Advocates Push for New Safety Measures Where Cyclist Died in Bayside

Bike advocates are pushing for protected lanes in eastern Queens where a cyclist was killed nine months ago. NY1’s Gene Apodaca has the latest on a new proposal backed by the son of that victim could soon get the green light.

Cyclists riding on the sidewalk to avoid cars are a common sight on Northern Boulevard near the Cross Island Parkway.

"It's dangerous. Cars don't respect bike riders,” said one cyclist.

The street is the only way to get to Joe Michaels Mile, a pedestrian and biking path that wraps around Little Neck Bay.

Last year, 78-year-old Michael Schenkman was killed on his way there, he was just a block away from the path at the time.

"I believe this should have been addressed 20 years ago or more…I don't believe he would have been hit,”" said Schenkman's son, Peter. 

Schenkman's death re-ignited the fight among advocates for new safety measures.

In recent months, they've started a petition that calls for a bike lane between 223rd Street and Douglaston Parkway.

"No one, no one should be killed or hurt for wanting to go to the park. That should never be the case," said Jaby Jacob, a volunteer with the Eastern Queens Greenway and Transportation Alternatives.

The City Department of Transportation has also come up with a plan to add barriers along the north side of the Northern Boulevard , which would protect a two way bike path.

"I think it makes sense for the bikers to get that lane so they can be safe," said a cyclist heading onto the Joe Michaels Mile.

"There should be more places for people to ride their bike," said another.

It's a plan Schenkman's  son is supporting.

"Please, please let's enact some cyclist protection so no other family has to go through what my family went through," he said.

Community Board 11 will hear on the proposal on June 5th. 

The meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. at M.S. 158.





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