Car Dealers Are Ruining the Queens Boulevard Bike Lane in Elmhurst

After a 311 complaint about car dealers using the bike lane as an extension of their lots, NYPD officers reported "no evidence" of bike lane obstruction.

Car dealers aren't letting one of the city's flagship bike improvements get in the way of storing their inventory on public streets. Photo: Jessame Hannus
Car dealers aren't letting one of the city's flagship bike improvements get in the way of storing their inventory on public streets. Photo: Jessame Hannus

DOT redesigned 1.2 miles Queens Boulevard in Elmhurst last summer with bike lanes running along the service road medians. As the city extends this redesign along one of the only continuous east-west routes in Queens, the Queens Boulevard bike lane promises to make biking a more viable travel option for hundreds of thousands of people.

But not if car dealers use it as a showroom.

In this video from Jessame Hannus, you can see the cars that auto dealerships have left clogging the Queens Boulevard bike lane.

Appropriating public streets and sidewalks is a longstanding practice along major streets like Queens Boulevard and Northern Boulevard, and Hannus tweeted this morning that a dealership “has always used that space as extension of their lot.”

With six dealerships in the immediate vicinity, however, the exact culprit is not clear.

NYPD hasn’t sent a strong signal that this illegal use of the bike lane should stop. The online ticket for Hannus’s 311 complaint yesterday afternoon said officers arrived at the location within a half-hour and “observed no evidence of the violation.”

Initial data show that the redesign of Queens Boulevard has made the street safer, but if car dealers are allowed to store their inventory on it, Queens residents won’t get the safe, continuous bikeway they deserve.

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