Green light for bike-friendly Flushing

Pedal path: The city wants to add bike-welcoming markings to five miles of Flushing Avenue, between Classon Avenue and Queens.
Department of Transportation

The city plans to make the rest of Flushing Avenue more bike-friendly.

Williamsburg’s Community Board 1 voted to approve a Department of Transportation plan to add bike lanes and shared-lane markings to the busy road and narrow its car lanes from Classon Avenue, a block from where Flushing’s separated bike path ends, all the way to Queens, according to a report and a board member. The measure is a much-needed improvement to the truck route that is seeing an increase in all types of traffic, a pro-bike board member said.

“More and more commuters are using Flushing Avenue, so it is essential that we make it safer and make drivers aware that they are sharing the road with cyclists,” said transportation committee head Karen Nieves.

Most of the 34 blocks of markings will be shared-lane arrows, with five blocks of bike lanes interspersed among them. The sections of bike lane will include Nostrand Avenue to Tompkins Avenue, Throop Avenue to Broadway, and Humboldt Street to Bushwick Avenue.

Those on the panel who attended loved the plan, but one member who missed the meeting wished he had been there to oppose it.

“Traffic is already backed up there and this will back up traffic even more,” said car advocate Simon Weiser, initially claiming that the plan had been voted down. “You cannot put a bike lane on every major road.”

An area cyclist, meanwhile, applauded the initiative and said opposition to it is shortsighted and that drivers like Weiser are the real danger.

“It is the urban variety of ‘not in my backyard,’ ” James Roy said. “The people who do not want bike lanes are the ones we most need to watch out for on the road.”

The new bike-welcoming markers would continue a bike route begun in 2010 with a separated, two-way bike lane along Flushing from Navy Street to Williamsburg Street West.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.
Gap measures: The Flushing Avenue overhaul mostly consists of bike-sharing arrows, with just five blocks of bike lanes.
Department of Transportation

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