Eyes on the Street: New Bike Connection Over Sunnyside Yard


Looks like DOT crews are making progress on the neighborhood bike plan for Sunnyside and Long Island City that Queens Community Board 2 approved last year. Clarence took this photo of the new bike lane on the 39th Street bridge over the Sunnyside rail yard. He says it got striped a couple of weeks ago.

The connection over the rail yard is one of the better parts of the plan [PDF], which relies heavily on sharrows to create a more cohesive network of bike routes in the neighborhood. With the construction of the Pulaski Bridge bikeway set to create a much more comfortable connection between southwest Queens and northern Brooklyn later this year, there’s probably going to be a surge in biking on these local streets.

If you’ve been using the new bike lane on 39th Street, tell us in the comments how it’s been going.

  • soexcited

    As a Sunnyside resident and regular cyclist, I can’t say that I’d feel safe biking over this bridge with just the striping in place. And it looks like the striped buffer goes away in the middle of the bridge.

    People routinely fly over this bridge at speeds of up to 50 to 60 mph, which gives them little to no time time to notice a cyclist. I wish they had designed these lanes with jersey barriers, like the Pulaski.

  • BBnet3000

    Or flexible delineators at least (which could still be added).

    Why is the DOT so sparing in using these on curbside lanes?

  • Justin

    In the buffer section there should be some those poles to make it feel more protected

  • J

    Because the leadership of the current administration has not made increasing cycling a priority. To appease cyclists, they’ve continued to build out low hanging fruit bike facilities that were already basically designed under the previous administration. However, there seems to be little will to do much more. Hence the HEAVY use of sharrows and little taste for saying or doing anything remotely controversial when it comes to biking.

  • I gotta say, I would love to have a physical barrier of separation, but the striping has made a difference. When biking over the bridge in the past you have two options” 1) ride the sidewalk, which is scary enough at cars roaring past doing 40 to 50 mph at times. When you see a pedestrian you apologize. 2) ride in the curbside lane and constantly look back every 4 or 5 seconds to make sure a driver isn’t about to plow into you. Then judge whether they are going to go around you and estimate their speed and either pull over or hope for the best.

    Anyone who says this doesn’t make a difference is crazy. It could be better, but at least now I feel I have a painted area to ride in, and although the buffer doesn’t extend all the way in either direction, it is a good start. I wager as more and more cyclists choose this, we may get even more improvements.

  • Andy B from Jersey

    Yes, Clarence. Lines on the street designating a place for cyclist can be VERY powerful. While I agree that barrier separation on a bridge like this would be more helpful, however inexpensive paint can solve about 90% of the problem.


New Bike Routes on Tap for Long Island City and Sunnyside

Western Queens is set to receive a slate of street safety and bicycle network improvements. The projects will add shared lane markings and bike lanes to neighborhood streets, improve connections to the Astoria waterfront and Greenpoint, and address pedestrian safety at the site of a fatal curb-jumping crash. The progress comes after more than a year of […]