Skip to Content
Streetsblog New York City home
Streetsblog New York City home
Log In
Bill de Blasio

De Blasio Gives the Go-Ahead on Skillman/43rd Protected Bike Lanes

The city will move forward with the redesign of Skillman Avenue and 43rd Avenue in Queens. Image: DOT

Mayor de Blasio has instructed DOT to move ahead with protected bike lanes for Skillman Avenue and 43rd Avenue in Sunnyside and Woodside [PDF].

The stakes are too high not to move forward, de Blasio announced on Twitter:

DOT said it will begin implementation this summer.

Combined with the eastward extension of the Queens Boulevard bike lanes slated for this year, the decision to proceed will create a nearly continuous east-west protected bike route from the Queensboro Bridge to Forest Hills. For both projects, the mayor is asserting his prerogative to make streets safer in the face of community boards that don't support the redesigns.

Pedestrian safety upgrades and protection for cyclists are sorely needed on 43rd and Skillman, but efforts to redesign the streets were stalled by the community board process.

When a motorist killed Gelacio Reyes as he biked home from work in April 2017, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer called for safety improvements, including a protected bike lane. But when DOT came out with a plan to deliver that, Van Bramer waffled as merchants complained about the reduction in on-street parking spaces. An interminable series of hearings and workshops resolved nothing, and Queens Community Board 2 eventually voted 27 to 8 against the project. All along, supporters of the redesign reminded Van Bramer of his earlier position, but he never endorsed the project, saying last month, “I don’t believe we can move forward with this DOT plan at this time."

De Blasio's decision breaks the deadlock with what Transportation Alternatives director Paul White called "the kind of bold leadership that is required in the age of Vision Zero."

Congratulations to the Queens volunteers with TransAlt who worked so hard to make it happen.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog New York City

SUV Driver Kills Girl, 3, in Harlem, Wounds Mom And Young Brothers

The girl's death marks another grim entry into a crisis of pedestrian traffic deaths this year.

July 12, 2024

Moped and E-Bike Safety Legislation Becomes State Law

Retailers must register mopeds at the point of sale, in addition to giving new owners safety information, under new legislation signed by Gov. Hochul on Thursday.

July 12, 2024

Roadway Dining May See Dramatic Decline Under Eric Adams As Deadline Looms

Fewer than two dozen restaurants are in the pipeline for roadside seating, according to public records.

July 12, 2024

Opinion: Congestion Pricing Is A Compromise

Alternatives paths to cut congestion and pollution and fund the MTA make congestion tolls look like a cheap parlor trick.

July 12, 2024

Friday’s Headlines: Department of Victim Blaming Edition

Traffic deaths in the city are on pace to reach their highest number since at least 2013 — and DOT is reportedly blaming "jaywalking." Plus more news.

July 12, 2024
See all posts