A new bike lane in Queens is causing controversy, as residents say they were never informed that the lane was going to cut through their neighborhood. Now, they are worried about traffic safety. NY1's Gene Apodaca has the story.
"The whole thing looks super dangerous," Randy Plotkin said.
He has lived at the Windsor Park Co-op for more than 30 years, but he says that ever since the city installed a new bike lane, the road in front of his home is not what it used to be.
"There's been more accidents on this corner since this bike lane went in than there has been in the last several years," Plotkin said.
The bike lane in Oakland Gardens runs along Cunningham Park from the Horace Harding Parkway to the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway.
Some residents believe the road is more difficult for drivers to navigate because it was narrowed to accommodate the new lane.
Winsor Park Co-op Vice President Cheryl Fruchter has documented at least two accidents she believes were caused by the new lane.
"I think it's awful," Fruchter said. "Who wants to be in an accident?"
According to the city's transportation department, the project was part of a school safety project that stemmed from a fatality near M.S. 74.
However, the project was extended to connect it to the Vanderbilt Motor Parkway.
Fruchter said that extension was never presented to the co-op.
At a recent town hall meeting, Fruchter asked Mayor Bill de Blasio about the project, and he agreed to have the transportation commissioner take a look at the lane in-person.
"You understand what we believe as a matter of policy, but we also again want to see if sometimes there's an unintended consequence," de Blasio said. "So she's in charge, she'll come to you and see it with her own eyes."
But some bicyclists believe residents are hurting only themselves by complaining.
"You were either on the road or the sidewalk [with] people opening and closing their doors," cyclist Peter Knoblauch said. "It was a hazard for both drivers and cyclists."
"For bicyclists, I used to ride in the street — it's way safer for me," cyclist Dominic Marino said. "I could only imagine it would help them; they don't have to worry about me anymore."
Stark opinions in what appears to be a controversy that won't go away any time soon.