Queens CB 4 Member: No One Will Need Bike Lanes “Once Trump Removes the Illegals”

Ann Pfoser Darby, facing the camera, was first appointed to Queens CB 4 in 1987. Photo: Juan Restrepo
Ann Pfoser Darby, facing the camera, was first appointed to Queens CB 4 in 1987. Photo: Juan Restrepo

Ann Pfoser Darby, a long-time member of Queens Community Board 4, argued last night that 111th Street by Flushing Meadows Corona Park doesn’t need a protected bike lane because Donald Trump will deport “all the illegals.” City Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland is now calling for Borough President Melinda Katz to remove Darby from the board.

Transportation Alternatives Queens organizer Juan Restrepo reports that at an update on the 111th Street project last night, Darby said, “Once Trump removes all the illegals from Corona, there won’t be anybody to ride bike lanes.”

Community board members are appointed by council members and borough presidents to two-year terms. Darby has been reappointed to Community Board 4 since 1987.

This morning Ferreras-Copeland issued a statement calling for Darby’s removal from the board: “These comments raise legitimate concerns that this bigoted attitude is behind delaying necessary safety improvements on 111th Street which CB4 has obstructed for the past three years.”

Streetsblog contacted Katz’s office for comment and has yet to receive a response.

Marching for a safer 111th Street.
Marching for a safer 111th Street last May.

It’s been nearly two years since DOT presented its initial plan for 111th Street, spurred by a broad coalition advocating for safer access to the park. The coalition includes Make the Road New York, Immigrant Movement International, and Mujeres en Movimiento — organizations representing the Corona immigrant community.

Their campaign for a safer 111th Street has run up against obstinate resistance from some longtime residents, including Darby. In June 2015, Darby was one of the two members of the CB 4 transportation committee who attended the first meeting about the 111th Street project and voted it down, setting in motion a string of delays and setbacks.

Later that year, Assembly Member Francisco Moya, who aligned with the faction opposed to the street redesign, held a “town hall” on the project without alerting Ferreras-Copeland, DOT, or the immigrant community.

Last October, the city scaled back its original plan in order to win over Moya, keeping the two-way protected bike lane but doing away with marked crosswalks and retaining an unnecessary traffic lane. But those changes weren’t enough to win over CB 4 transportation committee chair James Lisa (who was the other vote, along with Darby, against the project at the first presentation in 2015) and District Manager Christian Cassagnol, who later berated DOT staff with bogus concerns about non-existent congestion on the corridor.

As recently as November, Lisa denied that 111th Street was dangerous for people walking or biking to the park. Meanwhile, proponents have repeatedly demonstrated widespread community support, turning out large numbers to rallies last year on 111th Street and at City Hall.

The CB 4 transportation committee did not vote on the project last night, opting instead to “motion” it to March 14’s full board meeting, according to sources who were in attendance. CB 4’s March 14 meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at VFW Post #150, located at 51-11 108th Street in Corona.

On the broader question of community board reform, City Council members have proposed transparency measures and term limits for community boards in recent years, but that legislation has not moved forward. When Melinda Katz was running for borough president, she said she supported community board term limits, but she took a different position after winning the race.

  • If ever there was a project where the city could override the community board or sidestep the process, this is it. This woman’s racist words have given Mayor de Blasio all the moral cover he needs to just get this done.

  • Vooch

    Talk about bad taste

  • Joe R.

    Can we please start deportation proceedings for this woman? Whatever a person’s feelings on illegal immigration, bike lanes appeal to a lot wider demographic than just illegal immigrants. At best she’s highly ignorant on an important issue. At worst she’s stoking racist fears to achieve her goal of killing bike lanes.

  • Eric McClure

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    In June 2015, Darby was one of the two members of the CB 4
    transportation committee who attended the first meeting about the 111th
    Street project and voted it down, setting in motion a string of delays and setbacks.

    Two people.
    Build it now.

  • Vooch

    didn’t the early citibike data indicate the typical citibike rider had a annual income of $175,000 ?

  • ADN

    Justice Anthony Kennedy, currently the longest serving member of the U.S. Supreme Court, was appointed in February 1988.

    Why don’t we have term limits for these Community Board members? Who does she represent, really?

  • Herself first and the rest of the xenophobic racist old people who live in the city’s most diverse borough. The CBs have long outlived their usefulness for most purposes and especially so for citywide transportation planning that has a direct impact on safety and mobility.

  • ohnonononono

    It’s actually kind of refreshing to hear the older timers of Central Queens saying what the old timers of the Upper West Side only think.

    I assume Darby will be removed from the CB, but it’ll have only been for her poor decorum in being so blunt about her lack of regard for immigrants who can’t afford cars.

  • Kwyjibo

    Concur.

    If we’ve benefited at all from Trump’s ascendancy it’s that the fruitcakes are “out” now.

  • I agree. Naked displays of racism are horrible, but they can be remedied quickly. The bigger problem is all of the BS excuses, fake concerns for safety, and other “concerns” that stonewall this and so many life-saving projects across the city. Just shows how useless the CB process is and why the city should abandon it.

  • J

    Make Community Boards elected positions at the hyper local level. No need for term limits. If you don’t like your CB rep, run against them! That’s what happens in DC, and it generally works quite well.

  • mrf95

    If the illegals are removed this woman would starve to death wearing unclean clothes in a filthy home.

  • Geck

    Since CBs do not have veto power on street safety projects (and should not have de facto veto power, barring a Mayoral override), is there any reason DOT can’t change its procedures so that DOT presents project to CBs and takes feedback without an up or down vote?
    DOT: “Here is what we plan on doing. Do you have any questions or comments?”
    CB: “We like this, don’t like that, how about this …”
    DOT: “Thanks, we’ll take you comments into consideration. Bye.”
    DOT then considers the feedback, and decides whether to making tweaks or changes based upon the feedback (or in rare cases, gives up on on the project or does a complete new workup, if it finds the CB raised legitimate objections that require it).

  • ItsEasyBeingGreen

    Its nice to hear electeds speak up now that a CB member has said something racist, rather than just voting to kill people walking and riding bikes as usual.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “Once Trump removes all the illegals from Corona, there won’t be anybody to ride bike lanes.”

    Deports them back to Ohio?

  • Erik

    this old hag probably couldn’t even ride a bike though the thought of her driving is worse

  • This is 100% what needs to happen.

  • Kevin Love

    Let’s not go too far. I disagree with what this woman has to say and believe that she should be removed from the CB post haste. But as a private citizen, she has a right to freedom of speech, no matter how repulsive I personally find that speech to be.

  • skypilot

    It’s Trumpworld now and we’re just trying to live in it. Outside of a few urban and liberal pockets, this is tame language for Trumpworld.

  • Samuelitooooo

    Julissa Ferreras-Copeland has been supportive from the beginning, even allocating funds for an eventual capital construction project here on 111th. I believe she also hosted the first town hall meetings during the summer of 2015, as well as a City Hall rally last year. She’s off the hook. 😛

  • Moe Di Nero

    Deport all white Ohioans back to Ohio and keep ’em there .We have enough racist in New York already

  • Toddster

    Can we deport you to Ohio?

  • Toddster

    ???

  • Riddley_Walker

    What a moron.

  • Bernard Finucane

    It’s an interesting view into the psychology of American traffic planning, which is heavily influenced by what psychologists call Social Dominance Orientation.

    Essentially drivers are seen as the socially dominant group, and so only they are to be catered to.

    The same logic applies to pedestrians being run over by drivers. Only the driver’s point of view matters.

  • Andrew

    In case anyone thought that Restrepo might have made an error in transcription, Darby clarified her position in a DNAinfo interview: https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20170301/corona/ann-pfoser-darby-community-board-4-trump-corona

    “I see who goes by and who doesn’t, and there was a lot of people going by to work early in the morning and like about 90 percent of them are gone,” she said — adding that she took it as a sign that these people have been “picked up by ICE [Immigrations Customs Enforcement.]”

    “It looks like they were illegal aliens, I don’t know, I didn’t speak to them,” she added.

    When asked how she could tell someone’s immigration status from afar, she said it’s “observation and logic.”

    “You can kind of tell, especially sometimes the way they dress,” she said, adding later that it’s obvious if “someone speaks only Chinese.”

  • SnowEcho

    that’s a special kind of stupid right there

  • SnowEcho

    please write or call in to make your feelings known – to remove this person from a place of power in the community. my friend shared this:

    If you live in Queens, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE call or email Vicki Morales Casella at 718-286-2900 or vmorales@queensbp.org about that craptastic comment from Ann Pfoser Darby. This is the email I just sent if you want to take from it:

    Dear Ms. Morales Casella:

    I am a long time resident of Queens and am disappointed/enraged by CB4 member, Ann Pfoser Darby’s, racist and xenophobic statement said at a public meeting last night, “Once Trump removes all the illegals from Corona, there won’t be anybody to ride bike lanes.” This comment has no place in any sector of this borough, much less in the mouth of a Community Board member.

    Our streets belong to all New Yorkers, and all New Yorkers deserve to be protected.

    I hope there will a rapid removal of Pfoser Darby from her position on the Community Board 4 and that the Borough President’s office
    addresses this matter through a public condemnation.

    Best,

  • BTW: I believe this is the same woman who about 6 or 7 months ago at a meeting said about protected bike lanes – not an exact quote – “You don’t see them doing bike lanes like this in places like Manhattan or in Herald Square. They’d never do that sort of thing.”

    And of course there are protected bike lanes all around that area – and lots of car-free pedestrian plazas.

    I kept raising my hand to try to refute her comments but CB4 has horrible rules about input from the public. So I was very pissed off that her comments were probably taken at face value by other CB members when it was an outright Trump-style lie.

  • Nigel McPhearson

    Standard leftist trope assuming “point & sputter” is argument enough. Sure it was not eloquently put but don’t pretend y’all don’t get her point.
    Are you ready to claim that our sidewalks aren’t flooded with delivery guys on bikes? That the riders aren’t immigrants that don’t respect American norms and decorum?
    No. Your just trying to shame people into not discussing theses things openly.

  • Nigel McPhearson

    Lol. Noticing corona is full of illegal immigrants is racist now. You can’t make this stuff up.

  • Nigel McPhearson

    The truth is racist in 2017.

  • Nigel McPhearson

    “Displays of racism” “remedied”? That doesn’t sound totalitarian at all. Mmmm thought police gonna thought police I guess.

  • Nigel McPhearson

    It’s called noticing the world around you and speaking about it bluntly. I know y’all were so close to having your boot on the necks of Americans shutting up their “hate speech” forever. That goddamn trumps got us crime thinkers all riled up now!

  • Nigel McPhearson

    What was racist in her statement? Inelegant maybe. But where’s the racism? You guys are ridiculous.

  • skypilot

    So you also see people who aren’t white and just know in your heart of hearts that they are criminals who are here illegally? Fuck outta here.

  • Nigel McPhearson

    Haha. So much rage for simply pointing out observable reality. Seriously. Best part about trump winning is the psychic torment caused to those like you whose identity is based on lies.

  • skypilot

    Your non-answer speaks volumes. Just another Trumper who sees criminal illegal immigrants in all Latinos and Asians, as Pfoser Darby does.

  • And you’re banned

  • Helen Balcony

    So bikes on sidewalks is an argument AGAINST protected bike lanes? #Logicfail

  • Her argument is eloquently put. But it is also despicable, horrific, and also wrong.

    It should be shameful to say such things.

  • Thank you!

  • Tyson White

    Americans norms and decorum? Hmmm… Where can one obtain a copy of the manual?

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