes for them.

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Sara Ross

Why are we catering to the less than 100 bicyclists a day who don’t have to pay to have their vehicle registered, inspected, insured and don’t have to take a written test (which should only be in English since signs in this country are in English!), pay for driving lessons, pay for a 5 hour defensive driving test and then go for a road test? Not to mention pay for a license plate. We drivers (I’m also a walker who is sick and tired of jumping out of the way of people on all bikes who go through red lights and stop signs) support NYS! We even pay tolls. How much do bicyclists pay? Oh that’s right – NOTHING!! They go through a red light or stop sign they don’t even get a ticket.

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Actually cyclists have to pay taxes and there's WAY more than 100 of them

Sara’s completely uninformed as usual. Car fees don’t come anywhere close to paint for the cost of cars in the road. Literally Google a single thing about it before ranting.

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Sara Ross

But cyclists don’t have to get a license or register their bikes the way drivers do! I’m not uninformed. As a walker, I am tired of having to watch for them going against lights when the light is in my favor. They need to follow the same traffic laws as licensed drivers. Instead of painting the roads, money should be used to fix them,

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Anne

And the worst, when adults bike on sidewalks at top speeds, weaving and sideswiping pedestrians, often while staring at their smartphones. I’ve almost been knocked down by these idiots several times while walking on the East River esplanade and nearby sidewalks in Hunters Point South. I’ve truly had it!

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Edd

***Cough** ok im getting ready,
First of all we have the evil JVB (Little Ceaser) at it again with his bike lanes policy and advocating for the dumb hipster biker riders who are skyrocketing the rent prices in sunnyside and LIC.
Tw0, Yes bikers are dying sad im sorry. But i bet they are not following the road rules and regulations. I would bet my lifetime of subscription of Time Out NY on it. (LOL)
Three, no one cares about bike lanes that’s why there’s vandalism on the bike lanes with the beautiful message F*** The Bike Lanes in front of my building that one beautiful Saturday morning.
Four, again if you want to ride on the streets of NYC do it at your own risk. Stop being a bunch of spoiled millennials or whatever generation you belong too. This is first world problems like seriously. Whenever I go to visit my mom’s country you got bikers, motorcycles, scooters, horses, or mules on the same road. (with no goddam bike lanes)
Cyclist should have insurance and register their bikes just like motor vehicles and motorcycles.

I rest my case,

and JVB will not win queens borough president he has a better shot at flipping bugers at burger king

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LICRYNO

The words ‘protected’ and ‘dedicated’ should not be used. Cycling in NYC will never be totally safe, by its nature. I never see kids riding it – because it’s inherently dangerous and everyone knows it. The roads and sidewalks are shared spaces – always will be. It’s delusional to try to control this. Ride alert. Have a good attitude. Be predictable. Unless your banning cars, a bike lane on every freaking street is not sharing, it unreasonably dumb.

Please fix Vernon bike lane in front of Queensbridge Park (Unsafe + damaged) to 46th Ave (repair and solve standing water prob). Do that first please.

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FromLICQueens

25,000 new, high paying jobs killed because of a bruised ego. Almost inconsiveable.

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Sunnysider

This is excellent news. As a driver and a biker this is the only way to keep people safe and hopefully it will also encourage people to go out and buy a bike and try commuting by bike rather than in the car. The benefits are endless. Yesterday I set out in my car for errands and sat at the same intersection for 30 minutes. I turned the car around went back home and got on my bike and got where I was going in less than 20 minutes with a little workout too. Ditch the cars it’s time.

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Drama Boy

Little Jimmy was hysterical during the news conference. He said that there was a carnage of bicyclists being killed. It is sad that people have died and something should be done, but a carnage? Really! And this man wants to be Borough President. He’s all drama and no substance. He doesn’t have the temperament or maturity to be Borough President. At least he’ll be out of office soon.

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Lionel Q. Deveraux

Why can’t VanBramer stop wasting his time on stupid things and devote his time to things that would benefit the community? Every day, hundreds of thousands of commuters ride the 7 train. The line is beset with daily delays, nonfunctioning escalators, and other problems that make commuting a nightmare for 7 train riders. Where is VanBramer? Holding a news conference announcing bike lanes for Long Island City for the benefit of how many people? Why don’t we jusy ban cars in Long Island City, just like they do on Roosevelt Island? I rode a bicycle for tears. Never needed a :bike lane” Was respectful of cars. Knew if there was a matchup, who would lose. People are getting killed on bikes. A very small number compared to the number of people that ride bikes. Less than 20 this year. Kneejerk Delasio is going to piss away $60 MILLION for more bike lanes. Let him just lower the speed limit again down to 10 MPH andI guaranteed there will be no more fatalities. VanBramer needs to focus on what is important to the community. I doubt his bike lanes (or his pet library) are very high up on anyones list!

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Proud Bike Lobby Member

The bike lanes are high on my list, and JVB can’t do squat about the subway.

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Chas

This is a joke
Was a bike messenger years ago
Had no problem
Bike riders are at times a fault
Not obeying the road laws

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Stjm

Safe bike lanes will be a welcome addition for the 25k jobs/workers JVB owes western Queens!

Fire JVB… Jimmy must go!

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Flavio

I love this proposal. I’m 100% for it. I’m a resident of LIC and I drive a car, I bike with my own bike, I use CityBike, I’m a pedestrian, and I use transit. Protected bike lanes will make the neighborhood safer for EVERYONE. The only thing that scares me more of being doored and killed by a car is to have another biker doored and thrown under my car before I can react.

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Lionel Q. Deveraux

use caution and common sense and we don’t need bike lanes! i rode a bike for many years with no bike lanes. never had a problem. guys on bike speeding down the road with their airpods stuck in their ears are an accident going somewhere to happen with or without bikelanes!

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Cyclist deaths at an all time high

But we shouldn’t improve car, bike, and pedestrian safety? Sounds logical.

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