Following an April 5 fatal bicycle accident on Greenpoint Avenue, several Sunnyside residents grabbed the mic to share safety concerns, at the Community Board 2 meeting last Thursday.
Peter Beadle, who sits on the Transportation Alternatives Queens Volunteer Committee, suggested a Department of Transportation study of the intersection of Greenpoint and Borden avenues
He said many issues can be mitigated with painting and narrowing lanes. Where the accident occurred the lane division could be repainted, bicycle share signs could indicate a road often used by bicyclists, bump outs could narrow the intersection or DOT could restore parking up to the intersection to narrow the lane.
“The studies I have seen indicate when you have a wide road the tendency is to drive fast,” Beadle said.
According to a Police Department spokesperson the fatal collision occurred when the biker ran a red light. The bicyclist has not been identified.
“[The area] has the heaviest bicycle usage in the city,” 108th Precinct Captain Terry O’Toole said. “People [cars, pedestrians and bicycles] have to realize that they need to follow the laws.”
Long Island City resident Yascha Bilan, who walks or bikes to work, said she has to play chicken with oncoming cars at the intersection of Review and Greenpoint avenues, located only blocks away from Borden Avenue. She has the green walk sign, but still competes with cars that have the green arrow coming from two directions. Even though she legally is allowed to cross the road, she said she feels “bullied” by turning cars.
Bilan would like to see a red light from all four directions so she could walk safely across the street. On one occasion, Bilan was knocked down while biking across the intersection.
“God bless you bicyclists, because I’m afraid [to bike],” a community member said.