If you’ve noticed the little round wheel-like apparatuses popping up in Rego Park and Forest Hills and wondered, “What are those?” read on.
The city Department of Transportation has installed at least 39 bicycle racks in the Community Board 6 area — which includes Rego Park and Forest Hills — this summer and the agency says the next location for the racks will be Southeast Queens.
DOT spokesman Nicholas Mosquera said the CB 6 racks were installed following a positive response to the proposal from board members.
The location of the racks are decided by request from store owners, employees or residents, the DOT says. CB 6 District Manager Frank Gulluscio said he visited each new bike rack in the board area and knew of only one, which was installed on Yellowstone Boulevard, that was requested by a store owner. The others may have been suggested by store employees who bike to work or residents living nearby,
Most of the racks are along Queens Boulevard or busy, populated areas near the boulevard, such as Austin and 108th streets. One bike rack on Continental Avenue adjacent to the Forest Park LIRR station has been regularly crowded with bicycles since its installation.
Mosquera said DOT will soon install the racks in community districts 12 and 13, which include the neighborhoods of Jamaica, Hollis, St. Albans, Laurelton and Bellerose.
Yvonne Reddick, CB 12’s district manager, said she was aware that the bicycle racks were coming to the neighborhood and that most of the locations were requested by business owners.
“They do it by request, so they’re placing them where they were requested,” she said. “We haven’t been told when they will be installed yet, however.”
Many in Southeast Queens drive, but Reddick said there has been a noticeable increase in bike ridership in the area.
“We’ll make use of the racks,” she added.
The only controversy that has arisen over the racks had to do with concerns over their proximity to the street. Gulluscio said there was a complaint about whether or not racks next to street parking spots would block car doors from opening, but upon visiting the site of the racks, he was assured there was enough room between the location of the rack and the street sothat it would not be a problem.
“I don’t think anyone is going to have heartburn over it,” Gulluscio said. “Of all of them, I only know two or three that were a problem due to it being at the wrong address.”