Residents Can Benefit From Bike Lane
I was amazed to read, in your recent article, about opposition to the planned bicycle lane between Beach 108 Street and Beach 149 Street on the Rockaway Beach Boulevard.
Marked bicycle lanes substantially improve cyclist safety. The bicycle lane on Shore Parkway provides adequate cyclist safety and does not seem to cause any traffic problems.
A NYC report titled "Bicyclist Fatalities and Serious Injuries in New York City 1996-2005" states that only one fatal crash with a motor vehicle occurred when a bicyclist was in a marked bicycle lane.
This summer I have observed increased bicycle traffic on Rockaway Beach Boulevard in Belle Harbor and Neponsit. Tens of bicycles can be seen traveling on this road despite the fact that it is not safe for cycling and in past years a number of cyclists have been injured there. The curbside lane, which is planned to be converted to the bicycle lane, is rarely used by local drivers, the ups and downs of the road make cars feel unstable and locals prefer to drive in the left lane. Except the greenway along the seawall on the Jamaica Bay side, which will be expensive and will take years to build, Rockaway Beach Boulevard is the only logical option for the bicycle lane. Beach Channel Drive has heavy and fast traffic, and bicycle lanes through Cronston or Newport Avenue will require routing on the side streets.
In my opinion residents along this stretch of Rockaway Beach Boulevard can only benefit from the bicycle lane. Drivers will be more cautious, some of the commercial and through traffic will switch to the Beach Channel Drive. The result will be a safer and quieter neighborhood with less traffic and a safe route for cycling.