There may be signs of a compromise regarding a controversial bike lane in Bayside. Officials installed the lane after a cyclist was killed, but residents say it has made driving more difficult. NY1's Gene Apodaca reports.
Less than a week after yet another car ends up sideways, having driven up onto a bike lane barrier on Northern Boulevard in Bayside, some residents say this lane has got to go.
“It’s terrible they created a lot more traffic," said local resident Angelo Salerno. "It’s disgusting what they do all over with these bike lane.”
That concern shared by Community Board 11, which is now urging city hall to reverse course.
“We recognize something has to be done there, we just want to see that it’s done right,“ said Joseph Marziliano, District Manager of Community Board 11.
The bike lane, which runs from 223rd Street to Douglaston Parkway, was designed following the death of 78-year-old Michael Schenkman, who was killed last year on his way to Joe Michael’s Mile, a pedestrian and biking path which wraps around Little Neck Bay.
However, since the city replaced a traffic lane with the bike lane, at least 3 car accidents have been reported.
Although, it’s unclear if the lane has contributed to the wrecks, Schenkman’s son believes the bike lane is doing its job.
“I think it’s more important to have the bike lanes there’s always an adjustment period,” said Peter Schenkman, the victim's son. “But ultimately it makes for a safer environment for everybody.”
However, Community Board 11 would like to see the traffic lane restored and create a shared pedestrian/bike lane, by widening the sidewalk onto neighboring land already owned by the city.
“It’s actually DOT land, so they wouldn’t need any special permission in order to do this project,” said Marziliano.
At a recent meeting, the board named the project as it’s number one capital priority. Recently writing the mayor to include it in his upcoming budget.
A big factor is the price tag Community Board 11 estimates that it would cost anywhere between $600,000 to $1.2 million to move this bike lane.
A DOT spokesperson tells NY1, “We have met with Community Board 11 and are committed to working with them, reviewing and discussing their concept further.“
He added the DOT’s plan, as implemented, has brought immediate safety benefits to people who use this road.
It’ll will now be up to the Mayor and city council if they agree.