2012-06-08 / Top Stories

Bike Rider Struck On Shared Lane

By Howard Schwach

People are taught to share early in life, but a bicycle rider who tried to share his dedicated lane with an errant driver on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 119 Street last Sunday, found out that sharing between a car and a bike can be dangerous.

The rider, who was westbound on Rockaway Beach Boulevard, was hit by a car driven by an unidentified driver as the motorist was trying to pass the slower biker and sideswiped him.

That reported accident was only one of the accidents and close-calls reported to The Wave in recent weeks.

Also on Sunday, June 3, a driver trying to pass a young girl in the eastbound shared bike lane on Rockaway Beach Boulevard at Beach 113 Street went into the westbound lane to get around her, almost hitting another automobile.

When the shared bike lanes were first put in place, 100 Precinct Community Council President Danny Ruscillo predicted that there would be problems with bikes sharing a small space with cars and trucks.

He called for a re-evaluation of the program.

The answer he got from the Department of Transportation was, “Those markings are used when a bike lane is not possible due to roadway width. The sharrows on Rockaway Beach Boulevard will not be removed.”

“When I got that answer, I figured that the shared lanes were better than nothing,” Ruscillo says today. “The recent accident answered my question. The shared lanes must go.”

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"The shared lanes must go”

"The shared lanes must go”

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