Nearly a month after the city began constructing a protected bike lane on Northern Boulevard in Bayside, Alan Green told NY1 on Tuesday that he can now ride with fewer worries.
“Now that they got the barriers up it’s very, very good, it was bad before the barriers,” said Green.
But, those barriers according to some who live in the area, are creating some new issues for drivers.
“I saw one accident down there already at the turning point where a car was using the wrong lane,“ said resident Leo Diamond.
The bike lane, which extends from 223rd street to Douglaston Parkway is dangerous, said some residents. They believe drivers have no warning of what’s ahead as they come down the hill.
Residents have already documented through photos at least one accident, where a driver drove up onto one of the barriers.
Those photos were attached to a letter State Senator Tony Avella sent the mayor and to the commissioner at NYC's Department of Transportation.
Avella told NY1 that the photos show why the bike lane should be removed.
“After I sent the letter all they did the next morning was come around and put these orange cones, that’s not sufficient notification,” said Avella.
Avella said that he supports an alternative plan put forth by Community Board 11. CB 11 initially voted in support of the bike lane, but has since switched gears and formulate a plan of their own.
The community board’s plan calls for pushing back the fence on some nearby parkland and allowing for the bike lane to be away from the roadway making it safer for drivers.
However, that plan has been rejected by the DOT.
Officials said there’s no evidence the bike lane has caused any accidents. They add that the current location is an active construction zone, with plans from the very beginning to add more safety features like reflectors and lane markers.
They also point out the bike lane was a direct result of community input after a biker was killed there last year.
For green, he believes drivers just need a little time to get used to the changes.
“If you’ve been driving in this lane for 20 years it’s going to take you a little time to oh yah now it’s a bike lane we can’t ride in there,“ said Green.
DOT officials said they expect most elements of the project to be completely by the end of the week.