Queens Boulevard Needs Better Barriers to Protect Cyclists From Idiots Like This Guy

howmanylaws

In a matter of months, Department of Design and Construction crews are supposed to start cutting up Queens Boulevard to build out the new bikeway and pedestrian improvements in permanent materials.

Before they do, DOT should update its design to fortify the bike lane and protect people from reckless drivers like the one here.

In this clip caught by Streetfilms’ Clarence Eckerson Jr., a truck driver backs down the bike lane near Albion Avenue in Elmhurst, putting people at serious risk in the process.

Clarence said the truck driver flattened the plastic flex-posts that delineate the bike lane along the way.

As much as the Queens Boulevard bike lane has reduced crashes and injuries (which is a lot), it’s not perfect. Incursions into bike lane aren’t rare. Local car dealers have been known to use it to store inventory.

But DOT’s design for the Queens Boulevard capital project calls for placing the bike lane on a mountable curb, which would do little to prevent incidents like this trucker chugging down the bike lane in a massive oversized vehicle. Work is scheduled to begin next year, according to DOT.

The Q60 bus will run in the central roadway instead of the Queens Boulevard service roads. Image: DOT
The design for the Queens Boulevard capital project calls for no protection besides a mountable curb. Image: DOT

There are better ways to keep drivers out of the Queens Boulevard bike lanes. The bike lane could be protected by a full vertical curb, for instance, like on Allen Street in Manhattan.

However DOT chooses to do it, keeping cyclists safe from idiots like this guy demands more than a mountable curb.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

DOT’s Linden Boulevard Plan Improves the Basics and Not Much Else

|
DOT unveiled its plan to reduce traffic injuries and deaths on Linden Boulevard last night to the Brooklyn Community Board 17 transportation committee. The project will introduce basic elements of pedestrian safety infrastructure, but it won’t significantly alter the design of one of the most dangerous speedways in Brooklyn [PDF]. Five people, including three pedestrians, have been killed on […]

The 2015 NYC Streetsies, Part 3

|
There’s just a few hours left in 2015 and you know what that means — this is your last chance to contribute to Streetsblog’s year-end pledge drive. We count on reader donations to keep us going, and your gift will enter you to win a versatile Tern Link D8 folding bike. Please support our work […]

Eyes on the Street: Queens Boulevard Gets Its Bike Lane

|
It’s happening: DOT crews are putting down green paint and thermoplastic stripes along 1.3 miles of Queens Boulevard between Roosevelt Avenue and 73rd Street. The redesign is the de Blasio administration’s most significant bike project to date and includes several pedestrian safety improvements as well. It was prompted by a long advocacy campaign for safer biking on the boulevard, […]
This concept for a protected bike lane on 43rd Avenue in Sunnyside emphasizes safety for cyclists and pedestrians at intersections. Image: Max Sholl

Yes, There’s Room for a Protected Bike Lane on 43rd Avenue

|
In April, a drunk driver killed Gelacio Reyes, 32, on 43rd Avenue at 39th Street as he biked home in the early morning from work in Midtown Manhattan. Now advocates are renewing their call for DOT to install a protected bike lane on 43rd Avenue and its westbound counterpart, Skillman Avenue, which connect the Queensboro Bridge to the protected bike lanes on Queens Boulevard.