FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM APRIL 4, 2019 • THE QUEENS COURIER 11
Advocates call on de Blasio to complete
Queens Boulevard bike lanes in Forest Hills
BY MARK HALLUM
Although it may no longer be called
the “Boulevard of Death” aft er numerous
redesigns over the years, families held up
photos of loved ones as they called on the
city to go the full distance with bike lanes
along Queens Boulevard.
Lizi Rahman, who lost her son Asif in
2008, and Debbie Kahn who also lost her
son Seth, were both unhappy with the
lack of completion from the city who told
activists the fi nal phase was tied up in the
Offi ce of Intergovernmental Aff airs.
A rally at MacDonald Park in Forest
Hills on March 31 illustrated this, with
more than two dozen people calling for
the bike lane’s completion.
Th e last quarter of the bike lane
implementation will take cyclists from
Yellowstone Boulevard to Union
Turnpike with as little interference from
cars as possible, but although the city
Department of Transportation scheduled
the work it has yet to begin.
“For the last fi ve years I’ve been wanting
to come to Queens Boulevard and
celebrate, not protest or complain,”
Rahman said. “De Blasio has completed
three quarters of the work on Queens
Boulevard and the last part – phase four –
was supposed to be fi nished last year. My
son, Asif Rahman, gave his life 11 years
ago on Queens Boulevard. He was hit by
a trucker and died instantly.”
What started in 2015 at Roosevelt
Avenue has come to a halt at Yellowstone
Boulevard when it was slated for completion
all the way to Union Turnpike. Th e
city, however, claims they are powering
through a challenging section of roadway.
“We are moving forward with the redesign
and working with the community,”
Seth Stein, a mayoral spokesman said.
“We’ve completed four miles of redesign
on Queens Boulevard, driving fatalities
to a record low, and will continue
working through this last, most challenging
Kahn said her family has been in the
community for generations and she has
always been weary of traffi c on Queens
Boulevard in concern for her parents and
grandparents; Th en, nine years ago, her
son Seth died when he was struck by car.
“Our lives are not political bargaining
chips,” Laura Shepard from
Transportation Alternatives said. “We
want them to do what they promised. We
use this bike lane to get around the neighborhood
from work to school to doctors
appointments, shops to restaurants.
We struggle when we cross Yellowstone
because there are parked cars and we’re
endanger of getting doored or getting
hit by somebody pulling in and out of a
Some speakers fought against the
notion that bike lanes damage business by
pointing out that eateries have long benefi
tted from the installments by off ering
deliveries on two wheels. Bicyclists also
have no need to seek parking and patronize
businesses along the corridor.
One cyclist speaking at the rally in the
rain made the case that the city has come
to represent the seedier days of the 1980s
and 1990s when public spaces were dominated
by dangerous individuals armed
with guns and knives. But the bullies of
modern day New York come in the form
of drivers in 2,000 pound vehicles.
Photo: Mark Hallum/QNS
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