Queens Bike Advocates Want to Connect People and Parks

Cycling enthusiasts are petitioning for a plan to make it easier and safer to bike from one park to another. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed a report.

Learning to ride a bike is a milestone in a young child's life. 
Four year-old Desmond Tate loves the experience but admits he has some restrictions on where he can ride. 

"Well...I can only do it on places. Paces, not the road," explained Tate.

His mom Alexia says it can be difficult to teach a kid to ride--even in this residential section of Jackson Heights.

"I can't ride on the sidewalk with him. And he can't ride in the street with me. And so, we're working on practicing on the play street here but it would be so great to see some protected bike lanes, where we can get from one park to another," said Tate.

That’s exactly what the Queens Bike Initiative is advocating: safely connecting parks across the borough. The group envisions clear paths from Astoria all the way to Flushing Meadows Corona-Park.

"What we're trying to do really is establish a set of bike lanes within the community that connects residents to each other but also connects residents to certain parks within the borough," said James McIntyre, a member of the Queens Bike Initiative.

Group member Ramon Guerra says he thinks additional bike lanes could help cut down on congestion across the borough too.

"The traffic here is horrible, the parking here is impossible, the subway delays unfortunately seem to be increasing every day," said Guerra.

The group recently started a change.org petition to share their vision with the community. They say so far, they've received a lot of support.

"We've gotten a lot of support from Astoria already, definitely got a lot of support in Jackson Heights and Elmhurst. And I just foresee it growing all through Queens," said Tate.

A Department of Transportation spokesperson tells NY1 the agency has not formally received a request to build a bicycle network in the area from the Queens Bike Initiative but they're happy to begin a discussion with the community about adding bike lanes.  For more information about the group head to qns.bike 

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