Queens CB1 Chair: Secure Bike Parking Serves “No Purpose”

A zoning change that would provide better bike parking options in new buildings is wending its way through the city’s public review process, which means 59 community boards have a chance to vote on it. The Queens Gazette reports from the goings on at CB1, which encompasses Astoria and Long Island City:

"I see no purpose to this [zoning] text change," said Community Board 1
chairperson Vinicio Donato. Board 1 voted down the zoning amendment, 25
to 8 (one abstention). The bicycle parking proposal is being voted on
citywide by all community boards. After the boards’ vote, DCP will hold
a public hearing in January and the City Council has the final vote.

There you have it. Even after hearing a City Planning presentation explaining how better bike parking options would reduce congestion, improve air quality, and boost public health, Donato — who has chaired CB1 since 1975 — claims not to see the point of providing secure places for people to put their bikes. His stance may carry no binding authority, but Donato’s board is assumed to speak for the community at large.

Note that CB1’s zoning and variance committee did approve the bike parking measure. The whole situation is reminiscent of the Vernon Boulevard bike lane discussion last summer. Back then, CB1 refused to put the measure to a vote in a general meeting, opting instead to send a letter of opposition to DOT and local electeds.

We’ve seen determined activism from the Inwood and Washington Heights Livable Streets Group gradually pay dividends in northern Manhattan’s CB12. Transportation Alternatives’ Queens Committee has been just as active in western Queens. Will persistent local support for livable streets start to sway CB1?

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Anyone on this board bike to work? No? Then it doesn’t benefit us, so it serves no purpose.”

    “Donato — who has chaired CB1 since 1975.”

    Since 1975? Par for the course in this state — he and most others now in charge took over in wreckage the prior generation of self-dealers had left behind when they cashed in and moved out. Perhaps when they’re done a new generation of leaders will preside over the new wreckage.

    Hey Donato, the exclusion of all retirement income from state and local income taxes, something very uncommon elsewhere, also serves no purpose as far as I’m concerned. Particularly when the overall tax burden here is among the highest in the country.

  • Donato’s ulterior motive is that he doesn’t want bikes to share the streets with his car, so he monkeywrenches bike amenities any way he can. I’m just a non-biking pedestrian, but even I am offended by this, because a world that’s more accommodating to cars is less safe for me.

  • Jeffrey Hymen

    I believe the Brooklyn Borough Board is voting on the text amendment tonight. If I understand correctly, the resolution recommends approval, but proposes modification the amendment to require fewer spaces in senior housing.

  • Should I send a not to my Bronx CB about this? Are they all going to talking about it?

  • Should read: Should I send a note to my Bronx CB about this? Are they all going to be talking about it?

  • ms nomer

    I was at Queens CB5’s meeting in December and they voted to approve the zoning text change. I am pretty sure it was unanimous, didn’t hear any “nay” responses during the roll call vote.

  • Susan, there’s about 10 days left in the 60-day window for CBs to vote on the zoning change. A few might have it calendared in the days ahead.

  • da

    Community Board Member:

    “Hey, we’ve gotten along just fine since 1975 without secure bike parking. Why do we suddenly need it now?”

    ;^)

  • For the local Queens papers the Gazette’s article was almost good. It was fair at least. And the unnamed QC member was our own Lynne Serpe.

  • It’s on the agenda of the next Queens CB 2 meeting this Thursday at 7PM.

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