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Queens Blvd Bike Ride & Rally Planned, Aims to Promote Female Cycling and Protected Bicycle Lanes

Feb. 22, 2018 By Tara Law

Cycling activists will lead a ride down Queens Boulevard next month to promote female bike riding and protected bicycle lanes.

The ride is timed to coincide with the DOT’s proposal for protected bike lanes on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills as well as the DOT’s plan–now stalled–for lanes on Skillman and 43rd avenues in Sunnyside.

The ride will also promote women bike riders and the need to encourage more women to use bikes.

The 7-mile ride will begin at Queensbridge Park in Long Island City at 11 a.m. on March 25 and will conclude with a rally at the Women’s Plaza by Queens Borough Hall. The plaza is located at the intersection of Union Turnpike and Queens Boulevard, close to where the proposed Queens Boulevard bicycle lane extension—known as phase IV of the Vision Zero program—will end.

The ride will start near the Queensboro Bridge and go up through Sunnyside along Skillman/43rd avenues, where the DOT announced plans to add protected bicycle lanes in November. After Sunnyside business owners and residents expressed opposition to the plans, the DOT halted the project.

Riders will also follow the new protected bike lanes along Queens Boulevard—from Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside to Yellowstone Boulevard in Forest Hills. They will continue along the boulevard using the stretch between Yellowstone Boulevard and 80th Road where the DOT plans to install protected bicycle lanes as part of Phase IV.

The ride is being organized by the “Queens Bike Family,” a consortium of 15 biking and street safety organization including Families for Safe Streets and Transportation Alternatives Queens Volunteer Committee. Both men and women are invited to ride.

Event organizer Laura Shepard, a Woodside resident who lived in Forest Hills until a few months ago, said that the organizers hope to combat the perception that only men bike. Shepard is a Transportation Alternatives volunteer, a regular bike rider and an advocate for protected bicycle lanes.

“Women, girls and gender-nonconforming people do ride,” said Shepard. “We want to show that women bike in the city.”

Shepard said that fewer women bike than men, and said that creating infrastructure— such as protected bike lanes—will encourage more women to ride bikes.

DOT statistics show that 35 percent of all bicyclists in New York are woman.

“It’s a matter of equity,” said Shepard. “Bikes are convenient, they’re environmentally friendly, they’re cost effective. It’s important that people of all abilities and all genders have access to these benefits.”

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13 Comments

BlindSociety

Where are the protected skateboard lanes for women skateboarders? As a former tractor owner, blah blah mouth diarrhea. We are people too! #realproblems

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Michael Boylan

Queens Blvd by Corona Ave. 2/25/18 not a bike in sight but traffic back up for vehicles exiting main bed onto service [bike lane] causing unnecessary pollution in the rain. DeBlowsio stinks.

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WillyB by way of Rego Park, babyyyyyyy!

This is a great idea, really looking forward to this ride. My fiance would ride a bike around the city, except there isn’t enough of a protected bike network.

The safer our streets, the more people will be encouraged to bike and walk, the less people will need to drive, the less cars on our streets and the faster our buses can move. As a born and bred New Yorker who used to park my personal car in Rego Park & Forest Hills, I’m a firm believer in this!

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Neighbor

the idiocy of everything being assigned a modifier – female, black, white, transgender, male, Hispanic, etc. – already stopped surprising me. Looks like those “activists” do not have life, family, love… just the cause!

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Gary

Cycling is mostly a male dominated past time. they just want to reach out to people who probably have not considered it before. Nothing wrong with that , right?

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Queens Dude

Because the barrier is higher for cars? Thats why. There’s more responsibility for owning a car, making a mistake or getting into an accident with a car could kill someone. We all pay taxes and contribute. In fact, research shows the amount of taxes, registration, tolls motorists pay doesnt even begin to fully cover the costs of road repairs and upkeep. if anyone is the serious moocher of funds, its motorists. All 160 pounds of me (self + bike) isnt going to damage the roads like a 2-3 thousand pound fully loaded car at full speed. Nice try.

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Queens Dude

I do lift but you want to be lighter to climb the NYC bridges. Gotta keep the VAM up and your power/weight ratio optimal . I didnt buy a $4000 bike so I can waste the marginal weight savings by carrying excess weight on my body.

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Tree of Liberty

I hope the North Korean woman’s bike squad also shows up.. they also need to be represented.

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Rattan Singh 39st Come see me

They failed at installing bike lanes the first time. Now they will feed of the female population and use you ladies to get their bike lanes installed. Please don’t be tools and see the larger picture. I’m all for girl power, but this is ridiculous.

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Astoria Resident

“Women, girls and gender-nonconforming people do ride,” said Shepard. “We want to show that women bike in the city.” Why? Seriously…why? I am a woman and I don’t get this crap. MEN ARE PEOPLE TOO!!!!! Please stop with the “identity” everything and let’s just be Americans shall we?

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Queens Gal

When bike ride on NYC street they should be registered and have a license plate just like motorcycles and cars. They need accountability for disobeying traffic signals and other rules of the road, especially if the city will be ising tax payers money to create exclusive lanes for them.

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migwar

I agree that all bikes being ridden by those over 14 years of age (which, I believe, it the oldest one is legally allowed to ride on the sidewalk) should be registered and license-plated. I’m very pro-bike, but very anti-bike riders who disobey bike rules (by riding on the sidewalk) and traffic regulations. (If a biker wants to “run a light” at a deserted intersection, s/he should dismount and walk across, reducing any infraction to jaywalking, which is rarely prosecuted and is much safer to others than whizzing through a red light or stop sign on a bike.) Requiring liability insurance for adult riders (which could be added to their auto insurance, if they carry any) would not be a bad idea, either.

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