electrical bike End the Queens Boulevard Bike Lane Now – Streetsblog New York Metropolis
I grew up subsequent to the “Boulevard of Demise” — Queens Boulevard — in Forest Hills. Our laundromat, church, and movie show had been all proper subsequent to the boulevard. As a child, I bear in mind my mom telling me to run as quick as I may together with her to cross it. If we couldn’t dash throughout it, we’d take the 75th Avenue Subway to go beneath it. We knew higher than to get caught on an island within the center, as a result of the implications had been deadly for much too many. From 1990 to 2017, 186 folks had been killed on the road, together with 138 pedestrians, according to the New York Times. The aged and disabled couldn’t stroll beneath or dash throughout; they still can’t.
The disturbing lack of life on Queens Boulevard demanded motion. In 2015, the de Blasio administration focused Queens Boulevard from Sunnyside to Kew Gardens for Imaginative and prescient Zero street-safety enhancements, together with a protected bike lane. These had been purported to be accomplished in 2018.
Now, years later, Forest Hills is still being denied many of the improvements. The Metropolis Council member for the world, Karen Koslowitz, opposed the bike lane, claiming small enterprise homeowners want parking areas. “We can not afford, due to our companies, to lose all of those parking spots,” Koslowitz mentioned during a public meeting.
Koslowitz’s actions are an entire abdication of management. Small companies and bike lanes are usually not a zero-sum sport. To all of the small-business homeowners who’re struggling via this painful disaster, I say, bike lanes are usually not the enemy pushing you to the sting. It’s ever-increasing property taxes and inadequate metropolis funding. The mayor and Metropolis Council might speak about the necessity to handle rising rents or push again on landlords, however you’d be laborious pressed to seek out them speaking about the necessity to present property-tax reduction to small companies.
The Division of Small Enterprise Providers has acquired lower than $300 million a 12 months from the town for the final a number of years. That’s lower than one-half of 1 p.c of the town’s finances. I’m operating for Metropolis Council on a platform of standing with the small-business group — not by scapegoating bike lanes however by preventing for actual assist from the town for struggling small companies. For instance, we must always revive the Love Your Native grant program, which was allowed to run out, and increase it to $360 million so as to serve 4,000 struggling small companies.
If elected, I pledge to make use of each instrument obtainable to complete the protected bike lane from Yellowstone Boulevard to Union Turnpike. Day by day that passes with out the promised Imaginative and prescient Zero enhancements is a day we’re placing one other life in danger. I additionally wish to companion with the brand new administration to advance the Streets Grasp Plan. A community of protected bus and bike lanes, bus-stop upgrades, and upgraded pedestrian-crossing alerts will solely serve to make our metropolis safer and our public transit extra environment friendly.
Subsequent 12 months will convey a brand new mayor, borough presidents, and Metropolis Council. In a stark distinction with outgoing CM Koslowitz, I pledge to convey the battle for avenue security to Metropolis Corridor and to convey the eye, assets, and reforms that our group deserves.
Eliseo Labayen (@EliseoLabayen) is operating to succeed Karen Koslowitz in Metropolis Council District 29, which encompasses Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and Richmond Hill.