Assemblyman Braunstein Calls for Removal of Northern Boulevard Bike Lane

December 6, 2017

Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein (D-Bayside) announced today that he has called on the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) to immediately remove the bike lane recently installed on Northern Boulevard.

In September, Assemblyman Braunstein sent a letter to DOT expressing the community’s concerns about the proposed bike lane and stated because of the low cost of the project, should any of those concerns be proven true, DOT should immediately remove the bike lane. Additionally, Assemblyman Braunstein requested that DOT continue to study the feasibility of Community Board 11’s Shared Pedestrian/Bicycle Sidewalk plan which would expand the sidewalk on the westbound side of the Northern Boulevard while keeping the roadway unchanged.

“Joe Michael’s Mile will be closed for reconstruction, thus reducing the need for a bike lane to connect to it,” said Assemblyman Braunstein. “In the interim, DOT should remove the bike lane and explore Community Board 11’s plan, which would have a drastically reduced impact on vehicles traveling on Northern Boulevard.”

“It is clear that the bike lane on Northern Boulevard was poorly designed and hastily constructed and is unsafe for motorists and bicyclists alike,” said Assemblyman Braunstein. “It is the responsibility of DOT to anticipate problems before installation to prevent cars from getting impaled on jersey barriers and prevent motorists from driving on the bike lane itself. Instead, DOT continues to offer ineffective changes to fix the glaring defects in this project. We can't allow our roads, especially a major artery like Northern Boulevard, to be turned into an experiment where people are put at risk. DOT can try to spin the accident statistics, but the pictures don't lie – numerous crashes have occurred specifically due to the bike lane and it needs to be removed as soon as possible.”

“We have been working tirelessly with Assemblyman Braunstein's office to mitigate the danger caused by this bicycle lane and implement a safer pedestrian/bicycle pathway. Community Board 11 expects more from the DOT,” said Joseph Marziliano, Community Board 11 District Manager.

“The Douglaston Civic Association is a strong supporter of bike lanes,” said Sean M. Walsh, President of Douglaston Civic Association. “However the DOT removal of a third lane of traffic westbound on the only east west through road for northern Queens is a disaster. The Community Board and DCA have proposed a reasonable alternative which is safer for everyone. We have witnessed over eleven car accidents directly due to the new bike lanes. The entrances and exits at the Cross Island are sharp blind paths into traffic now down to two lanes. We call upon the mayor to immediately remove this hazard and go with CB 11’s safe bike lanes. Save lives.”