8 THE QUEENS COURIER • MAY 10, 2018 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
In Sunnyside, Board 2 keeps rolling on bike lane requests
BY JENNA BAGCAL
Community Board 2 residents vied for
better bicycle safety and more green spaces
at the meeting on Th ursday, May 3.
Requests about getting protected bicycle
lanes on Skillman and 43rd avenues
dominated the conversation at the meeting
in Sunnyside. Many in the community
made reference to Gelasio Reyes, a
cyclist who was killed by a drunk driver
near that spot a year ago. Th e husband
and father of three was hit by 25-year-old
Cristian Guiracocha of Woodside, while
both men were approaching 39th street.
“I learned that the same drivers who
endangered my life on Skillman and 43rd
are also guilty of speeding in school zones,
running red lights, parking in bus stops
and a whole range of dangerous practices,”
said Laura Shepard, one of the cyclists
in the community in support of the protected
“We don’t need thoughts, prayers or
admonishments to be careful. We need
DOT to fi x the street to make us safe
so that we don’t lose any more lives,”
Several other bicyclists who live in or frequent
the area echoed Shepard’s feelings
about getting protected bike lanes installed
in the neighborhood. Brian Howald, the
creator of How’s My Driving New York
on Twitter, said that although he no longer
lives in the neighborhood, he oft en
rides his bike in the area to spend time with
family and friends or to do volunteer work.
“As someone who has been hit by drivers,
both in the community district in
where I live, and while riding elsewhere,
I recognize the safety benefi ts of protected
bike lanes and opt for them whenever
I can,” Howald said. “Protected bike
lanes are safer than unprotected lanes and
the Department of Transportation plan
for protected bike lanes on Skillman and
43rd Avenues is no diff erent. In order to
keep me safe while I’m in your district, as
I would you when you’re in mine, I urge
you to support protected bike lanes on
Skillman and 43rd.”
Community Board 2 will be hosting a
workshop on May 21 to garner community
ideas for how to make Skillman and
43rd avenues safer for cyclists, pedestrians
and motorists. Th e workshop will be
held at Sunnyside Community Services
and is open to the public.
During the public meeting portion,
Katherine McTigue, the New Roots program
manager at the International Rescue
Committee (IRC) presented a proposal
for community gardens to be built
in two “underutilized triangles” by the
69th Street overpass above the Brooklyn-
McTigue wished to have the same success
in the proposed community gardens
as she did in the New Roots Community
Farm in Concourse Village in the Bronx,
which was started in 2012. She also mentioned
that many people in Woodside and
Sunnyside farm at the half-acre community
garden in the Bronx, but wants to be able
to work with those clients “close to home.”
“We’re looking to take advantage of the
lots that DOT has on 69th Street to create
a space that would allow community
members to gather, grow food, share
traditions around food and farming, educate
Photo by Jenna Bagcal/THE COURIER
children, and really provide another
green space and a safe space for the community
to come together,” McTigue said.
She added that the IRC would be working
closely with both the Department
of Transportation, which currently owns
the lots, and Greenthumb, the branch of
the New York City Parks Department in
charge of community gardens for the city.
Th e rough draft s for the gardens include
plans for native plant gardens to allow
fl owers to grow, green spaces, gathering
space and sitting areas. McTigue also said
that plans for growing vegetables in the
gardens may also be in the works.
“Th e goal is really to keep it as safe as
possible for anybody that might enter.
So the goal is really to provide a safe
space, both physically and emotionally,”
The International Rescue Committee’s proposed a plan for a community garden
Person of interest in Kew Gdns. Hills sex assault located
BY ROBERT POZARYCKI
firstname.lastname@example.org / @robbpoz
Aft er a weeklong search, law enforcement
agents in South Carolina picked up
the person of interest sought in connection
with a vicious Kew Gardens Hills sex
assault last week.
Ronald Williams, 21, was picked up at
a motel in Columbia, SC, in an operation
that U.S. Marshals, the NYPD Fugitive
Task Force and the NYPD Special Victims
Squad jointly conducted on May 8.
Sources familiar with the investigation
said they located Williams through the
results of an ongoing and thorough investigation.
Williams was extradited back to New
York City to faces charges of violating his
probation connected to his conviction of
assaulting and attempting to rob a Bronx
woman in January of 2017.
Upon arriving back in the boroughs,
WCBS-TV reported, detectives were scheduled
to question Williams about his alleged
involvement in the April 30 sexual assault
that left a 52-year-old woman seriously
injured. No charges have been fi led as Th e
Courier went to press on Wednesday aft ernoon.
Offi cers from the 107th Precinct and
EMS units responded to a 911 call about
the injured woman who was found at
the bottom of a stairwell in the vicinity
of Kissena Boulevard and 72nd Road.
Th e victim had been returning home aft er
dropping off a child at a nearby school, it
Paramedics rushed the woman, who
suff ered head and body trauma, to a local
hospital in serious condition.
On May 3, police released video of a
person of interest in the case, later identifi
ed as Williams, riding the Q44 bus
about an hour before the attack occurred.
Th e Q44 operates between Queens and
the Bronx and makes a stop at the corner
of Main Street and 72nd Avenue, about
three blocks west of where the woman
Cops had off ered a $10,000 reward for
information leading to the arrest and conviction
of the victim’s attacker.
Photo via Twitter/@NYPDDetectives
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